This year, my kids were great. I can say that I had few to no discipline problems with any kids this year, and that’s saying something! What did I have trouble with? Evaluation procedures from my principal.
Notice that I said “procedures,” because he didn’t want to do them any more than I wanted to have them. And it’s not because I think I’m doing anything badly; on the contrary, it’s been a super year in my classroom, since I implemented TAB Art!
Where does the trouble come from? It comes from a wrong-headed notion that you need to have statistics, numbers, to prove that teachers are doing well. This is a national misapprehension that our state legislature has gladly glommed onto.
Only now we hit the sticky wicket: how do you get the numbers?
Our state took a strange and wrongheaded approach, which is why I call it a problem. Not being in possession of a decent assessment protocol for teachers, it adopted a book by a teacher duo about engagement strategies, Class Acts.
In itself, I don’t mind that book, but I think it is certainly limited and short-sighted as a universal assessment tool. However, our state and therefore our district bought into it as a good measure of good teaching. The districts bought a book for every educator and administrator in the state (oh, happy lady authors). They also bought an ipad program with tabs that principals use to measure whether teachers are doing the strategies in the book.
These numbers, according to our district, should not be universally high (the old teaching conundrum that not everybody can get A’s)–even if the teachers are doing a great job. Our principal pretty much ignored that stricture and just evaluated people as he saw it, but he ran himself ragged doing all the required evaluations. I always like having him visit my room and I don’t mind the scrutiny, ever.
It’s just a wrong-headed system.