Like most districts in America, our district now requires yearly evals for all teachers. The long-term plan is to link pay schedules (and ongoing employment) to these evaluations.
Fortunately, my principal understands me, my art program, my teaching style, and my general longterm view of things. He gets it. The evaluation reflects this. I keep my job ( a touch of irony here, no apologies).
Where did the criteria for this eval come from? That is the kicker! We had professional development based on a book written by a presenter. The district paid big bucks for this presenter to present to all our teachers. They bought us ALL a book. They bought all the principals an iPad with a special evaluation instrument based on this workshop.
Some of the material in the workshop was worthy, but some of it I call just tricks and gimmicks, fluff that I will be evaluated on. OK, I did them for the class he evaluated. Losing my soul bit by bit.
Nevertheless, do I qualify for performance pay? Nope, not at present, because I don’t teach a tested subject. That’s the setup, folks. Increasing test scores (in test subjects) would qualify for performance pay, if there were any.
Do you see the inherent flaws in this system?
- teachers of untested subjects can’t qualify for performance pay
- evaluations are totally subjective
- criteria are skeewhompus
Along with many of my colleagues, all I can say is: I am glad that I am at the end of my teaching career. I am glad that I can retire before this nonsense becomes so set in stone that, as my principal said it, “teachers have to get down on all fours and beg for their jobs and their money.”