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View Diary: "I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists." (113 comments)

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  •  Very noticeable this year (31+ / 0-)

    Everything and every teacher worker bee is reduced to a number.

    The buzzword is DATA.

    Show me the data..

    data data data

    That is all they care about in my district.

    Had a new teacher this year get observed for 7 minutes as part of the new evaluation format. It was an unannounced drop in evaluation by our adminstrator during a transition time for her students to a special.

    As she had completed her lesson plan and had some time to spare, she brought out some routine activities with regard to math facts / activities to fill the extra time. She easily integrated and took advantage of some extra time to work on some fun rote math skills in a fun format in lining up her students to head out of class to the special.

    On her written and computerized evaluation write up of that brief 7minute encounter, she got a "needs improvement" on one line item that said she wasn't collecting data.

    She was so discouraged. She is frustrated. Mind you this is a very dedicated, hard working, enthusiastic and IMHO very talented up and coming teacher who is excellent with kids. And she has some very challenging students with severe emotional issues as well as some other special Ed students...she has an inclusion class.

    I tried to reassure her not to worry about it. She is finding it unreasonable that she is expected to take data on everything her students do and say. She says she can't possibly teach if she is constantly trying to take data...especially if she is trying to keep some of her students just emotionally stable.

    Of course the uniform data collection isn't all about improving and assisting the kids. It's about using their performance from the data in evaluating teachers. ..because if the data doesn't show enough improvement for the students and class..the teacher will be graded non proficient on his/her evaluation. Because as we are told by the corporate powers that be who have never taught a day in their life that are driving education policy, that if a student doesn't learn, it's always the overpaid lazy public education teachers' fault.

    Too bad kids are not uniform pieces of machines..with no other variables that impact their performance and ultimately their DATA.

    Btw..I have no problem with some uniform assessment or even collecting data...but like everything...in moderation! It's too much. We and students are complex and unique individual humans, we are not robots...needing to be programmed. We think, respond, and learn differently.

    /rant

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:02:09 PM PDT

    •  The problem is (7+ / 0-)

      that she does need to worry about it, or be prepared to lose her job if she isn't already of the mind, as the author of the letter in the diary, that her job has left her.

      •  This particular teacher (11+ / 0-)

        Is already contemplating leaving teaching...she is very discouraged as she knows this is what she has to do to work in public education. She says she has some friends who work in other districts where this is not quite as bad. She is not naive and knows it is bad and getting worse. Which adds to her being discouraged. She is young, 2 years out...she is thinking of getting her advanced degree in another related area, but not stay with teaching...even though that is really what she enjoys and what she is good at doing.

        Of course she is worried, I told her to just keep that data clip board of hers with her at all times. Even if she isn't taking formal data, it is nearby so that she may refer to or use it quickly should she get another unannounced visit.  She was worried because she saw that she had a one needs improvement on her teacher eval write up and worried about her job...and I said rightfully so...but that she has 2 more evaluations by end of the month so just to be prepared and get her data clipboards ready.

        I think this young teacher just wants to make sure that if she leaves teaching or this job,  it is her decision and not because she was let go by some new, naive and unreasonable administrator who is also trying to prove her own worth to her boss.

        Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

        by emal on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:49:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a problem with collecting data. The purpos (14+ / 0-)

      e of education, at its best, beyond a minimal level in a such as math and communication skills is to produce folks who can educate themselves and think critically.

      Anything else is a social experiment in how close to drones we can remold people.

      For the former, very little data or assesment is needed.  For the later, very little but data and assesment is needed.

    •  We are now "human capital." (15+ / 0-)

      I hate that term.  It sounds so impersonal--which I guess is the point.

      Everything and every teacher worker bee is reduced to a number.

      The buzzword is DATA.

      Show me the data..

      data data data

      I find that often we are collecting data for its own sake.  It doesn't matter if the data is meaningful--just that we have data.  The sad thing is, the collection of that data took time that could have been used for a meaningful learning experience.

      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

      by musiclady on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:21:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are collecting data in my school district with (7+ / 0-)

        no standardization of what our grades mean.  Teachers are weighting things in many different ways.  So my data does not mean the same thing that another teacher's data means.  And somehow, no one has noticed this yet.  When I brought it up at a grade level meeting it was dismissed.  

        Last year all of the data that I collected was placed into a cardboard box and put into storage with the rest of the school.  It is a dog and pony act for the state that is going on, a complete waste of our time.

    •  Yep that is the way they see it! (3+ / 0-)

      I have been out of the profession for some time but agree with teacher ken it is not the same as when i left.

      This story is soo true because she is trying to incorporate what they want with what is relevant.  My last student teacher was the same................the kids loved him, he was relevant and his supervising teacher did not like what she saw so...............off he goes................

      My last year of teaching was the first year of social studies exit level testing.  My students did fine 99% to the point the principal asked if I wanted to stay on.  No thank you but sure can feel the frustration here!

      'If you are curious, you are not bored. If you are bored, you grow old.' Lillian Gish

      by Jakkalbessie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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