Characteristics Of Highly Effective Teachers pic.twitter.com/Kl6pVFdM1P #edchat #infographic #elemchat #21stedchat #5thchat
— Billy Spicer (@MrBillySpicer) July 13, 2013
I saw this tweet after I had already written this post, and I thought, "How perfect!"
I found out today that I am an only an "effective" teacher as opposed to "highly effective."
I received my summative evaluation in June and I received a Satisfactory. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think "I'm all that and a bag of chips", but I felt I deserved more than a Satisfactory. So, I challenged it.
That's how I found out I am not a "highly effective" teacher. It's not because I don't engage my students, It's not because I don't find every way possible to involve my parents. It's not because I don't collaborate with my peers. It's not that I don't meet the requirements of a highly effective teacher according to that infographic. It's not that I don't go above and beyond. (And understand I do these things because I choose to, because it makes it better for my students, and a lot more interesting for me).
It's because of the student test scores. My students didn't meet the state's target. (Still waiting for a member of DOE to return the phone call we made in September 2012 asking how they determined these "targets".) The targets are, I'm going to use the word "arbitrary" here. Numbers the state created that students have to meet in order to show that I did any teaching at all! It doesn't matter that my students showed enormous growth on those tests, what matters is that they DID NOT MEET THE "TARGET"!
So what does this prove? I am an "effective teacher". I guess I should be happy that I did not get Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory. I guess I shouldn't worry about these labels that are plastered on teachers all over the country. But you know what, I do. It bothers me that I am forced to accept a label that does not describe the type of teacher I am. It bothers me that I am forced to accept a label that is tied to test scores, and not actually how I perform in my classroom.Don't worry, within a few days, I am going to forget about these inane labels, and keep doing what I do. But for right now,yes, it bothers me.:(
I ask myself, how does something I have no control over, weigh so heavily in deciding what kind of teacher I am? Can someone from DOE provide the answer? An "effective" teacher wants to know.