Observations, evaluations, and other times the principal is watching me: why do I panic so?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 5, 2019

    I suppose I know the answer. I did have a very bad experience with administration before, so one might say my body is now prepared for the worst.

    Had an observation debrief this morning. Couldn't think of anything horribly wrong that could happen or be brought up. Couldn't sleep and had to take a mild sedative this morning. And... as my mind told me it would probably be, an easy, breezy meeting.

    Anyone else just have unnecessary panic at these things?
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Nov 5, 2019

    Yes! I know there is no reason to panic, but I always get nervous, anyway. I think it is because we take our jobs seriously and want to do a good job -- we hold ourselves to high standards and so we mentally expect to hear our inner self-criticisms voiced. When they aren't, I always breathe a sigh of relief! We are our own worst critics and I know I am always pleasantly surprised to be reminded of how hard I am on myself.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 5, 2019

    I think of it as test anxiety - you know that you know this stuff, but the more you know, the more you can imagine how things could go wrong. In these instances, I honestly think that being unconcerned may be foolish. When we stop worrying about whether or not we are doing a great job, it may be time to hang it up as a career.
     
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  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 5, 2019

    This fight or flight response is nature's way of making you ready for anything. Your senses are heightened and you are "in the moment." When seen from that perspective, it would make sense to have some nerves. So happy that your day turned into an affirmation that you are doing a great job. I might need to reward myself with some chocolate in the aftermath.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 5, 2019

    I hate being observed. I doubly hate the debriefing meetings afterwards. I’m right there with you!

    I know I’m doing a fine job, but there’s so much work put into teaching that doesn’t show in one twenty to forty minute chunk of time.
     
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  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 5, 2019

    I actually don't mind the meetings. I always know that they will go just fine.

    What gives me anxiety is having nearly any other adult in the room while I teach. It's not just the principal, and it's not just formal observations. It's even when the reading specialist walks in to pick up a student. It's when the sped teacher pushes in. I just have major social anxiety. The kids don't bother me, but the adults do. I turn into someone other than my natural teacher self when they walk into the room.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Nov 5, 2019

    I don't mind the meetings so much, but there is something about my P that makes me INCREDIBLY nervous while she's observing me. We get along fine and in fact I'm pretty sure she really likes me. She's very smart and unlike previous Ps, actually knows what sped is supposed to look like, so maybe that's it. Last year when she came in, I literally turned as red as a tomato and my voice was shaking. Then I was embarrassed that I was so visibly nervous and that only made things worse. I truly didn't calm down until about 35 minutes into the 45 minute lesson. When filling out my post-observation form, I joked with my teammate that I was going to write, "I don't know what happened. I blacked out." My scores were good and the meeting with her was fine. She came in later in the year and I did better, but that wasn't for a formal.

    This year I lucked into getting the AP for my formal and he didn't bother me one bit. He has NO idea how to teach reading and is really just looking for kids to be engaged and working, class environment, etc. etc.
     
  9. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2019

    With me, it depends totally on the person who is doing an eval or just observing. I am just more comfortable w/ some people in my room than others. Since you had a bad experience, it probably does influence your reaction.
    My very 1st Open House was in 1985. 3 sets of parents who were related jumped all over a teacher who had taken me under her wing. She was so shook up, I remember I went home w/her afterwards because she was so upset.
    She started taking shots of whiskey and she was not drinker before or after. I bet I was scared of Open Houses for 10 years after that! They brought my stress level way up, but finally I realized that I was letting 1 bad experience influence how I saw Open House and now I don't have problems w/it.
     
  10. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 10, 2019

    I used to, to the point where I would sweat profusely. (That still happens on occasion, in new situations.) But in terms of observations, I've had so many adults (parents, admin, other teachers, aides) in/out of my classroom, it doesn't bother me anymore. In fact, I just had an observation that couldn't have gone any worse...
     
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  11. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Nov 27, 2019

    I'm in the middle of year 7 and I often wonder if I'm doing this right or that right or this or that..... OP, if you are really worried about your observation, that means you're doing ok or better than ok. If you didn't care about how admin thought of your performance, then that'd be another discussion topic.
     
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  12. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Nov 29, 2019

    I panicked my 3rd year. We had a new principal for the last 3 months of school. She came to observe me her second week. I've been hearing some things about your classroom, so I thought I'd stop by - she told me. Well, The kids did not respect her - they continued to talk even while she was in the room ! I was waiting for her to get them quiet, but she said nothing. So I screamed at them - and then most stopped. She said she was impressed with my stern-ness but the lesson plan needed work lol.
     

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