Annual Review of Teacher performance

Every year in Australia from now on there will be an annual performance review and ongoing professional development throughout teaching careers. Of course we can all support performance appraisals as they do increase productivity, allow individuals to strengthen their skills and provide insight into our areas of strength and weakness. However when the performance review is all set and done and teachers have participated in numerous professional development courses…what then? What is our measure of success? Is our measure of success how much the children love the teacher, is it based on results, is it the number of days of non absent children? How do we measure the success of annual performance reviews of teachers when the variables are so wide? Where is the mention of the child in all of this professional development? Success in teaching should not be gauged on the performance review of a Principal, a senior teacher or an outsider. Success in teaching should be measured by the level of dedication of the teacher, the hours spent at home working on programs, the endless hours of counselling provided to children and families and the results of ALL children who learn under that teacher’s guidance, where no child is left behind. Absolutely we need to re-examine the reasoning why some enter the teaching profession and the role of the university in providing well rounded teachers who have knowledge in both education and psychology; however will annual teacher performance reviews do anything for the most important component in all of this…the child? It would’ve been more enlightening to have seen the heading “Students to face annual review of performance OR Students to receive ongoing development throughout their careers.”

What are your thoughts..?

Beginning Teacher Myths:-

As I prepare myself for practicum later this year, I thought it appropriate to write a post about beginning teacher myths:

If I care about the kids, everything else will fall into place

It’s a “naïve” approach to teaching and it misses the big picture – Good teachers aim to inspire students and get them interested in lifelong learning.

I’ll get ahead – blasting right out of the gate with challenging instruction from day one

WRONG!!! All students learn at different paces and have differing abilities and interests.

I already know how to teach reading effectively

Chances are you don’t!! A lot of cutting-edge research is only now getting into the classroom when it comes to reading instruction and back to phonics approaches are becoming more prevalent.

Dress doesn’t matter if I’m a good teacher

Dress like a professional and the students are much more likely to treat you–and your instruction–with respect. On the other hand ‘dress as if you’re going to a rock concert’, and, whether you know it or not, you’re building a climate of low expectations in your classroom.

Punctuality doesn’t matter if I’m a good teacher

Constantly late to class or not turning up on time to meetings or playground duty will not only make you unpopular with your colleagues but it is one of the most common ‘areas of concern’ expressed by principals when assessing beginning teachers.

I must stink – I’m always asking for help

That’s what new teachers are supposed to do, most of us remember how being an incessant pest to learn something new has helped in the past.