It’s been a rough few days.
Well, honestly, it’s been a rough year, personally and professionally.
And nothing’s getting better.
I had my last observation of the year the other day.
I hate observations, and not just because of how they can be scored. I’m fine teaching to a room full of kids, but having an adult in there watching, judging…it’s awful. It took me several years of teaching where I wouldn’t feel sick to my stomach the whole time. After every observation, I wind up having random thoughts flit through my brain for the next 24-48 hours. “Ugh! Why did I say ___? I never say that! Why did my angelic child decide to misbehave on THIS day of all days? Why didn’t I remember to ___?”
I’ve given up trying to predict how my evaluator will score me; I just hope that I’ll at least get average scores. Years ago I did okay. A few higher scores, some average ones, maybe one or two below average. When you totaled all the numbers, the overall score was always in the mid-to-high range.
My scores earlier this year were…okay. Not good, not bad. But it’s a new school, a new grade level, and a new normal, so I kept my head down and took my scores.
When I walked in to get my scores from my most recent observation, I was expecting more of the same. I was wrong.
I’ve never had such low scores. Ever. But more than that, it was the way the evaluator went through and picked apart everything that I did. I knew we had different philosophies on teaching and childhood, but this showed me just how diametrically opposed we are. For example–did you know that reading is a waste of time? I didn’t until my evaluator told me. Reading. Waste of time. Reading.
I still haven’t wrapped my brain around that one.
There were inconsistencies in what my evaluator said versus how I was scored in a few instances. There were other contradictions too. And then to close it all out–I guess to make me feel better–I was told that someday, with a lot of work, maybe I could be a good teacher.
I’ve been teaching for [double-digit] years.
And according to them, I’m still far from a good teacher.
So it’s been a rough few days. Days where I’ve sat and thought and questioned everything that I do. I’ve been reassured by friends and acquaintances and the blogosphere and BATs that my principal has no clue about developmentally appropriate practice. Which makes me feel a little better, but in some ways still doesn’t help me.
I’m still judged by this system. I’m still judged by this person. I’ve gone from being the straight A student to the teacher equivalent of a smart kid who is a poor test taker. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, the scores are low.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
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