Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nothing Matters But The Paper In Hand

Mrs. M was a very good teacher, but a bit unconventional. One day Principal Gotcha decided to pay Mrs. M a surprise visit.

The lesson went well. Mrs. M really knew her stuff and she knew how to keep her class involved and learning. But, Mrs. M did not have that one thing Principal Gotcha wanted more than anything else, a written lesson plan.

Mrs. M was quick on her feet. At the end of the lesson she scurried to the ladies lounge, claiming an excruciating stomach ache. Principal Gotcha, being male, could not follow her inside. Mrs. M immediately sat down, wrote out the details of her lesson and emerged ten minutes later, paper in hand.

Principal Gotcha turned red, accepted the plan and begrudgingly gave Mrs. M the satisfactory rating she well deserved.

Principal Gotcha has been retired for many years. So has Mrs. M. How many new Principal Gotcha's are out there now? We can only pray that there are lots more Mrs. M's to keep them on their toes.


JUSTICE not "just us" said...

In these times any teacher that is on the sh*t list and does not have a lesson plan is asking for touble.
Even with a decent lesson plan, demonstrating good class room management and knowledge of the content area you can be rated unsatisfactorially. A principal can simply say he or she did not see any "evidence of learning".

It all very subjective. The lesson that you thought you delivered may have nothing to do with what the principal has written on the observation. How this is is suppose to help you I don't know. How this improves instruction for the children I don't know.

Schoolgal said...

First of all, we control the format of the lesson plan. However it's important to have a specific behavorial objective that you want the children to achieve because when it's achieved, the lesson is successful.

This is only an example, but you will get the idea.
For instance: Instead of: To learn about angles. Write: Children will be able to identify a right angle.
Instead of: Children will identify the causes of the American Rev. Write: Children will be able to identify 3 major causes of the Amer. Rev.

The more specific, the better the result.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Sorry Schoolgal, but I disagree with the importance of writing things down like that.

I know what I have to teach and whetehr I write it in one form or the other has nothing to do with whether I achieve it or not. Most times, I never even look at my lesson, even though I always have one with me.

Justice--you are on target and what you say is true. If they are out to get you, it does not matter what you have written down.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I'm with you PO'd- I only write down things like that when I'm being formally observed. The rest of the time, while I always have my plans completed and available, I a) rarely look at them and b)have long since recognized that I am doing them "just in case". By now, I'm long past the point where I need a lesson plan to know what I'm doing.

Having said that- in this environment, I'd be crazy not to go into work without them.

NYC Educator said...

I also don't think a written lesson plan is important. I never use them for college classes, but I always have them in my HS classes just in case some big shot should walk in and demand one.