Are we hiding something? Really, are we?
Because let me be the first to call it like it is — when it comes to the conversation about teacher effectiveness, I think I am secretly harboring an inferiority complex about my own deficiencies to do this job of being a teacher… at least to do it in a manner that is beyond reproach.
And I don’t want other people to know about it.
And I certainly do not want this information revealed to my bosses. Why? Because I don’t sense that they are sympathetic to all the challenges, hurdles and generally unreasonable demands that are being placed on me.
Come on, I can’t turn water into wine. And yet, in a way, that’s what I am being asked to do when you take all the mitigating factors into consideration. Amazingly, I do pretty well at it — at times, that is. Let’s just say that some days are way better than others.
However, I certainly don’t feel that “measuring my effectiveness” is going to take all of the “peripheral issues” and “extenuating circumstances” into account and ultimately, I think that politicians are just going to use whatever information they glean from “measuring my effectiveness” to shame me and try to make me worker harder, work longer, and do it all for less money with less resources.
So am I hiding something when it comes to being transparent about measuring my effectiveness as a teacher?
I tell you this, my natural reflex is to want to hide. To want to cover up. To want to close my door and only seek the solace and company and empathy that someone else in like circumstances can understand.
Other teachers get me. Politicians, I feel, do not. Therefore, when they say they want to measure me, I recoil and think, “Up yours, Dude… you are the one who captained this ship to the rocks and now you want to blame the people rowing.”
So, is measuring teacher effectiveness even possible? Well first, for me to really play ball with this whole idea, I am going to have to trust the process.
That is the one of the first “hows” when it comes to measuring teacher effectiveness. The teachers must feel as if we are going to be given a fair shake, we must feel that our evaluations are going to be taken in proper context as opposed to being viewed through myopic, unfair prisms, and we must feel that we have been properly and fairly represented at the table when the rules of what constitutes this measurement is made.
And with NCLB being your latest foray into education policy, you are already starting behind the eight ball buddy. I have emotional baggage right now and let’s be honest, as an educator I am a tarnished, not a clean, slate.
And you are the one who tarnished me. I want to believe — really I do. But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…