Evaluations/Observations Are Now in Full Swing!!

by Rosemary Scalzo, Membership Services Director

By now, you’ve probably been observed and had feedback sent to you via i-Observation.  So now, it’s time to sit back and take a look at what is being documented regarding your instructional practice.  Do you like what you see?  Are you happy with your ratings?  If not, it’s time to set up a meeting with your administrator.  Is your administrator rating you on what you ARE doing, or are they just haphazardly checking elements in the framework just to “get it done”?  If the latter is occurring, then YOU, the TEACHER/EDUCATOR, are losing control of your evaluation and you must regain it!  They can only rate you on what they SEE, not what they don’t see.  And let’s think about that for a minute.  WHY would you observe someone only to document what you DON’T see?  Does that even make sense?  I can look out my window right now and tell you what I DON’T see, and so?  Who cares!  If it isn’t there, I cannot make it appear!  The important thing is what I DO SEE!  The Marzano philosophy is about what the teacher is DOING, period! It is not about the number of elements one can check off in a 15 minute period of time. The only think that will negatively impact your ratings would be if a strategy is CALLED FOR but now OBSERVED.  So if two students are off task during your lesson or group work, you need to recognize it and do something about it.  When you do, that is MONITORING 100% of your students!  So, right now, go ahead and please re-read my article from the September issue of the Educator, or get a copy of the Teacher Evaluation Handbook (only available through PCTA) in order to take back your control, and then come back to this. 

If your administrator has any concerns with your performance, ask him or her to be SPECIFIC.  You shouldn’t be guessing about their expectations, however, if their expectations are unreasonable, please do not be afraid to ask questions.  Remember, this is YOUR evaluation, not theirs.  And if there are concerns, you should expect support from your administration.  REAL support…not “take this on-line training and call me in the morning”.  If YOUR job is to ensure student success, THEIR job is to ensure educator success.  Because the reality is                                    your success = student success.  IF you are not successful, then I would like to know what your administration is doing about that.  And taking the                   “non-renewal” option is not the quality of a true, inspirational, supportive leader.  So if you think you need support, ASK for it!  There are plenty of resources out there for you…the squeaky wheel gets the most oil!

We are still receiving a lot of questions about lesson plans.  Per the Contract, Article 27 states:  Teachers shall plan for instruction and maintain lesson plans either in a written or electronic format for the purpose of preparing daily lessons for each course they teach.  Lesson plans shall be “standards based” and aligned to District curriculum resources and shall be followed with sufficient flexibility to allow for varying conditions, events, interruptions, and the varied needs of the students.  Lesson plans shall be readily available for review by the administration and for the use of each potential substitute teacher who may be called upon to conduct the regular teacher’s classes.  At the discretion of the administrator, teachers may be required to submit their lesson plans to the administrator for review.

I would like to direct your attention to the above bold-type sentence.  This is the ONLY requirement for lesson plans.  Therefore, if your administrator is sending out memos mandating that lesson plans include strategies, activities, time frames, or any other specifics, PLEASE SHOW THEM THIS ARTICLE!!  NO EDUCATOR should be spending weekends writing intricate, detailed lesson plans. Not only is that tedious, and burning you out, it’s also POINTLESS. YOUR plans are YOUR plans.  You have your standard and you have your curriculum guide and resources to go with your lesson, period.  Lesson plans are a guide for you and your students, they are not novels for your administrators to read while at the beach.  And really, WHO is reading all of this nonsense anyway????  Don’t we all have better things to do???  Spend the weekends with your friends and family…you won’t regret it!!

In Solidarity Always!!

REMINDER:  Cracking The Marzano Code Training:  February 8, 5-7, at PCTA.