Adjusting on the fly

Three weeks in with a new principal, new superintendent and new staff I can say that with all of the changes, all of the new, little has really changed in most classrooms. Except my evaluator does not know math and science. Big change for me. The past five principals have either been former science or math instructors. They understand the language of the math and science; understand basic properties and order of operation and what both entail. However, new principal asked about a pemdas “game” and how it fit the standards, what students should be learning (in the first weeks of reviewing concepts that their pre-assessment showed weaknesses in) and thought we could have been on task instead of “playing.” With emphasis on game instead of pemdas (how is that basic math properties or order of operations?) Oh by the way, you realize our math scores are low? Yes and I can tell you three of the five variables affecting those scores. . .oh now I am being harsh and resistant to change. Actually in my sharing of information with evaluator, they still didn’t understand why the students could not recite the standard we were studying, the learning objectives other than we are playing math games. Not a one mentioned we are practicing skills in this math game for the re-test on Monday; it took the evaluator two 20 minute visits to my classroom to read my daily lesson plan (which I told her I had to push the last two days to next week to remediate missed concepts on the weekly test and annotated right there in front of her; and so I used my “data” to guide standards-based instruction and that was insufficient because 1. it was updated on weekly assignment and objective board but 2. not in my lesson plan (that was prepared for the entire week based on the previous week’s progress). Picky and strange since she had to come back another 20 minutes 4 hours later to “re-do” my evaluation (10 minute walkthrough) since she had forgotten to “save.” Asked me twice meaning of words . . . I know there is no pattern yet but in 28 years of teaching this was my first evaluation that had negativity in it with no suggestion, opening for dialogue or comment about the discussions we had.  No I am not a GREAT teacher, but I have laid out my objectives based on the standards of the time and followed them. Concerned? Only that my salary is high and probably two brand new straight from college teachers could be hired with my salary and I have 28 years of experience . . . so I am not easily impressed with BS and expect standards-based evaluation as well as instruction; realize that students are dynamic as should be instruction; and I adapted my teaching to fit my students’ needs but failed to annotate fully in a static document (paper lesson plan) but did so on the dynamic display for students. And then from my spouse the question came “What do you do if something happens during that day/night that brings home the meaning of your lesson but is not in that daily lesson plan? Can you bring it into class if you haven’t pre-planned?” No room for adjusting on the fly to incorporate the real world. . .


About mentaldiva

Only dead fish go with the flow--I am not swimming upstream all the time, but I certainly do not merely go with the flow either. Professional female with expectations of equity living in a redneck community needing to express herself!
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One Response to Adjusting on the fly

  1. mental diva says:

    Actually I just realized that we have spent the past four weeks-three wks of teaching and one wk of inservice-doing paperwork. Not once talking about teaching strategies, protocols, or other deep conversations. Just paperwork making sure ts are crossed and is are dotted!

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