Not-So-Great Evaluation

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by 1styearteacher, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. Oct 15, 2004

    Hi! I am a new teacher (3rd grade) and new to this site. Yesterday I had my first discussion about my first observation. While I received a lot of compliments about my lesson and how I was with the kids, my principal told me that some of my colleagues thought that I was snotty and dismissive. She said that she thinks it is because I am reserved. I am really reserved, and I am definitely not snotty. If I gave this impression to some of my colleagues I am very sorry. However, what bothers me the most is that my coworkers were complaining about me. They never said anything to me, they just complained to my boss. Now it is in a written report which will go into my file. I am so upset. The two teachers in my grade level were the only ones I told about my evaluation and they were shocked. They were as caught off guard as I was about the comments made about me. This has really, really upset me, and today I was very uncomfortable at work. Does anyone have any advice, or had this happen before? :confused:
     
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  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I wish I knew what to say as far as handling this. One word comes to mind for those persons who said those things about you...jealousy. I wonder if about the only thing you can do is to open up a bit and be more friendly...which at this point will just about kill you I would imagine! I am very reserved with new people and many don't know how to take me until they get to know what a nut I really am. I feel sorry for you...I have been in your shoes and just decided to prove them all wrong by my actions.
     
  4. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 15, 2004

    P.S. KNowing me, I would probably have a heart to heart talk with my boss about how something of this nature would bother me and I would hope that they would correct your "record."
     
  5. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Oct 15, 2004

    I agree with Grammy... I think it would be fair to go back to your boss and let her know how upset you are about this, and want to make it right. Is this written on the evaluation form you received? (You should have a copy.) I would hope that it was just something she brought up, but did not put in writing since she herself said it was probably due to you being "reserved," and seems to be basing it on what she's heard rather than actual observations. There is nothing wrong with being reserved! It's good to have a variety of personalities with different strengths and weaknesses.

    I, too, have run into this problem before. Some people are REALLY, REALLY sensitive. I am not touchy-feely, and sometimes I'm depressed and keep to myself more than usual. It's one of those things I just have to remember... You may not be intentionally ticking someone off, but you may have to adjust your actions to communicate your true personality. Those people are insecure themselves and assume the worst. There are other people who will stop at nothing to stir something up, and it wouldn't matter if you did everything just right. (That just might be the case now.) I feel horrible for you that they would take that to the principal. :( Try to remain positive... Focus on those teachers who backed you up. Forget about the ones who didn't. Visit us often to vent and get support!! :D Remember, you are there for the kids!
     
  6. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

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    Oct 16, 2004

    OK, let me make sure I understand... your principal included GOSSIP from your co-workers in your FORMAL EVALUATION?!?! The word 'snotty' was actually used!?!

    No wonder your co-workers are so unprofessional- look how their leadership acts. Just as our students follow our examples as teachers, principals set the tone for the school. I agree with the others here- address this immediately, and go to your union rep if it is not handled to your satisfaction. You should not be treated this way.
     
  7. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Gossip

    I agree with AngelaS -- your principal was out of line. Ask to see the write-up of your observation -- I'll bet that part isn't there and CAN'T be put into a formal evaluation.

    I once worked for a principal who accepted gossip as fact, and it's tough to work for an administrator who invites this kind of input from other teachers. (And it is "invited" or teachers wouldn't feel comfortable going to her.)

    The greatest thing you have going is your rapport with fellow grade teachers. Just keep doing your good job with the kids -- they're your main focus. :D

    Oh, and I would be careful about going to the union. In my district, at least, first-year teachers have no protection from the union as long as they're on probation. That could work against you (label you as trouble) without giving you any benefits.
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    We haven't had written evaluations in years. I called yesterday and asked what's up with that?! How in the world are we supposed to know what to work on or what they are thinking!? What do you think? Are evaluations important or not? I like feed back of some sort ... we don't get any, good or bad, barely a compliment. Is that how it is everywhere?
     
  9. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Yeah, I was pretty surprised that the principal would even say anything about your relations with other teachers, ESPECIALLY since you're doing such a good job with the kids. I mean, they're not supposed to be evaluating your personality, right? And i think any time one person tells you how another person feels about you, its only going to create more problems. I don't think that was handled professionally at all.
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Where I work, how we get along with others is a part of our evaluations (when we get an evaluation!)which lately seems to be never. It has to do with teamwork and it is very important. However, in this case, it seems to be strictly gossip and unfounded. I agree, it was not handled right.
     
  11. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Not in my career....

