Kindergartners, Stage Fright, and Educator Effectiveness
Posted by Sep 12, 2013
Here in Pennsylvania, we are currently mired in educator effectiveness. Before I left the elementary music classroom in 2007, my effectiveness as a teacher was measured by variations on these steps:
1. Around May 1, I would meet my principal accidentally in the hall. That person would inform me that he/she had forgotten to observe my class that year and said our spring performance would serve as my evaluation.
2. In mid-May, I would herd approximately 100 kindergarten students into our gymatorium. In between tears, loud exclamations of “Hi, Mommy!” accompanied by violent waving, dresses pulled over faces to hide from the audience, and other manifestations of 5-year-olds’ stage fright, we managed to sing, play instruments, and move. I may or may not have noticed my principal standing in the back of the room.
3. A few days later, I was called into the office, told everything was great, and asked to sign a paper saying just that. Then I went back to my classroom.
Two significant events in the accountability landscape have occurred in Pennsylvania since then. In 2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Pennsylvania an $800,000 Momentum Grant. The purpose of the grant was to develop an evaluation system that included student achievement as one significant part. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), working with other stakeholders, closely examined Charlotte Danielson’s revised 2011 Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument and piloted it in 2010-2011 with three school districts and one intermediate unit. This measurement tool included four domains on which teachers would assess themselves and also be assessed by their supervisor:Read More