Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kate Messner: Stand Up For Teachers

I've had some time to read this week, the only good thing about having a cough that racks my ribs and makes me guzzle Robitussin.  I am still weak as dishwater but together enough to know that Kate Messner takes a pretty strong stance against the APPR teacher evaluation linked to scores in NYS.

While we all share many of Kate's concerns especially the potential to use "numbers" to evaluate teachers, I want to hope that increased administrator presence in classrooms might have some positives for teachers AND for administrators!  We're all in this together, we do not teach in vacuums, and we all care about the kids!  Putting a number or a grade on a teacher at a moment in time, however, is very, very, hard to do based on the kinds of rubrics we have available today.  It's very hard,  perhaps impossible, to fully capture the caring of the teacher who kneels over to a student before the lesson to say, "I hope you will raise your hand and share the lead you wrote today in a few minutes." It's very hard, perhaps impossible, to measure student engagement in a lesson when the pay off comes two days later as a student explains, "I decided to try the graphic organizer before writing today and wow it worked."  It's very hard, perhaps impossible, to measure the compassion of a teacher who offers a gentle hug around the shoulders and a "I'm right here to help you get through today," of a student whose mom passed away. 

While I am not opposed to having my own teaching put under a microscope, it's hard to think that so many people think teachers "play all day, hang out in the teachers' room, and leave at 3:05.  Heavens' knows, we do not!   

You should read her whole post!
An excerpt is here: "The epidemic of teacher-bashing in our society – in our newspaper editorials and Tweets and blogs and status updates –needs to end." ....."There are many people – teachers and principals and parents alike – who are taking up the fight against APPR-style evaluations that rely on unreliable tests to evaluate teachers....Teachers are the good guys. They’ve proven it over and over again – giving up lunch hours to work with struggling students, buying books with their own limited paychecks to share with emerging readers, and yes…shielding students from violence. How very quickly we forget."

No comments: