Saturday, March 22, 2008

U-Rating Hearing: Advisor's Statement RE: Principal's Observation

ADVISOR: Please refer to document 3.0- The Observation of 12/19/2006, written by Principal P.

According to document, the preobseration conference was conducted on December 19, 2006 (Weekly meetings with ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Z ). The observation also was on December 19. Based on this information, and what Ms. MORIAH has relayed to us, there was no formal preobservation conference for this particular lesson. It is true that Ms. MORIAH did meet with MR. Z. on a weekly basis, sharing with him her planning. However, on December 19, the date that she was observed, there was no conference in which they sat down to discuss the actual lesson that was being presented that day. A teacher in danger of getting a U-rating is to be afforded the opportunity to have a preobservation conference prior to the lesson itself. The supervisor critiques the plan, discusses it with the teacher, and offers suggestions if necessary so that they come out of the conference with the information necessary and with an understanding of what a successful lesson should entail.

It is true that Mr. Z did have weekly meetings with Ms. MORIAH, but she was not aware that she was going to be observed by PRINCIPAL P and she did not have the opportunity to sit down and discuss that particular lesson with PRINCIPAL P and to take into account any advice or suggestions that PRINCIPAL P OR MR. Z could have offered her to help her in the presentation of her lesson.

At the post observation conference lessons are reviewed and discussed. Suggestions are offered to help the performance of the teacher. Here we have a situtation in which the teacher was observed (by PRINCIPAL P) on Dec. 19. The post observation conference was held one month later, Jan 19. That is a time period of one month with a Christmas recess in between. At the post observation conference, the lesson is discussed and comments are made. There is no record here of when the lesson was reduced to writing and whether it falls within the three-month time frame. The only indication that we do have is that Ms. MORIAH did sign it on March 20. Between January 19 and March 20 we have no idea as to when it was written. It is true that Ms. MORIAH did speak to PRINCIPAL P. on January 19, but 4 weeks is a very long period of time for an observation to have any worth. Four weeks later, other lessons have been taught, and the recommendations designed to help Ms. Moriah improve were not said until Jan 19. This is not a system of GOTCHA. It is the professional responsibility of the supervisor to observe a teacher (and here we do have a teacher in danger of getting a U-rating), and it is incumbant on the administrator to meet with her in a timely fashion, and to reduce the information to writing so that Ms. MORIAH can use this observation as a learning tool, so that she can implement any recommendations for improvement and then at subsequent lessons, be assessed on the degree to which she made improvements.

Please refer to Page 3.2 of the observation report: Recommendation #2. "Students were asked multiple questions right after another. "

According to Ms. MORIAH, students were not asked multiple questions one right after another. There was a lively give and take of ideas.

Recommendation #3. "Most of the questions asked during the lesson were based on a single recall from text. This kind of questioning is at the lowest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy."

Blooms taxonomy is a hierarchy of skills. You have to start with lower level thinking especially when the subject matter is new or difficult as we have in science. Lower order questions are also appropriate if the readability level of the text is close to the frustration level as it was in this case.

Recommendation #4 ""Student participation limited to a few. "

Student participation was not limited. Most students were in pairs. They were assigned to ask questions and to anwer them from the reading assignment. They shared answers with those sitting directly across from them.

Recommendation #10 "Homework was dictated and not meaningful"

Homework was assigned verbally, but it was a homework assignment that Ms. MORIAH often gives. It does not need to be modeled. She had previously demonstrated the technique of summarizing a lesson in paragraph form. Criteria had already been established. Students knew how to successfully meet her expectations.

NOTE FROM MORIAH: I wrote a sentence by sentence response to Principal P's observation report. You can read the complete observation and response on Untamed Teacher under "HIV UNscripted". See Friday, August 27, 2007.

1 comment:

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

They don't want you to respond to their criticisms. They want you to go home and cry. Here is another little stunt they are pulling--not giving you written observation within a reasonable time. My skunk has waited to the 89th day after the observation to give me a written report. On his last observation of a lesson which thankfully he has told two people that it was an S he has waited over 90 days to give it to me in my hand. I have it documented that I have asked him 5 times for it!

This has nothing to do with you being a good teacher or a bad teacher. It has everything to do with out of control principals who are mandated by Klein to act in such a fashion and NO ONE IS DEFENDING YOU. NO ONE! YOU SHOULD WIN BUT THE FIX IS IN AND THE UFT KNOWS IT!