    I think evaluations are very important for the reason you said, G.T. -- we need to hear that we're doing well and there's always something that we can improve on, no matter how good we are.

    Most of my career was spent in public schools -- formal evaluations are done every two years for tenured teachers and every year for probationary teachers. (I believe the schedule is the same for instructional assistants; I know for a fact that they receive evaluations periodically.) I also taught for two years in a parochial school, and we all received formal evaluations there, too.

    I liked administrators who wandered through my classroom on a regular basis rather than relying only on formal observations. I knew that 99% of the time the kids would be learning when someone walked in the room, but I've had kids clam up on me during a formal evaluation. ("An equation? What's an equation? Have we ever done this before?") I'd much rather be judged on what I do most of the time. (And, by the way, I never once saw gossip included in my written observations or evaluations.)

    I taught in many different schools in many different states, and the best schools were the ones with administrators who weren't afraid to give a pat on the back or some constructive criticism. It sounds like your faculty/staff get neither, G.T., and that's a shame.
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Thank you. I called our administrator yesterday and talked to her about it. She admitted that she hasn't had time . She is not there anymore but has another director running things . The lady she has put in charge is o.k. but I know for a fact that she is not relaying to the administrator all of the things I do to make things better there. So, do you think that I should keep track of the things I do (write them down) to show her? It just bugs me that she doesn't have a clue about it.
     
  13. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Yes!!!!

    Oh, absolutely!!!!!!! I should have said that. I kept records all through my teaching career and only stopped about five years before I retired. I loved teaching, had been a mentor teacher, had perfect evaluations, etc., and I was working for an administrator that I considered a personal friend. My husband kept telling me that I should continue documenting, but I felt very secure and ignored his advice.

    It becomes a long story, but my "team" of three teachers were reporting gossip (from a small group of junior high girls) to the principal, and she accepted every word as truth. I was so dumb -- this went on a year before I figured it out. This was the first negative in my career, and I had no documentation. Needless to say, I began documenting both positives and negatives again immediately. :eek:

    Since even the best principals can forget to notice good things, I used to help it along. For example, if I got a nice note from a parent, I made a copy and put it in my boss' mailbox. Also, when I saw another teacher doing something wonderful, I would write a brief note to the teacher and copy it to the principal. That really works well, and most administrators appreciate the input. (I also kept all my positives in an inspiration file and read through it when I was feeling down.)

    By the way, I hope I'm not coming across as a know-it-all. I do miss mentoring teachers, and this forum gives me a chance to get back in the game a bit. If I'm being too free with advice, please don't hesitate to say so -- I won't be offended. :D
     
  14. Oct 16, 2004

    Thank You

    :) Thank you so much for all of your advice. I have already set up a meeting to speak to my mentor teacher. Hopefully she will be able to help me figure out the best thing for me to do.
     
  15. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Oops!

    Can't believe that I didn't even think to ask if you had a mentor! That's absolutely your best route!! Good luck, and let us know how things evolve. ;)
     
  16. miesha

    miesha Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Trust your heart and go to the Lord on this one...I'm learning that when things like this happen--satan isn't happy and will use things like a evaluation/comments,etc..to get us down.. I have taught since 1982 and now realize that at the present position..I'm growing and really learning how to teach.I have a boss who will take the time to "teach" us how to do it correctly.I am looking forward to being a better teacher...by the way-take the comments..go to your colleagues and express that you didn't know that you came across in that manner and thank them and nicely say--please let me know in person how I can become a better teacher...it may show you that "they" didn't realize you'd find out and that you haven't lowered yourself to their standards..My mom tells me.."Kill them with kindness.."...
     
  17. cmbogner

    cmbogner Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Some contracts also offer an opportunity to add a response letter to your evaluation(but ours has a time limit)...ours does & I've had to do so just once after a very young & inexperienced principal added comments he heard from a "not so nice" parent in my evaluation.
     
  18. sotero4

    sotero4 Guest

    Oct 16, 2004

    Not so great eval

    I am some what suprised that an administrator would document hear say on a formal teaching evaluation. I do think that it is imparitive to discuss this matter directly with your administrator. Additionally, in the comments of your evaluation you need to indicate that you disagree with these findings and that being reserved should not be misunderstood for being snotty.

    I am also somewhat reserved especially at work and let my administrators know that up front. I am a good teacher but simply have no desire to CHAT with coworkers unless it is regarding one of my students. I rarely go to the teaching lounge and most often eat lunch in my room. Good Luck, don't be discouraged by this evaluation.
     
