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.
I'm right there with you. Always received "Excellents" every year, UNTIL this year. The principal had set in his mind that the bar must be "set very high" to achieve "highly effective." I believe he gave 1 of these labels in each grade. It was nuts! Very unhappy with this new system. Always go above and beyond the call of duty, and nearly the last to leave school every day. Not fair! :(ReplyDelete
Good for you! We can't let them define us, that what I have decided! I am also going to leave school on time this year. :)
And this very thing is why there is now a "BadAss Teachers Association" group on Facebook. In little more than a month, it has gathered almost 23,000 of us nationwide who are fed up with arbitrary targets, high-stakes testing, national educational policies that have nothing to do with good education, and corporations trying to make money off of our students (charter school chains, testing companies, textbook companies, consultants, etc.). Enough is enough. We are professionals. Many of us have gone into debt to earn those higher education degrees so we could become even better teachers. We are tired of being maligned in the press and by politicians who need a campaign slogan of "it's for the children" attached to their latest legislative effort. We are tired of our students not being able to have art or music or library because we have to do "test prep". We are tired of people who know nothing about education, telling us how to do our jobs. We are tired of being forced into educational malpractice because of high stakes testing tied to funding. We are tired of the impact all of this is having on our students. We are tired. And we are now fighting back.ReplyDelete
I'm a member! :) "We are professionals!" I think that has somehow become lost in all this reform nonsense!Delete
Searching BadAss Teachers on FB now. Children are not robots who just respond to every input we provide.Delete
Hmm... just had an aha moment... with the new evaluation system based on Charlotte Danielson's framework, we are being told to expect to "live" at effective vs. highly effective. So does that mean that since we are not "highly effective" any more, our jobs are at risk? The last several years we had to be "highly effective" to be hired. But at that point the highly effective referred to our training, degrees, and years of experience. This is going to be a roller coaster ride.. :-)ReplyDelete
You are right Barb! I forgot all about that! That's what I mean when I say this is arbitrary, no one has a clue what they are doing!Delete
I am right in there with you, too. I just found out last week that I'm INEFFECTIVE. I am devastated. Last year was my first year at this school, middle school math (3 degrees and 14 yrs experience in MS Math, overall). I am a very good teacher and had very good evaluations... I'm sick about it. Our outstanding principal was fired the last week of school, our outstanding asst principal was demoted, and lots of changes, moving around throughout our system. Several teachers were 'reamed new ones' by system director for speaking out, questioning his decisions, etc. (behind closed doors, of course). Several principals moved, fired, demoted, and told not to question the decisions. The only reasons given publicly had to do with data... data... data..........ReplyDelete
I joined Badass Teachers Association - a start. I also joined my state BAT group, as well as Lace to the Top (FB). They want us out, especially those on the higher end of the pay spectrum... you know, trained, degreed, experienced.
Unless something drastic happens to change my perspective, I'm seriously considering bailing after this year. I love my kids, love what I teach, love my school and my colleagues, but enough is enough.