Friday, January 19, 2007


My evaluation came about a month ago but I've been so irritated by it that I haven't gotten around to writing about it. We're evaluated on a scale of 1-4, with 3 being acceptable, 4 being outstanding, 2 unacceptable but developing, and 1 being unacceptable. Now, I wasn't expecting to get all 4s or anything like that, but I also wasn't expecting what I got.

There are definitely parts of my teaching that I can improve. My classroom's a mess, to begin with, and I'm sometimes just way too tired to do everything I should do. But I absolutely should not have been marked down on what I was. Two areas: assessment and parent contact.

Let's take assessment first. She has observed me once for one hour. One. Hour. On the basis of this, she says that my assessment is not up to standards. Not only do I give all required assessments and use the scores to drive instruction, but if you name any one of my students, I can tell you what they're good at, what they struggle with, usually the scores they got on their last tests, how often they turn in their homework, if their parents are supportive, what they want to be when they grow up... What else does she want me to do?

Oh wait, I did do more. I have had each student , right before report cards every trimester, look through their work, assess themselves, and decide on goals, both short-term and long-term, that they have for themselves. I had a meeting with each student to talk about their improvement or lack of improvement and how they can meet their goals. But I don't perform assessments up to her standards.

Even more ludicrous is the mark I got on parental contact. Not only have I done all the required parent conferences, but every parent in the class has my cell phone number, some of them on speed dial. They come back and visit me, they bring me copies of my former students' report cards, videotapes of their children's graduations, and presents. They come in and talk to me about their kids, their personal lives, their family history, their work. They tell me that I'm the only teacher who's ever come to their child's sports games. Some of the kids get phone calls home every day, good or bad. They even come to talk to me about my evaluator and how unapproachable they feel this woman is. But I'm the one who gets an "unacceptable" in parent contact.

I've got to write my rebuttal for the evaluation this weekend to get turned in to HR and put in my file next to the evaluation. It probably won't hurt me at all because I'm tenured and I"ve lasted at the school for 8 years. However, her other evaluatees are new, but excellent, teachers and they can be hurt by the evaluations. Our current theory is that since she's a new administrator, she's trying to gain authority by having highly unrealistic standards. It's certainly not working though. The last thing she's getting around here is authority.


Jessica said...

I'm sorry you received such a patently absurd review.

Just out of curiosity, are teachers able to evaluate the administration? Do you evaluate each other (peer review)?

Jessica said...

Did you ever see the WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Mother Carlson sent in a consultant to evaluate the station and each person there adopted a new persona that was the opposite of their actual one, rendering the final report to obviously wrong that she had to dismiss its findings? This wouldn't apply here; it's just a good episode!