  19. Lanie

    Lanie Cohort

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    Oct 16, 2004

    I don't think what others say about you is something that should be included on your formal observation. It should be the Principal's observation of your behavior and relationships, not what others think of you.

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I know that has to be devastating. However, maybe knowing how others perceive your personality will help you in the long run. Maybe others don't feel like they have gotten to know you and that's why they think you are 'snotty and dismissive'. You probably don't know exactly who said those things, so try not to hold it against everyone. I know that is hard to do when you've been hurt, but you have to focus on what is best for you. Regardless of how difficult our co-workers can be, we know we have to put up with them as long as we are there, so try to make the best of it.

    Keep us posted and feel free to vent anytime!
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    omiof5,
    I appreciate your comments and obvious experience. I had a friendship and good working relationship with our Administrator until she hired an acting Director to take over so that she could pursue other interests. There is no communication . I feel the director is not telling her any of the things I do. The Administrator said I can call her anytime or I can stop to see her, but like you say, I think it is important to write things down on a regular basis. There is no way to get mail to her on a daily basis...no one does that. So, I have to come up with a plan of how to do this. What do you think? How often should I give her a written record of the things I do and the things I would like her to know? How do you think I should approach this so she doesn't think I am some kind of a nut! Thanks again...I am frustrated.
     
  21. epatterson

    epatterson Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2004

    You have got to be kidding!

    I cannot believe that a principal included comments about your coworkers opinion of you in an evaluation! Last year, when teaching self-contained special ed in a high school, I had my department chair approach me and tell me that my other special ed teachers felt I was too independent and did not ask for help enough. She also thought that my standards were too high -- they were in special ed and would never learn anything anyway!!! Also, she mentioned that she had asked the students about me and several said that they didn't like me. The response that I gave her was "I thought that I was hired here to teach, not to be liked." Needless to say, I am no longer at that school and you may want to rethink working at your school next year if your principal participates in that kind of petty behavior. I know it hurts to hear things that like, but I know how you feel! Keep up the hard work and vent here anytime... :D
     
  22. dr.k

    dr.k New Member

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Stand firm

    Dear First Year Teacher,
    I agree with many of the other teachers-- that you need to talk with your administrator. I think your evaluation should only reflect how you performed in relation to the standards of the teaching profession, not "someone's" standards of personal conduct. I have been teaching 25 years and during my first year a principal wrote that I was too religious on my evaluation. I would not sign it because his comment was in relation to a personal conversation we had outside the school day and had nothing to do with my classroom teaching or his observation of me. He rewrote the evaluation. Hang in there and continue to do your best!
     
  23. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Oct 17, 2004

    I agree with everyone and I don't understand why your principal would write that on your evaluation. It is more important how you are as a teacher than you are with the other teachers. You were hired to teach not to make nice with everyone esle. There are going to be many people in this world we don;t get along with. There have been times I didn't get along with the people who I work with and I know some teachers can't stand one another but it should never be but on a evalution! Go speak to your principal and don;t worry about what people think it matters what you are doing in the classroom.
     
  24. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2004

    How to go about documenting

    :crosseyed Hi Again, As I mentioned earlier, there is no communication where I work. The main boss is never there and the acting director doesn't tell her many things. I would like to get some credit for the extras I do on a daily basis and let my boss know I am doing these things, without "bragging." How do I do this professionally so that she will respect the reason why I am doing this? How do I present it to her in writing and how often? I really want to do this the right way...or do you think it's not a good idea? I am so frustrated because I initiate so many positive things and never get any feedback. Thanks! :love:
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 17, 2004

    firstyearteacher: The comments from your colleagues should not have been included in your observation write up. My colleague had a similar situation where the principal asked who she went to lunch with and who she was friendly with her first year. I think he was just trying to have a conversation about connecting with a broader section of teachers and reaching out to others but it definitely hit a nerve with my friend. It was not included in her write up however. If the teachers at your grade level were shocked at the comments, it makes you wonder who was it that said something about you...Definitely see if you can put a written response to your write up in your folder-word it carefully and let someone who has your best interests at heart read it over for you. Maybe check with your union rep or president- I know our union president is always in the corner of the teachers and whould know exactly how someone in your situation should respond in our district.
     
  26. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2004

    Getting feedback

    Unfortunately, positive recognition always has been -- and looks like it always will be -- a tough part of teaching. I used to tell my new teachers that they had to know in their hearts that they were doing something important because they might never hear about it or even realize how deeply they might have affected a child.

