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MissAgnes MissAgnes is offline
 
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Unannounced observations.
Old 11-02-2017, 11:00 AM
 
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Not just unannounced, but unknown! I have no door to my classroom, and only cabinets (not up to the ceiling) separate my classroom from the "pod" hallway.
My Principal often stands outside my classroom making observations, and then using these observations in my evaluations.
I feel this is unfair, not just because he is doing it without my knowledge, but also because none of the other teachers in my grade (or the one above) have this sort of setup! They all have enclosed classrooms with a door, so you can't just stand out of sight and see and hear everything that is going on.
It's not that I'm doing anything I shouldn't be, but I had a rough year last year, and am constantly feeling anxious about it. I feel like I'm being stalked!


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Old 11-02-2017, 11:11 AM
 
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I had that. My principal would just lean on the bookcase and watch. It used to freak me out, then the reading coach told me if he didn't say anything it meant everything was good. I actually got to the point where I enjoyed having him observe. That man knew everything that was going on in the building, the kids knew him, and when it came time for a formal eval I wasn't at all nervous because he had been in my room so much.

I actually kind of miss having such a present admin. Maybe he's there so much to help you feel supported since you are having a rough year.
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Pod schools
Old 11-02-2017, 12:30 PM
 
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Sounds like my school. The principal or anyone can just stand in the middle and spin and see what's going on. There is also an opening between classrooms that we stuff shelves in that still have gaps so anyone can stand in another room and look through the gaps into another room. I am lucky I'm on an end so I have one solid wall.
Kathy
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:34 PM
 
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We had one principal would walk into classrooms during lunch or prep and hide in the room.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:57 PM
 
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A principal doing this in my district would be violating the contract.


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some rooms in my building are like that
Old 11-02-2017, 06:51 PM
 
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One teacher's entire wall is missing and is covered by cabinets that go up about 4 feet. So anybody that walks by sees and hears everything. She is engaged in teaching the entire day. She is also redirecting and managing the class in an ideal way. She's got at least a handful of rotten boys as well as having 30 kids.

I feel so sorry for her. She looks exhausted all the time. So unfair. I'm sorry for you too.
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Observations
Old 11-02-2017, 07:23 PM
 
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For about ten years, I wasn't observed that much when I taught full time. That first school was great, and I had a tremendous amount of freedom and I loved my job. Then I moved to another school. I was observed every other week, unannounced. At anytime, the principal could come into my room and observe. I wasn't used to this. I started getting better with the observations. I started to anticipate when he would come in and watch. I didn't like it much , but I had to survive. This school was alright. These things helped me:

Anticipate when the principal will be there. Plan well and be prepared for anything.
Act confident and deliberate, like you mean to do everything and follow through.
Discuss the objective and standard with your students.
Use anchor charts during your lesson.
Give plenty of opportunities for students to answer questions and explain their answers with you.
Beef up your lessons with more detail.
Give students something that is hands-on for them to practice and demonstrate their skills (manipulatives are good for a math lesson).
Ask open ended questions, use think pair share, and having students explain thinking and providing evidence in their answers.
Always make sure you have enough for the students to do while the principal is there. Have an extension activity just in case he wants to camp out in your room.

But that second school came to an end, so I had to move once again. I had no choice. My teaching career ended at my third school. The third school had so many severe problems. You name it, it had it. However my admin observations were still okay. The second school trained me well for observations, but I couldn't deal with all of the other problems with school number three. I left the third school for another reason I won't go into. I learned this life lesson: Problems can get much worse! I am out of education now and good times are starting to happen again. Life is one big cycle for sure.
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Stressful
Old 11-03-2017, 12:59 PM
 
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This sounds so stressful! I have to have my door closed. I can't stand it when it is hot and we have to leave it open. I was observed many times during my first three years. I basically acted like I could get observed every moment. I will admit that I had no life and practically lived at school.

One time I had two administrators walk in unannounced. I had my objective up and was doing some "game" activity- the fun type of thing they loved. The one guy was like, "Oh, that was good timing." I was thinking, "No, I do stuff like that every day." Luckily, after tenure, the observations went down to one or two a year. Then, I'd maybe be the classroom that "important" people would swing by for a few years. Now, after a decade, the younger, more innovative teachers get those visits. It is nice to be able to relax a little instead of live with anxiety!

Can you try to get another room? It really sounds horrible.
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:43 PM
 
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I'd almost rather have this. I get so nervous about being observed that I can feel myself mess up. It's almost like the moment they walk out, I feel my real self come back. I used to wish I could be observed without knowing that I was being observed. (and it actually happened once! I thought she was observing the math coach and she counted as my observation too. I did great because that pressure was gone!)

I'll bet you are doing great also. I wouldn't complain unless your evaluations are negative because of what they cannot see. It just might work in your favor.

Always summer, I had an admin like that once. He was a real butt! Trying to hide in my room while we were coming back from lunch!! I could say more but I don't want to out myself about how that observation went. Basically, a student was injured (student fault) and it could have been serious but he just sat there. I finally said "Mr. Butt, I could use some help here!"
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