I don't understand what teachers are so afraid of. Big deal, the raters are coming. How does this really impact on me, a lowly classroom teacher? If by some miracle they see something they really like, my chairman and principal will get the credit and possibly a performance bonus. I might get a thumbs up in the weekly newsletter, although my principal does seem to forget to recognize anything I do correctly. Now let's suppose that they hate what they see in my classroom. My principal and chairman are also responsible. So they may get written up, and may lose their bonuses, but hey, that's not my problem. I vow that every day I come to work to do the best job I can for my students. I don't think the clothes I wear or the decorations I put on the walls affects their ability to learn.
Today, as I walked down the hall I heard tenured, experienced teachers worried about what the raters will find. Teachers are worried about putting on a show for them, trying to impress them. Teachers are afraid that classes will not be well behaved and they might look bad. Teachers are trembling with fear.
I say this kind of fear has to end. WE ARE GOOD TEACHERS. WE ARE DOING OUR BEST WITH WHAT WE ARE GIVEN. I didn't give birth to boy who cannot sit still. I've done all I can to keep him in his seat, but nothing works. I didn't buy the girl the cell phone that she insists on taking out all period, no matter how many times I ask her to put it away. We have got to stop being afraid and learn to stand up for ourselves. THERE IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO US!!! I've already taught the worst classes in the building. I've had late session and early session. I've taught 3 preps. I've taught in trailers and half rooms. I've been threatened with file letters (athough none have ever been written). It is this kind of fear that allows people like Klein an Bloomberg to walk all over us. It is this kind of fear that gets our unions to accept such awful contracts. WE MUST STOP BEING AFRAID. THERE IS NOTHING OUT THERE TO FEAR!