    The only way I can think to pass on info without being obvious is what I suggested before -- occasionally drop copies of notes from parents, etc., into interoffice mail. If you don't have some way to communicate informally, I think you may be stuck. (My husband, who was a boss most of his career, agreed when I asked him for ideas.)

    The only other thing I can think of is to put together your form of the "inspiration file" I mentioned. In addition to notes from parents, etc., you could include little lists of things you're proud of accomplishing for the month. When you're observed -- and if your school has to have accreditation, you will be -- you might have a chance to share it.

    First Year Teacher -- I hope you'll start right now to keep a file like this -- I can't tell you how good it is for your own mental health, even if no one else ever sees it. Also, have you asked to meet with the people who complained? If you're comfortable doing this, it can be very powerful -- people REALLY don't like to put a face on their gossip. :p
     
  27. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2004

    Another thought....

    Do any of you have positive recognition systems for teachers at your schools? I taught in several schools where teachers decided to make things more positive for themselves.

    We printed simple slips, something like, "_____ deserves a pat on the back for ___________" along with date, etc., and left blanks near the mailboxes or sign-in sheet.

    When we filled out a slip, we gave it to the principal who then passed it on to the recipient with a quick little praise. As far as I know, this was never abused.
     
  28. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Question

    :confused: I am wondering how you think about this...(anyone) I enjoy your input. Let's say that you have some wonderful ideas and often talk to your fellow workers and they like your ideas. You then go to the director or boss and tell her/him about your ideas and they also like them. They in turn, call the higher up boss and tell him/her all about it and he/she really goes for the ideas, but is never told it was your idea in the first place. My question is, would you just forget it or would you somehow make sure that he/she finds out it is you coming up with these ideas? How would you go about it? Just curious.
     
  29. miesha

    miesha Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2004

    I would like to document "in my end of the year" portfolio that these ideas were given and what happened...in some way..also-before "telling" others" implement it in your classroom and document what happened,etc...
     
  30. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 18, 2004

    I was just reading my posts and decided I was over reacting (again)...sorry about that. We have had some employee problems at work and it always gets to me...and I start doubting everyone, etc. I feel better about things and am getting back on track now. Sorry to have troubled you. Thanks for your help...I promise I won't trouble you again!
     
  31. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    1st year teacher - I agree with the others. The comments of other teachers should NEVER be put in your records. You should sit down and talk to your principal and ask why they are there. The school I teach at is small. They all grew up here, went to school here, and now teach here. They have known each other all their lives. I have been here 8 years and there are still times that that I am reserved with them. It's only natural that you have those feelings starting out. You are in a new setting and under a great deal of stress.
    As for the information being placed in the permanent record. Most people will read it and realize that your principal was simply reporting gossip and put no weight on the information. Good luck!!
     
  32. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2004

    Been there, done that....

    No apologies, G.T. You and First Year Teacher are feeling the same thing. It's very hard to put your heart and soul into your students without hearing any attagirls and/or getting criticized by gossip. We've all felt overworked and underappreciated at times -- that's just being human. Don't let anyone convince you that you "overreact" to things -- those feelings are what make you a good teacher. :love:
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I think this is a problem in business and education alike-either someone takes credit for your ideas/work or misses that it was your great idea in the first place. if it really bothers you make sure your not 'hiding your light under a bushel basket'. Toot your horn a little (although this can lead to jealousy from coworkers) I've read a few of your posts here and it seems that you are happy where you are, enjoy good working conditions and coworkers but would like some feedback from your supervisors. In many schools it is a requirement for administrators to complete a year end summative review and perform observations which are written up on each teacher. It's how we get salary raises...sounds like your school doesn't have this as a requirement. Can you invite your supervisor in..."on Thursday I'd like you to come in and see us working on ____________. I wanted to know what you thought..." or "I'm trying out something new I'd like your feedback on..."
     
  34. omiof5

    omiof5 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2004

    Excellent idea, czacza. Whenever I had a special day planned, I would invite an administrator to drop by and see what my kids were doing. It's amazing how often they'll make time when invited, and it leaves no doubt that the activity is your idea.
     
  35. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 21, 2004

    Hi...here we are about 2 weeks later and I have been reading over everyone's posts and I think I must have been half asleep that night because my last post makes no sense at all. Maybe I had a bad day?! I have no idea...forgive my crazy , mixed up message. I am trying to stay positive...hard to do with many at work so crabby lately...must be partly the cloudy weather! Anyway, we have not been evaluated yet and that is o.k , too I suppose. We are working really hard getting ready for Open House. Our rooms are looking so beautiful!
     

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