Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Observation Report

The observation I wrote for Mr. Principal was so well received, I decided to go back in time and write one for Principal Suit. This one will be done entirely from memory but his words and his deeds are engraved (unfortunately for me) in my brain. Suit Lover, I anxiously await your comments on this observation.

Observation Report
Principal Suit
Period XX
Every Monday meeting during his reign of incompetence

Principal Suit stood at the front of the auditorium yelling at the entering teachers to sit in the front. When Ms. G sat in a seat she thought was close enough, he began a tirade that almost brought her to tears and caused her face to turn beet red. He chastised Mr. C who walked in 5 minutes late and and told the entire staff that a weak bladder was no excuse for tardiness. He told Mrs. X that she should have left her crying student in the hall to get to the meeting on time.

After five minutes, Principal Suit stopped humiliating the staff and got down to business. He repeated for the umpteenth time how lucky they all were to be working at the best high school in Queens. He talked about all we could do to make the school better. He told us all what we were doing wrong and how it was our fault children in the school were not succeeding.

Twenty minutes into the meeting Principal Suit showed the staff some data on a computer screen with print too small to be seen from even the first row. He screamed at Ms. S who was trying to bubble her daily attendance sheets while he spoke as he wanted her undivided attention.

The bell rang to end the period and Principal Suit was still speaking. Mr.G got up to go to his next class and once again Principal Suit released a tirade of abuse upon a teacher. Four minutes later, Principal Suit officially dismissed the group.

1. Allow 5 minutes for lateness. Teachers come from all over the overcrowded building and need time to gather their materials before leaving the room. Take into account some just finished teaching three classes and need a bathroom stop. Also, leave the teacher time to talk to students if they feel this is necessary.

2. Do not publicly humiliate anyone. If you have something negative to say to say, say it privately.

3. Try to plan your meeting in advance so your goals will be clear and you and everyone else will be able to follow your train of thought.

4. Make your presentations interesting. Everyone is tired at the end of the day and you have to make them want to be where they are.

5. Work on your time management. Teachers have to get to class on time so your meetings cannot run over time.

6. Stop thinking everything you say is important. In reality, nothing you say is even meaningful.

Summary: There was no clear direction as to what the meeting was about or what goals were supposed to be met. One topic did not flow smoothly into another. The staff was obviously bored and only five people were engaged in the discussion. Time was not managed well. Four teachers were asleep, five were using i-pods and 12 were texting while the meeting was going on. This meeting has been given an unsatisfactory rating.


Anonymous said...

I would make #2 the first recommendation. I have sat through endless meetings that were just as bad. There was very little information that applied to the every day workings of the classroom. And nothing was said to inspire the teachers or get their input.

About 20 years ago, the staff decided to take the principal to task over grades. The principal was so enraged she told the staff she would never allow for Q&A again and the union rep said nothing.

FidgetyTeach said...

Excellent. I have almost forgotten what it's like to sit through a faculty conference. Thanks for reminding me that I am not missing anything. Some things never change!

Anonymous said...

Given the fact that so many admins are failed teachers I am not at all surprised that they show teachers so little respect. The ones who were successfull know what it takes and know how to get the best out of teachers.

Suit Lover said...

Rather than begin another argument, as neither of our opinions about Principal Suit will be swayed, I'll simply leave my comment at this.

You fault Suit for "scream[ing] at Ms. S who was trying to bubble her daily attendance sheets as he spoke as he wanted her undivided attention," only to go on to fault him because 5 teachers were using iPods and 12 were texting during the meeting. In your classroom, whether a student is texting or doing science homework that they urgently need to complete, I would assume that neither would be acceptable. Thus, I sense some sort of a double standard in your argument. If the teacher is doing something that you believe is productive, it is entirely agreeable. If they are doing something less productive, it is intolerable. Either way, the teacher is not paying attention to the lesson at hand, not affording Suit with the respect (that I believe) he deserved.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Suit Lover, I do not believe in double standards for teachers or for administrators either.

If Suit had been doing his job properly, engaging the staff and keeping them motivated, they would not have been doing other things. If Suit was presenting something that warranted respect, I am sure he would have been given respect.

