Lions and Tigers and Evaluations, Oh my!

I don’t understand it: The fear amongst teachers of being observed while teaching a lesson. Yes, I get nervous and a little sweaty. I have to remind myself that I’m prepared, do my best to meet student needs, and am utilizing best practices. I take deep breaths.

It’s not as though if I worked somewhere else I would be free of “being observed”. It would be foolish for any entity, public or private, not to practice oversight of their workers. When you are responsible for the education of someone else’s children, it is of utmost importance that you are held accountable.

When you are diligently striving to tease academic success out of a group of students, and achieving that goal with smashing results, it’d be nice to be recognized and rewarded for those efforts.

Teachers, shying away from evaluations and submitting to the rhetoric that “there’s just no way to accurately and fairly evaluate teachers” is hogwash. It’s also keeping us from being rewarded and recognized. Some will revert here to saying you can’t judge teachers based on test scores. Using test scores alone would be asinine, as most people in the field of education readily recognize. There are many evaluation models in place which utilize test scores along with other measures to give a more inclusive picture of a teacher’s efforts.

So, yes, please, hold me accountable to doing right by your children, who are so precious and relying on their teacher to set them on the path to a wonderful future. And yes, please, evaluate me so that my recent 60 hour work week, “teacher-brain” insomnia and data-backed results are rewarded and recognized. 

Teachers are thirsty for what their own unions suppress – the acknowledgement of a job well done that can come only when that job can be evaluated on its merits. Who is it that’s negotiated for the same pay rate to accomplished teachers as to ineffective teachers? Does that sound like an organization that is pro-teacher?

Put aside your observation fears, fellow teachers, and realize the opportunity for accolades evaluations can bring.

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