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A concerned member of the human race

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Observation System Made For Scapegoats

At the end of the year conference last year, my A.P. commented that there have been a lot of good pedagogical discussions this year generated by the new evaluation system.  I didn't view the conversations as any more productive than in year's past.  I just saw the stress mount around me.

APs across the City probably observed a whole bunch of new stuff given the frequency with which they were required to visit classrooms.  They must have observed a variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning.  In some cases, teachers invited APs to observe special lessons or new "tricks."  Teachers, then, pulled out their best.  If APs didn't suffer burnout first, I don't see how they couldn't have benefited in some way.

If there's anything I think we can all agree upon, I'm pretty sure it's this:  We could all benefit by observing our colleagues at their best.  If anyone really cared to improve pedagogy, they would encourage more teacher "inter-visitations."  They would do more than facilitate the process.  It would be mandated by the State as part of the evaluation system.  It would help teachers and simultaneously reduce the burdens placed upon their APs.  

Not only could teachers see a variety of approaches in action, they could also benefit from the suggestions of other people who, like themselves, have made it their life's work to teach children.  But I highly doubt it will ever come to this.  After all, teachers cannot be trusted--as least as long as they make such convenient scapegoats for society's ills.

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