Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by teacherguy111, Aug 14, 2013.
Aug 17, 2013
my school does this year............ I'm new and panicked.
Yep, I agree. I think all teachers need to ask themselves this question. I made a forum post about it and it got like 2 replies with different "methods", its a tough question, but one we should answer.
Aug 18, 2013
1) That's a problem with the assessment; also, part of my review is my collection of use and data, which includes aspects of student ability such as reading and writing level as rigorously and validly measured by a variety of measurement tools. It's my job to prove student growth, and I don't have a problem with it; I'm a teacher.
2)I'm in favor of merit pay because I look around at some of my peers and see them refusing to adopt best practices because they "know what's best for the students" without being able to prove it with data or anything stronger than anecdotal evidence. Merit pay probably doesn't cause teachers to work "harder" in most cases (though the people who claim ALL teachers are hard-working and dedicated to their craft are as guilty as the logical fallacy of "argument from omniscience" as those who say NO teachers are hard-working and dedicated). What merit pay SHOULD do is force teachers to adopt best practices that are proven to improve student achievement. In other words, just because performance-based pay doesn't cause someone to work harder doesn't mean it won't cause someone to work smarter/more efficiently to get results.
However, merit pay MUST result in highly effective teachers making significantly more than ineffective teachers; if the ONLY incentive is for you to "not be bad at your job" in order to keep it, and there's no positive incentive for being great at your job, you're merely "rewarding" mediocrity.
Keep data records, be able to give the rational behind what you're doing in post-observation meetings, don't be afraid to sell yourself during said meetings, but don't be afraid to admit when there's an area you feel you can improve upon; it's really not that scary.
My incentive is to educate my students and create motivated, creative, and excited learners who achieve their best. I don't need extra money and I don't give a darn about merit pay.
An obsession with data = getting into teaching for all the wrong reasons.
I'm am not really in favor of merit pay as we have discussed this a bit, however, spot on for the rest.
I don't think it's just about best practices as far as teaching strategies go. I know many teachers that use "best practices" but are not really very effective.
The system itself is supporting poor teacher development. Many districts are mandating what they want to see specifically from teachers. For example, posting common core standards for the students to see, think-pair-share, collaborative work, weekly goal boards, compare and contrast...etc. They are mandating that they see these things in the classroom on walk throughs, they are check offs for admin. Well guess what? When you treat these things as check offs, so do teachers, and they become ineffective.
Teachers should be mandated less on specific "things" and be given more PD to look at different methods of reaching the same goals, then let professional teachers choose which ones, how, and when they are going to use them. For example, teachers should be exposed through trainings on why posting standards for students is important, they should come to believe in it over time, if it is just a check off because they have to do it...it is ineffective and won't work regardless of it's best practice.
I know other teachers who may not use the best practices, but due to their relationships with their students, those students will jump off a bridge to try to learn what their teacher is "teaching" them. Some teachers know how to guide students to feeling sucessful academically or raising students self esteem. I have never taken a PD course, let alone courses, based on these attributes. Which honestly, I feel are far more effective at helping students learn than things like Marzano strategies that work.
Teaching is really an art form, I think Marzano is wrong when he says it is a science.
Student achievement is linked to our evaluations this year (33%), depending on the data from the previous years tests. Everyone gets the same score for student achievement in the whole school- so it is an overall "how well did the students do in your school" grade. We moved from a B to an A school, so it's a positive for everyone.
The whole state has to include student achievement into their evaluations. Ours is at the lowest percentage that it can be- 33%, but it can go up to 50% if you wanted.
Not always so. Here is one example (although I could give lots). A few days ago, I was with a friend who has children. He and his wife had his children in a school with an "A" rating. He and his wife pulled his children out of this "A" rated school and sent them to a charter school. He, his wife, and his children couldn't be happier. He is a good parent and his children are bright. The teachers kept teaching them things they already knew over and over and refused to challenge them. They constantly had test prep practice for homework and in the class.
At this new school, the children are challenged, they are learning more, and have more projects. There instruction is more focused on the the needs of each child. So this "A" rating isn't worth much. It just shows, students can do better on tests.
Or just do what Bush did in Texas. Lower the bar so everybody looks smarter. Problem solved, right? After all, the data showed that students achieved more!
Or better yet, avoid any form of assessment, so no one has any idea how any one is doing.
1) If you don't care about money, why aren't you doing your job for minimum wage? If you did that, they could use the money towards more resources for the children!
2) Who mentioned an obsession with data? I got into teaching because I'm passionate about improving the lives of students who frequently don't get a fair shake in the rest of their lives; that's why I teach solely in general education/inclusion settings.
How do I know if I'm improving their lives? I know I'm improving their lives when I help them master skills that they'll need out in the real world. How do I know they're mastering the skills?
Data. It's a tool, just like my classroom management skills and ability to create thought-provoking questions on readings are tools. Your apparent fear of data and what it can be used for is concerning.
I agree that best practices are meaningless when teachers aren't given the rationale behind them or are forced to jump through hooks in the empty name of "best practices." I disagree that all teachers will jump at the thought of spending more PD days and time learning best practices simply because it's what's best for the kids; I meet teachers constantly who are not interested in growing professionally or mastering new skills. This is where incentives come into play.
I am sorry if I gave the impression teachers would jump at PD days. Most teachers do not, you are 100% right. However, most of what I consider "effective" teachers where I work, do jump at the right PD opportunities.
You are right, something has to change in how teachers are motivated, given incentives, released from teaching,...etc. Many many teachers feel they have reached their pinnacle.
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