Monday, January 14, 2008

Are we Actors?

Today, just like many days, I spent about 2 hours completing tasks that had little to do with student learning. These are days that I do not enjoy. I am due to be observed by one of our administrators. The lesson needs to have a focus on Math. I am a Science Teacher, so this shouldn't be a difficult task to pull off. However, at the present time, I am teaching the Earth Science Unit to all 4 grade levels... landforms, weather, erosion, global warming etc.

The timing is not good. Rather then staying on pace (suggested order of lessons), I was asked to stray away from the focus with one class so that I could be observed. I was told... "See what you can do about adding Math skills into this lesson". Needless to say, I had to write up a completely different lesson that has little to do with the curriculum just to get observed.

In the words of Will Richardson... Aaaarrrggghhh!!!!! (I hope he doesn't have the copyrights to that expletive)
This gets my blood boiling. I would rather be observed unannounced. Isn't this the point. Observe the teacher and the students in a natural, uncontrived(not a word) environment. Why would an administrator want to see a Dog and Pony show? Why do I feel the need to put on an act for the administrator? This is what they want, right? Are we actors that need to put on a show for the administration? Many questions, but no answers.

This scenario changes from school to school... I know. Some administrators do come in unannounced. I would like to hear from other teachers that have been put in a similar situation. Or maybe hear from some administrators that would have given me some better options. I feel as though we do not have the best interest of the students in our sights when these types of situations occur. This is a confusing message being sent out to teachers and students.

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