Saturday, December 17, 2016

Teaching, Observations, and no knitting!

This week marked two months back in the classroom, as well as my first formal observation as a non-tenured teacher.

After the hell I went through with my last principal and receiving my first poor evaluation in 21 years, which I believe was his retaliation for calling in the union on him, it is understandable that I was a little nervous.

I chose to be observed during the first hour or so of our day as this part of our day is coming along nicely, and it usually before any of my students begin to have meltdowns.  Thinking about it now, I think any other teacher would think I was crazy.  During my observation period:

  • Students finished up breakfast/morning work
  • Students transition to lining up
  • Class took a walk in the hall to deliver items to the office (two months ago, they could NOT walk in the hall appropriately)
  • A stop by the bathroom for a potty, and wash hand (another thing that was a nightmare two months ago)
  • return to the classroom to sit on the carpet on their "assigned spot" for Calendar
  • THEN, scoot up to teacher while I read a and discussed the book A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julie Cook
  • Discuss the book, specifically what's tattling vs. reporting, and place pictures on an anchor chart.

How many transitions was that!?

As we were lining up for our walk, one student refused to leave the classroom, "Students are earning bonus points during our morning walk, you can't earn them here, I hope you choose to join your class." and the class left -- student decided to join us on our walk.

While waiting outside the bathroom, some of them wiggled and wobbled and chatted.  "Remember, bonus points are being awarded to students who are showing us appropriate hall behavior: calm bodies, hands, and feet to selves, zero voice level."

After returning to the classroom, during our Calendar/Morning Meeting, I had one student who refused to join us on the carpet, and another who kept leaving and returning to the group on the carpet.  One of these students spilled milk on herself/himself and was removed from the class to change clothes.

Our team continued doing what it is we do every day, with me trying not ignore the fact I was being watched the entire time by our principal.

At the end of the day, our principal came in and stated she wanted to talk to all of us before we left for the weekend.

Are you ready?

She stated we were the most well-oiled team she had ever seen in a classroom.  That we were all positive, we gave the same message, when there were other issues, the TA's handled it seamlessly without interrupting the lesson.  That the TA's supported me so well that I was free to do what I needed to do, which was teach the students!

I think my observation went well!