Sunday, October 20, 2013

If Your Supervisor Isn't Crazy, Part 2

I wasn't intending to continue this, but it now occurs to me that if your supervisor isn't crazy, there's no need whatsoever for this wretched new evaluation system. Actually, if your supervisor isn't crazy, it's highly unlikely to take 4-6 observations to determine what goes on in your classroom. For one thing, if you're doing a truly abysmal job, there's likely to be a line of kids outside your department office complaining about you. If I were a supervisor, I'd probably make it my business to see firsthand whether or not these complaints were valid.

If there were no complaints, I'd still want to see what was going on. But I don't think I'd bother you very often if everything looked good. I believe a competent supervisor can make these judgments fairly quickly. But, you say, that's not always the case, and of course you're right.

So say you have a supervisor who's nuts. This supervisor wouldn't know a good lesson if one were beating him upside the head (which is of course precisely what he deserves). Do you honestly believe that a Danielson rubric will keep this guy from writing inane or hurtful crap about you? I don't. Do you believe this bad supervisor will suspend his pettiness and prejudices for the 15 minutes it takes him to tic off points on that all-important checklist?

You see, the problem with insane supervisors is they didn't know good teaching before Danielson. Will they all of a sudden be struck by lightning, see the error of their ways, and understand that those teachers they hate more than life itself are doing a good job? I'm not seeing it. That's why I don't think this system represents any improvement whatsoever. UFT leadership will say before it was all up to the observer. I fail to see how any of that's changed.

In fact, the only thing that's really changed is if your supervisor thinks you're the best thing on God's green earth, there will be not one thing she can do if your test scores, or the ones of students you've never met that have been assigned to you, are not up to snuff.

That means next year they'll sent the dementors in to determine who the burden of proof will be on in your inevitable 3020a hearing.

That's hardly something any teacher needed to worry about in the past. Someone explain to me how this new system helps, teachers, parents, children, or anyone not trying to privatize our education system.
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