Monday, November 11, 2013

Who Do You Teach For?

Like many places, our district is moving to a new evaluation system this year.  This new system requires formal observations of every teacher every year.  Some of us who have been teaching for awhile haven't been formally observed in a decade or so.  I'm happy to report that I successfully made it through my first observation cycle this year.

The week before I was observed, our new assistant superintendent visited our school.  He and my principal spent ten minutes in my room while my students worked on geometry stations.  That lesson was also a success, but these visits made me wonder who I am teaching for.

Although ideally, I am planning lessons every day that move my students forward, lately I've been feeling the pressure to make it more of a show.  I feel like I need to please the administrators with their idea of what a good teacher does.  Sometimes I skip the step where I make sure I'm doing what I think a good teacher does.  I want to use a variety of strategies to meet my students where they are.

I am fortunate to work with a principal who is happy with my work and the assistant superintendent said he enjoyed the time with my students.  I am a people pleaser by nature, so this works for me.

So, now I turn the question to you: who are you designing lessons for?  Do you feel pressure to teach like someone else?  Are test scores so prominent, that you are teaching to the test?  I really want to know.

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