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Juiceboxes 05-20-2019 04:17 PM

Deflated. Demoralized.
Our general ed department got together today as a group to go over the data for the end of the year assessments students took. This includes tests, benchmark assessments. I know my students have made excellent gains. They came in so behind and now 78 percent is at grade level or above academically. That's up from starting the year with 22% at or above... I've posted in the past about my teammate who I'm always compared to and made to feel not up to par because I do things differently. She also has half my class size and a ton of extra help that I don't have. Here's the kicker : her student achievement was WAY lower than mine. I.couldnt believe it! I felt validated for being my own way for once. Well...that was short lived. My boss told me I was being put on an improvement plan as I'm a newer teacher and he thinks my classroom management struggles are interfering with my ability to teach effectively. I don't understand. I had the lowest kids who are now the highest in my grade level. To make things worse I'm supposed to shadow my grade level partner tomorrow to see how she does things. I'm thrilled with my student growth - I don't want to learn from someone who puts on a Pinterest classroom show in public but has low student achievement. I'm just mad as a hornet underneath a ball cap!!!!

kahluablast 05-20-2019 04:22 PM

Have you brought your data into the conversation and asked what your p is basing this decision on?

Test scores aren't everything, and we don't know the rest of the story.

Congrats on your data. I hope (I guess) that there are other factors that this decision is being based on. Good luck figuring this out.

Haley23 05-20-2019 04:43 PM

I agree with Kahlua- I would specifically bring the data into the conversation and ask for further explanation.

I also agree that test scores aren't everything. I work with a K teacher this year who was non-renewed. She really struggled with management and my P expects a very structured environment. This teacher just had a different philosophy that didn't really fit in with that. The teacher was extremely upset at our end of year data team because all but 2 of her students were at least "yellow" in DIBELS (my school/district is obsessed with DIBELS), up from something like 90% being "red" at the beginning of the year.

However, we have a daily intervention block where many of her students were seen by me as the sped teacher, intervention teachers, or other classroom teachers. The interventionists and I also saw students outside of that block. While the data is good, she's not the only one responsible for it. I also personally think that many of her students will struggle in 1st because they don't have many skills beyond the rote stuff that was necessary for good DIBELS scores in K (basically, quick naming of letter names and sounds).

I'm not at all saying this is your situation, it's just a situation I happen to be involved in where data didn't tell the whole story about the teacher. At the very least, you deserve an explanation of why the data isn't "good enough" for your admin.

If that doesn't work out, might you be happier in a setting that more appreciates your style of teaching anyway? This teacher that I work with worked at our school for 3 years with many chances for improvement before being non-renewed. I personally think she'd be significantly happier in a play-based setting anyway and wonder why she didn't pursue that earlier. Now it's been much more difficult for her because she has the non-renewal on her record.

Even if the situation is just 100% unfair, I'd consider looking for other positions over continuing with this improvement plan next year. IME, these plans are just used as documentation to get rid of teachers later.

elmo33 05-20-2019 05:18 PM

It’s difficult to be compared- but it may have to do with parents commenting... if they say they prefer her style or if she is talking about your style to parents that may be causing the problem...
Haley23 can you describe the kindergarten your principal likes to see? He doesn’t like playtime?

hikinghiker 05-20-2019 08:00 PM

To be honest, that teachers scores seem really low. I also teach kindergarten and admin assesses them using Dibels. It's expected that we have very little to no reds and yellows. Instead we should have all green and blue. Green meaning proficient.

I had one red, a child who is going to be referred to SPED for intellectual disabilities, and one yellow. I got no praise or notice for it because all the kids SHOULD be proficient especially on a test like Dibels which is pretty easy like you said - just quick letter and sound naming.

to the OP - that's ridiculous and I would definitely bring up data. I would ask what type of environment would be most conductive to learning, since it seems students are learning excellently in your environment. I would also throw out words like "differentiated" and "flexible" if you think it would help your case.

LaFish 05-21-2019 02:41 AM

Take a step back and breathe.
You did the work by raising scores. Celebrate that fact. But test scores are just a part of students’ progress and achievement. My school encourages meeting the needs of the whole child.
Try looking at it this way, admin is offering support to try to help in some way. (Some admin will try to get rid of you.) Were there behavior concerns? Was there clutter in the room that interfered with the flow of the class? Did you or the class arrive on time to specials?

Sometimes it hard to see what good classroom management looks like. I remember bringing my class to have their pictures taken. I overheard the photographer saying, “Good. Here comes someone that knows how to manage the kids as we take pictures.” Apparently, the teacher before me continued to say “Yes, it is so exciting to have each child photographed.” In the meantime the rest of the kids ran around.
I would shadow the other teacher and maybe ask to shadow someone else too. Bring up your test scores and ask what in particular are your strengths/weak areas. Good luck

applesaucencr 05-21-2019 03:03 AM

I'm sorry you have to go through this. Also, I will say that you must have decent classroom management if you had those gains in academic performance. If you had poor management, those kids would not be as engaged in learning as they obviously were based on results.I had a colleague that was also all Pinterest and little substance. But, she was young and pretty and the P loved her because she was great at pretending- problem was that she was actually not very good at teaching and was propped up by a great team. So, just grit your teeth and observe the other teacher. Ask your P for *specific* areas where they feel you need improvement. Also, start thinking long-term; put in another year but start looking for a job next spring and get into a (hopefully) better situation.

elepen 05-21-2019 03:24 AM

Juice box
I agree with Haley 23 regarding improvement plans and shadowing the teacher. It's just documentation
Start sending out your resumes and looking elsewhere.
I'm retired now but was nonrenewed 3 times same senario. I always managed to get better jobs :)
The Years almost over, good luck and hugs

msd2 05-21-2019 04:17 AM

I would chart the growth percent for each of your students and talk to your P. It is impressive. I'd also show him how your students are now higher.

I might even e-mail this information to him in advance of the meeting so that it is documented rather than just a hidden talk. I would be asking how you could end up on an improvement plan when you have actually created much more growth and your class as a whole is performing at a higher level than all other classes in the grade.

I would certainly be asking.

Juiceboxes 05-21-2019 01:17 PM

Thank you everyone! I agree that test scores are just one of many parts; but other assessments such as their reading levels and fluency, spelling and sight word knowledge, number literacy, etc. All have measurable gains. I spoke with P today and he said my students do not follow rules and procedures, and students cannot learn effectively or receive effective teaching when classroom management is lacking. I agree there is more to learn. I disagree about my student's behavior. All but one specials teacher loves them, they behave generally well wherever we go and while in class. AP does walk throughs regularly and has often complimented me on my class and management of them. Others who have been in my room such as parents etc. say similar things. My students don't change on account of who is in my room. . My students are thoughtful, helpful, and kind. I just don't understand. It hurts to work so hard and see so much progress and be told I'm not fulfilling the expectations held for me.

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