Sensible Evaluations of Teachers... and More Farces from the Front Lines

Schools are so understaffed on the admin front that sensible evaluations of teachers that are thoughtful, timely and fair to all parties involved seem almost like a pipe dream.

Take my school, for example. We have 4 admins on our campus: a P and 3 VP's.

That's for something like 150 teachers.

So if each educator were to get 8 classroom visits (two per quarter; that doesn't seem unreasonable, right? I mean not if you are to reasonably try to gain insight into a situation -- I mean that's only once every 4 and 1/2 weeks) that would mean that a total of 1,200 classroom visits would need to be made.

This means that each admin would have to do about 300 visits per school year.

This means that each admin would have to do something like 75 visits per quarter.

This means that each admin would have to do about 8 visits per week.

That's two classroom visit a day with Fridays off from classroom visiting.

Seems reasonable for all right? (I can already hear the chuckles.) At least if you are going to be able to draw and fair, verifiable and rational conclusions.

And then, instead of using silly check sheet rubrics, they might actually be able to provide some support and guidance to better steer the direction of the campus ship.

I know, more pipe dream.

(BTW, this is assuming that the admins actually know how to be an effective teacher themselves -- a great leap of faith in and of itself. And by so much of the verbiage they use, I often doubt whether some of the people who oversee teachers actually could do the job of a classroom educator.)

Anyway, how far are we away from those numbers?

I am reminded of Frost: "Miles to go before we sleep."

All right -- let's go in from a different angle. The P.E., the arts, the R.O.P. classes and such -- do they even get/need a visit? I mean come on, if it ain't gonna be tested, why should an admin waste their time, right?

Ya think they are walking though the cooking class asking where the "Daily Objective" is written on the front board?

And the "core" classes? Aren't we merely getting cursory walk-throughs that seem as if they are merely judgement based fly-bys? After all, my first was this January -- and school started in late August.

Also, are we really hopeful to get more of them? It's like a little game. Admins come in and do their thing. We do our thing. And then, when that thing is done we both look forward to going back to doing our original thing hoping not to cross paths again over this matter -- cause there are other things to do.

Note to self: new book title idea.

Sensible Evaluations of Teachers... and More Farces from the Front Lines

Views: 26

Comment by Alan Sitomer on January 20, 2010 at 9:37am
I am a HUGE fan of student evals. I find the kids to be honest, thoughtful and insightful... and yes, fair. That's the biggest thing. The opinion of the students should have a lot more weight than it does -- which right now, is nothing!


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