We are in our "unnanounced" observation cycle. My principal came in to do mine last week. Since it's unnancouned, I had no control over the time or what I was teaching. She happened to come in for a group that I'm using a scripted program with. In general, I don't like scripted programs. I think you can use all the "research based" interventions while tailoring what you use, the sequence, and the frequency to your students' needs instead of using a one-size-fits-all commerical program. My students that I use my own lessons that I created with are outperforming my students on scripted programs by leaps and bounds. However, I am mandated by our special education department to use this particular program at least somewhere in my curriculum. I know they paid a hefty price to buy the program and train us all on it, and they are acting like this is the "new thing" even though this program has literally been around since before I was even born! I'm using it with my three students who are in tier III that we are moving toward testing for, since I know that I have to use it somewhere and the district will more likely approve testing if the students are not making adequate progress with this scripted program. Anyway, back to the point...our scores for this evaluation are based on a rubric. The rubric is very much geared toward a regular education classroom. Even so, for my own lessons I create, I usually score well. The rubric contains things like critical thinking, your choice of what standards/objectives to teach and how to sequence them, how you present the material, what kinds of student materials you use, how you engage the students in higher level thinking, grouping students, allowing students to make significant choices, giving feedback, allowing students to give feedback to each other, how you assess students, etc. For this lesson, I didn't do much of that at all. The progam involves three parts: students looking at letter cards and saying the names and sounds, me saying the sounds while students draw the letter in sand and then say the name, and me pointing to sounds in order while students sound out individual parts of nonsense words and then blend them together to say the words. I have to do it in that order, and I have no choice over what activities we do. Academic feedback is something I've been working really hard on and have set many things up for my other groups- but this is so straightforward I have a really hard time giving "meaningful feedback" (I mean it either is an "b" or it isnt, there isn't much you can say in regards to student response). Obviously there isn't much higher level thinking involved,and I can't have students working together, making choices about their learning, asking their own questions, etc. as everything is highly scripted. We have to fill out a self-reflection based on questions that they ask for each section of the rubric, and we have to give ourselves a score. I'm having an extremely hard time filling it out. Admitedly, many of the things on the rubric I either didn't do at all or didn't do well. My problem is that isn't really my fault- I have to follow the program exactly or otherwise I would be invalidating the intervention. I don't want to give myself all poor scores and look like I'm self-depricating. For most of the sections I've tried to explain things as best I could and have even mentioned in a few areas that I had no control over that since the program is scripted. I gave myself 2's (3 is considered professional) in 3 different areas because there was just absolutely no way I could spin that I did anything related to that area of the rubric with this program. I'm having my post-conference with the principal on Tuesday. I'm not sure how to approach this. I don't want to look like I'm "making excuses" either. I think the principal knows I'm a good teacher and she is happy with me this year- she tells me all the time she can't believe I'm a first year teacher. I know she is really happy with the students' progress as well. In fact after the students left she told me one of them had only known about five sight words and could not read anything after a year of interventions last year (she is still very behind, but knows all of her sight words and can read fluently about 1 1/2 grade levels below her). However, based on this specific lesson I don't think I'm going to score very well. I think I may be having to find a new job at the end of next year, because of the double edged sword of my students' doing so well- so many of them are on grade level that I think many will be exited from the program. I've already exited 3 this year, currently have 9 that are officially on IEP's, and I suspect at least 2-3 of them will be exited next year. With such a small number the district will most definitely cut my position to part time and I can't afford to live here with a part-time salary. These evaluations (especially since there are only 2 formal ones done per year) are going to be really important if I'm looking for a new job. I want them to reflect my true ability! Sorry this is really long...any advice for how I should handle this?