Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Interclass Visitations

Today was interclass visitation. We got to go visit another teacher's class with our AP and a few other teachers. We got to see what they were doing right and hear about what we are doing wrong. I got to see an honor M&3 class. Of course the kids were all doing exactly the right thing. The teacher was terrific. Now, I am not putting down this teacher. Although she is fairly new, she is good at what she does, she is just not as perfect as my AP would like to make us believe. I looked in the window before we walked in the room. There were a few kids not paying attention. But, these are good kids, easily intimidated. When they saw the crowd walk in, they put on their best show, as did their teacher. We all tend to do things differently when we have an adult audience judging us.

After the five-minute visitation we went back to the office where we were supposed to discuss what we saw. The only one doing any discussing was my AP. He kept insisting that all kids can learn. If we expect them to do the correct thing they will do it. Any problems in the class are our faults. If kids are failing, we need to figure out how to get them to pass. He didn't want any excuses for disrespectful kids and for failures. I personally don't care what he says about me. I told him I had problems yesterday, when a kid decided he was going to leave early. My AP knows better than to mess with me, so he told me I handled it perfectly. I know he would not have made the same comment to other teachers.

This meeting offered the teachers with difficult classes no answers on how to handle the problems. The only purpose of this meeting was to make people feel inferior. One of my colleagues, a great teacher who has been teaching 25 years, looked like she was about to cry because she has one of those classes that is impossible, no matter what she does.

I know my AP is responsible for the department. He wants good results to make sure he keeps getting those big performance bonuses at the end of the year. He's not going to get them by constantly putting the teachers who work in his department down.

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