Thursday, August 18, 2011

Teacher First Weeks

It is amazing how the job of teaching rushes over you and leaves you trying to stay afloat in the first few weeks. Time is consumed. Getting things into routine, setting up procedures and processes is worth all the effort. Or at least one would think would think that it makes a difference how we teach. But not according to some of the decision makers.

This year I was met with some scary news about evaluations and its connection to the state. When you hear these things you have to take a step back and think and try and remember why you are there. I had to. It would be easy to slip into becoming a teacher you're not, each year the pressure is taken to a new level attached to state testing. This year was not different.

I will be evaluated at the school level with what I find a valuable tool. The strategies they are looking for are ones I can believe in, and think are important to our students. I am pleased with the expectation.

The second piece is based solely on test scores. The state will deem me effective or ineffective based on how my students perform on state tests. question was....if my school finds me effective, and the scores show me ineffective, what then?

The answer is sad. The answer is foolish. The answer will send some to teach to a test. If the scores rate us ineffective, the school related evaluation is null and void. I am considered ineffective. And same goes the other way...if a teacher is found ineffective at the school level, but their scores show effective, that teacher is considered effective.

Bottom line, those test scores will evaluate me.

I can't and will not bow down to this foolishness. I am there for those students. I am not teaching for a test in April...I am teaching for a lifetime.

Please be aware of what is happening to our school will effect us all.

I love teaching...and I will continue to love teaching. And that is what I will continue to do...teach. And I will do it to the best of my ability, always with the children in mind.