Please help!

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by wikteacher, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. wikteacher

    wikteacher Rookie

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    Nov 23, 2005

    Hi everyone! I'm a new poster, but have been visiting these forums for awhile now. You all seem to give great advice, so I thought you might be able to help me with my problem.

    I'm a second year teacher this year and am teaching Kindergarten. I also taught K last year and have worked at a daycare since middle school and worked as a teacher's aide at a Headstart center all through college. My problem is this: Our school got a new principal this year. I really like her, but she's done two observations on me so far and while she lists some strengths on them, she spends a LOT more time on "suggestions and comments" (i.e. things I need to fix). Now, don't get me wrong, I totally understand that everyone has things to improve on. However, it is a little depressing to see 5 bullets of strenths and 1 1/2 pages on "suggestions". I could even deal with that, but she keeps saying that I "need to incorportate more curricular elements into my lessons and routines that meet state standards." I don't understand what she means! I've asked her in our post-evaluation meetings and don't seem to get a straight answer. I don't know what to do. She offers to let me team teach with someone, send me to observe other K classes, etc., which could all be really helpful if I knew what I was looking for! When I started at this school last year, I was given little to no guidance as to how set up my room, schedule, curriculum, anything! My evaluations last year were good, with suggestions of course, but when I read it I generally got a positive feeling. Not so much this year. I'm really frustrated because I don't know how or what to change! I am seriously contemplating going back to school in the fall, I don't know if I can do this.

    If you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments as to how you structure your classroom, schedule, curriculum, etc. to include standards or where I should start, I would be so grateful. Thank you for your help!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2005
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  3. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2005

    Whenever we have evaluations our principal does a follow up meeting with us to review everything. You should request one and ask for specific examples of what she would like to see. I would be sure not to leave the meeting until you get the answers you are looking for. Is there another kindergarten teacher that you could ask for some suggestions?
     
  4. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    Nov 23, 2005

    I would ask the principal what she is looking for but if you're not comfortable ask another teacher on your team for some pointers.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Nov 23, 2005

    I would check around with other teachers who are being evaluated -- I had a principal once who gave EVERYONE marginal evals -- and once you realized this was his hang-up, it made life much more tolerable.

    Aside from that, I would ask the principal which teacher at your grade level he (or she) thinks would be a good role model for you, and what things that teacher does that makes the principal feel that way. Hopefully, the principal will be able to describe behaviors that teacher has that are particularly successful. This will give you a great chance to see what skills this new principal thinks are valuable, and how he (or she) assesses "successful teaching."

    I once spent 6 months trying to please a principal that, I later learned, NEVER gave anyone any better than a marginal eval. I could have stood on my head and turned back flips! It wouldn't have mattered. What a waste! I wish I had known the "right" questions to ask so I would have figured that out earlier. Once I found out that everyone was getting huge lists of "suggestions," I realized it wasn't just me. (He was transferred after three years, thank goodness for all of us. What a huge relief! Suddenly, with a new principal, we all went back to be competent and talented teachers...lol.)
     
  6. wikteacher

    wikteacher Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2005

    Thanks for all your suggestions so far. The only problem is that our school is VERY tiny (K-12 in one building), so there's not alot of options for help. There is one other K teacher, but pretty much everything I'm doing so far I learned from her last year. We are constantly sharing ideas and strategies. Yet for some reason, our principal seems to really like her and has even nominated her for awards. She suggested I team teach with her, but I don't see where the value would come from that because we already do things in such a similar way. Also, throughout the day I have a retired teacher who volunteers at our school come in to my room and our Title 1 teacher who has been there for 15+ years is in my room. I asked them what they thought, if there were any changes I could make after this eval. and they both say that they think I'm doing a great job and that our principal is saying all these things after only being in my room 2 times and not seeing all the other good things I do throughout the day.

    And, as far as the other teachers being evaluated, the only other probationary teachers who are being evaluated are at the middle and high school level. Our new principal's background is in early childhood, so I kind of wonder if she is "picking on me" (for lack of a better term) because K is what she knows.

    I am going to try asking her for specific examples of behaviors and strategies for "successful teaching." I hope something works, I am just tired of waking up and dreading going to work because I don't know how to fix the problem!
     
  7. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Nov 25, 2005

    It sounds to me as though she is looking for evidence that you are teaching the benchmarks set forth for your state. Do you have a copy of those benchmarks (standards)? If not, I would make sure to get one. From there, you can see exactly what you need to be teaching. We need to document in our lesson plans which benchmarks we are teaching each week. Perhaps this is what your principal is looking for??? :confused:
     

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