It is always the teachers fault when students are not paying attention and using the same criteria, he must be responsible now.

It is also the job of the teacher to correct behavior without humiliating and demoralizing the student. Behavior such as Suit exhibited would surely land a teacher in the rubber room. Shouldn't Suit be required to address problems in a more professional manner?

The observation was not of the audience, but of Suit. Isn't that what we tell our students when an admin comes to the room? Once again, you are missing the point.

Suit Lover said...

Vindictive evaluations such as this one are also what would surely land a teacher in the rubber room. I fail to see how this is any different from an unfair, biased evaluation that an administrator with an ulterior motive would give to a teacher.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Teachers don't get to write evaluations, so how could this land a teacher in the rubber room?

Admins write evaluations like this all the time. They say they are just stating facts.

Suit Lover said...

I was drawing an analogy between the attitude behind this evaluation and one that could be behind that of an administrator.

I'm not disputing that biased evaluations of teachers from administrators like this happen all the time. But because this evaluation is written in the same tone, it can be looked upon as just as unreliable.

But if anything, at least the process is being reformed pending State Legislature approval.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I won't even go there about the evaluation process.

I can't believe our union sold us out and gave so much power to a bunch of incompetent administrators, people who wouldn't know a good lesson if it bit them on the ass, leadership academy principals with almost no teaching experience. I know of one administrator who bought her degree, barely went to class and never even wrote an original paper. This admin is supervising a subject s/he is not even familiar with and ony taught one year.

This new evaluation process will be used to rid the schools of teacher like me. It makes me glad I am old and at the end of my career. I would never encourage any young person to enter the teaching field today.

Anonymous said...

Is suit lover excusing his principal's screaming and belittling? Bully's succeed when their enablers look the other way or make excuses.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Looks that way to me too. Maybe Suit Love is a bully as well.

Suit Lover said...

For the thousandth time, Suit Lover isn't a teacher, much less a college graduate.

Pissedoffteacher said...

But a bully or a bully wannabe.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Suit Lover--this is not going to turn into a debate about me. Anything but that will be rejected from now on.

PS--my blog, I will say what I like and if you don't like it, stop reading.

Suit Lover said...

Delete all you want. But you made this a debate about me. What's fair is fair.

Anonymous said...

If I may intervene on POT's defense, Suit-lover, you are totally not getting the intention of POT's post. All she is trying to do is write a teacher's evaluation of a principal's meeting in the same manner pricipals all through the system are writing evaluations of teacher's lessons. She is not suggesting that teachers be allowed to do such a thing. When her "fake evaluation" criticizes the suit for lambasting teachers for being off-task, she is only making parallels to how a teacher would be blamed for students' being off-task and critisized for not being "motiviating" or "interesting enough." While I suppose I can't blame you for not understanding how the teacher evaluation process in the DOE truly operates since you are not part of the system, as well as the total hypocrisy many administrators engage in, I am really surpised you did not understand the point of this post or the parallel it was trying to create.

Suit Lover said...

According to her introduction, POT wrote this observation about Suit in response to the popularity of her observation of Mr. Principal. The intention of the original post, therefore, was not to show the true operation of the DOE evaluation process, as it (rightfully so IMO, I must add) characterized Mr. Principal in a very positive manner. This post, therefore, aims to show a contrast between Suit and Hula's principalships; at the same time, it also creates the parallel that you mentioned that I acknowledged earlier.

By adding "Suit Lover, I anxiously await your comments on this observation," Pissed Off made this about infinitely more than just an example of an observation. This line spurred my comment, baiting me into arguing about the merits of Suit's administration. Thus, this post may seem to have some perfunctory motives of drawing a parallel about evaluations, but I interpret it as more deeply aimed at criticizing Suit, as usual.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I'm so glad yo know me so well, Suit Lover. I only "baited' you because I knew your defense was coming.

Teachers are often compared and contrasted. The good one teacher does is often compared to the bad of another. One teachers effectiveness is always compared to anothers ineffectiveness.

You might call it bullying, but I call it stating facts. Take your lips off Suit's rear end so you can see the man for what he is and was. If you were never at one of his meetings, you have no idea as to what you are commenting on.