Public school - need help

Discussion in 'General Education' started by kass, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. kass

    kass Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2011

    I work in a private school. This year I plan to apply for a public school position. And I need help from those who are already in the system :)

    I need to write an essay :
    You are new to NYC Public School 123 and are one of three teachers in your subject and grade level. It is the first month of the school year and your principal asks you to identify one end of year academic goal that would apply to all your students. Your principal wants you to use student data to help determine your goal.

    Last year's assessment results indicate the following about your students:

    20% above grade level
    50% on grade level
    30% below grade level
    33% of your classroom is comprised of students with special needs whose assessment results range across all three levels
    Identify the most important end of year academic goal for your students.

    Please write a plan that addresses your principal's directives in essay format.

    Your response should also include the following:

    What is your goal? Why did you select this goal?
    Identify and explain the strategies you would employ to meet this goal. Provide concrete examples.
    What would you do if you realized in February that a quarter of your students were not on track to reach the end of year goal you set?


    I have no public school experience. I never wrote a plan like this. Could you tell me, please, what teachers are doing in a situation like that in general ? I'm not asking to write an essay :), I just need the information about the process. What options a teacher might have? Why there are other three teachers? Should I cooperate with them? What would be the most important end of year academic goal for my students? What % will be satisfying?

    Please, help me with this!
     
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  3. cheerfulfifi

    cheerfulfifi Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2011

    No offense, but even if you are in the private school setting, you should be able to come up with some goals. The only thing you may not be aware of are the resources that public schools may have. If I were you, I would speak about what experiences you have moving students academically. You should also have a plan in place for what to do in February when they haven't been making progress. The school will appreciate your honesty and your ideas. All schools (even public schools) have different programs and interventions so they aren't expecting you to know what their public school system has in place.

    I taught in a private school and now teach in a public school. Yes, resources are different and the population is different, but I was able to relate my experiences and my administration appreciated and listened to what my experience was and how I would adjust that to what I understood of the public school setting.

    Good luck.
     
  4. kass

    kass Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2011

    You are right :). The problem is that I know almost nothing about public schools. I'm from another country, and now I work with adults and older students and teach foreign language. I know that I can teach this language in public schools and want to try. Right now I'm in charge of everything - I make lesson plans, get materials, books, etc. I have the idea what the director of my school expects of me and our students. I have no idea, however, what a principal would expect. My classes are now very small and we never make a data. That's why it is difficult for me to write this essay and I ask more experienced teachers for a piece of advise.

    I'm not a dummy or lazy and do not expect that someone would do my job :)
     
  5. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 1, 2011

    One thing that throws me off with that question is that it is all based on data that is just not well-defined enough to me.

    To me, and that's one huge reason why test era public ed is not for me, I am not moved by below grade level, on grade level, or above grade level. What does that mean? Who determined that and how? Are those labels consistent across different districts and states? Do those labels fluctuate from year to year? What subjects are they speaking of? What were the assessments used to determine those labels?

    And more importantly, who are the students behind the numbers?

    Now had the question been worded with a GPA average or some type of ranking based on the 10 point scale, A's, B's C's etc then that would be a little different for me.

    I also would never say my goal is to move all students to 'On grade level." Again, I'm not sure I agree with those labels in the first place.

    Basically, I wouldn't let that type of data be the primary motivator for my goals (and then I'm sure they wouldn't like my essay answer).
     
  6. cheerfulfifi

    cheerfulfifi Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2011

    Well unfortunately whether we like it or not... data is everything. It's what is driving our classrooms. I'm not saying I like it, but that's what it has come down to.
     
  7. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 1, 2011

    You're right, that's why I'm looking into alternative education positions. But good luck to kass.
     
  8. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Feb 1, 2011

    To start, you will need to identify an area, based on the overall state testing scores for the students in the school as a whole, that was low. We do this each year as a math and ELA department at the beginning of the year - we look at the standards assessed and chose a standard where the school as a whole scored low. You will want to look at the school as a whole because they are representative of your class.

    Once you have chosen your focus area, you can now set your goal. For us in California, the state sets our goals, which for math is about 67% proficient. You need to look at the percent proficiency for your focus area and set a goal for improved proficiency. Then you get down to the nitty gritty and start planning ways to teach and assess the students on growth towards the goal. You will need to identify weaknesses in the focus area and work on them. It is always so helpful to administer a pre-test on your focus area that covers the standard/topic in detail. From the pre-test, you will be able to discover exactly where the class as a whole is low. You will then provide review, supplemental material, provide direct instruction, etc. Throughout the year, maybe at quarter, and semester you will administer the same pre-test. This will allow you to compare growth from the pre-test. When you get to the end of the year and give the final test, you will be able to show and exactly how much growth was made.

    So in your case, you would work with the other three teachers and review all test data for the subject you three choose to focus on. The periodic benchmark monitoring would let you know if any kids weren't up to par. For those who aren't up to par, you would provide additional support, etc.

    Good luck. To many teachers, even those in the public school setting, using data to drive learning and results, is still a foreign and evil concept. But using data is the name of the game now and is very effective if used properly
     
  9. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Feb 1, 2011

    What if you said something like your goal is to see a 5-7% increase in ability/scores/proficiency by the end of the year. For example, maybe a far below basic student moves up to "below basic" and a "proficient student" moves up to almost "advanced".

    You might also consider discussing a culminating project you want all your students to be able to do. I teach English, so I might say that I want all my 9th grade students to be able to write a clear, detailed and well organized 5 paragraph essay by the end of the year.
     

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