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.

And then the bullying started, and my scores dropped dramatically mid-year. And I lost my job.

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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slice of life


15 thoughts on “Low

  1. mseddy May 24, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    I’m sorry for your suffering. No teacher deserves to be treated this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT May 24, 2016 / 7:54 pm

      Thank you. Too many of us going through this or something similar.


  2. LSquared May 24, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Your writing is so clear and poignant. But I am horrified by this “process” inflicted on you. Demoralizing. And, like grading student writing on rubrics with points we haven’t taught, it seems so unfair.
    I’m sorry you are having to endure this and teach at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheriee Weichel May 24, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    OMG I am so very very sorry that this is part of your experience. It really doesn’t matter what you know in your head when this kind of garbage happens. It is still devastating. I hope you have some kind of organization to fall back on, or at least that there is some way to appeal this evaluation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT May 24, 2016 / 9:54 pm

      Devastating is a good word for it.

      We aren’t allowed to grieve our scores because we disagree. Administrators hold all the cards here.


  4. Adrienne May 24, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    This sounds like a terrible process. Where do you get to set goals and measure your growth? Where is your input? In which state do you teach? This sounds like archaic evaluation procedures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT May 25, 2016 / 7:57 am

      My state began this evaluation system several years ago. Teachers’ concerns have fallen on deaf ears. It’s all about reform, reform, reform, and data, data, data.


  5. dolphinswithmohawks May 27, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    Reading is one of the most important things in school and life. Your principal sounds like one of the clueless administrators that were at a couple of schools I went to as a kid.


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