Writing my way through the school year!

The other day, I received an email.  These were the directions: Between now and Jan.24, every instructional staff person will visit a classroom for no longer than 10 minutes during PLC or planning time.  Bring a sheet of paper and something to write with to your classroom visit. Once you enter the classroom, select a location that does not interfere with the teacher’s instruction and copy down the first 5 questions you hear (word for word) the teacher direct to the class, small group, or individual student…Once you have your 5 questions, you may leave.

MY first question was, “What now?” Sometimes, I feel  like  a member of the Mission Impossible crew instead of a teacher.  Every week, I get another email with instructions on a new strategy I must implement in my classroom. Unlike the MI crew, I do not have a choice as to whether or not I choose to complete it.  Nor, does the message self-destruct because it shows up, again and again, every week, followed by my new mission of the week.

Not only do they show up repeatedly, but we receive emails with explicit directions. For example,  “I am looking for (the strategy of the week) when I come in your room.”  Or one minute, you’re helping a student at the computer, the other students are putting away the laptops to give to the teacher across the hall, others are lining  up to head to the computer lab,(somewhat chaotic), you look up, and the administrator and her coach are standing in your room.  She is scribbling ferociously on a pad, while her coach stands looking around, her nose scrunched as if she smells something bad.

Of course, at that moment, I am not using ANY of the suggested “mission”strategies, and I am sure that was  duly recorded.  Maybe I should have rung the chime.:), that would have earned a few strategy points.  I have never seen Tom Cruise treated this way, even when he bungles part of his mission.

So, what is this thing I have to do now? I really don’t know. All I know is that it is called a “Question Audit”.  Anyone know what a Question Audit is?   What purpose does it serve?   How will it help me become a better teacher?   Shouldn’t I know why I have to collect 5 questions?  These are just a couple of questions that I have about my latest “mission”. I guess I have to complete it, and then my questions will be answered.

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Comments on: "Your Mission, If You Choose to Complete It…" (3)

  1. Unfortunately you have administrator(s) who believew they can tel you how to teach. It is abdurd and unprofessional. When I was in graduste school the professor I had for the course in “The Elementary Principalship” said, ” It is perfectly all right for an administrator to tell a teacher what to teach. it is the very definition of being unprofessional to tell the teacher how he or she should teach it.” I have always agreed with that position and I wish more administrators today had been in Dr. Seawell’s class that summer.

    I retired at least two years earlier than I would have otherwise because I found myself in a school where the administration’s attitude was, ” I do not care how you taught before and I do not care what results you got before. here you will teach the way I tell you to teach or you will be gone next year.” I was gone by Thanksgiving of that year and the Principal was let go at the end of the year.

    If you have a strong union, or you have any recourse at all resist this unprofessional intrusion into your area of expertise.

  2. Oops, I forgot to proofread that last comment. Please forgive typos.

  3. It would be great to teach in a world where educators are trusted to do what’s in the best interest of students, but until then we’ll have to ride the pendulum swing until it gets back to it. The real question is, when will it get back? 🙂

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