I got up early this morning – was at my church for a “clean the church” workday before 8:00.Â I scrubbed scuff marks off the white pews for about an hour and a half, and then drove to my school where I’m spending the rest of my Saturday morning preparing for the evaluation/observation (i.e. comprehensive assessment) I’ll have on Tuesday.Â
Words can’t express how much I dislike doing this.Â The weather is gorgeous, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a cool and crisp fall day with spectacularly colored leaves on the trees, and here I sit – inside, at my desk preparing for my evaluation.Â Instead of being outside helping RT clear the land for our house or back at church doing something truly worthwhile, I’m stuck inside completing meaningless paperwork.
The paperwork is mind-numbing.Â What are my areas of strength as a teacher, and what are my reasons for selecting those areas of strength?Â Â What are my areas for growth and the reasons for selecting those areas for growth?Â That comprises the first two pages of paperwork.Â I haven’t started on anything yet because I just hate it.
Then I must answer the following questions about the lesson I will teach on Tuesday morning – notice the explanations in parentheses for anyone who can’t figure out the first part:
(1)Â What is the student goal(s)/objective(s) for the lesson?Â (What is the ultimate desired outcome of this lesson?)Â In the event that students are working on individual objectives, choose 2 or 3 students and provides their objectives.
(2) What information do you have regarding your students’ current abilities in relation to this objective(s) and how has this impacted the design of this lesson?
3.Â What teaching strategies will you use to teach this objective? (How will you accomplish your objective(s)?)
4.Â What are the student indicators of success within this lesson?Â (What behaviors will you look for to determine whether or not the students are meeting the objective(s)?)
5.Â Identify the data which will be collected to evaluate the students’ achievement of the goal(s)/objective(s).
6.Â What future assessments will you use to determine the retention and ongoing application of today’s learning?
7.Â What is the relationship of this lesson to the larger unit of study and to your annual goals?
8.Â Do you have any concerns at this point regarding this lesson or these students?
Then there is another page for the “Reflecting Information Record” that has seven more questions to be done after the evaluation/observation.Â I won’t bore you by writing those out.Â Then there are (I SWEAR it’s true) SIX more pages of paperwork to finish after that.Â There’s an “Educator Information Record” and “Professional Growth Plan” and a “Future Growth Plan.”Â Right now I have no idea what the difference is in those last two.Â Guess I’ll find out soon.
Yes, Â I’m procrastinating by writing this post instead of working on the work (that’s a joke that some of my readers may get – depending on what books your school system requires you to read).Â But REALLY, is all this paperwork crap necessary?Â
(Warning: totally unrelated observation ahead)Â Ahhh — looking out my window right now I see a bluebird on the corner of the building across from me.Â How beautiful!Â He just flew down and landed on the grass outside my window.Â One bright spot in a rather dismal Saturday morning.
Back to the topic at hand:Â I’ll get the work done.Â I’ll go through the observation on Tuesday – and one or two more observations after that.Â After over 25 years of teaching, it doesn’t bother me anymore to have a principal or anyone else watch me teach.Â It’s second nature now.Â But this #^%&%#%#% paperwork!Â I hate it! Â Why can’t I just SHOW how my lesson isÂ guided by our county and state standards, and how the lesson was planned based on various assessments and student needs?Â Â That’s just too practical.Â Just as teachers have to assess and document students to death – so administrators must assess and document teachers to death. Did I mention how much I hate this process?Â GRRRRR!