I've read several articles of late concerning teachers and their pay and methods of how to determine what teachers are paid. Student performance on standardized test seem to always come to the top as the gauge to determine what teachers should be paid. I'm going to address something that has bothered me for some time about evaluating teachers.
In Missouri there are set evaluation procedures building principals use during direct observation of the teacher actually teaching students. This isn't what bothers me. I don't know if school districts are still doing this, but at one time districts would have "Star Teachers" come in to observe teachers doing their jobs and give ideas as to how the teacher might do their jobs better. This is what I'm going to address.
The first time we had a "Star Teacher" come to Granby she ask if she might use one of my tables to do her paper work during my planning time. I had no problem with this and while she was there I had an opportunity to visit with her and learned that her mother-in-law and father-in-law lived in Granby and were people that I knew. During our conversation I ask her about being a Star Teacher and how long she had been a classroom teacher, and her answer has bothered me ever since. It seems she had NOT taught, but had been a kindergarten teacher's helper. Did you get that? A person watching teachers teach and telling them how to do it better, but hadn't done this job herself. Then how did she get to be a "Star Teacher"? She answered an ad, took a test and Sh-zammm she is a "Star Teacher". She told me where to check for openings.
Now we have politicians with pie in the sky ideas wanting to determine what pay a teacher should receive. Just think if Mr. Jones' 3rd grade class did poorly on these test last year and then MS Smith gets them in 4th grade, do you suppose she will be able to get up to where they should be for this year's test? Not likely. Now two teachers are going to get low pay and most likely it is either of their faults, but test scores are test scores.
Monday, April 18, 2011
C. L. Tanner's thoughts on teacher evaluations
In this op-ed post, former East Newton teacher Curtis "C. L." Tanner addresses the issue of teacher evaluations: