The following came from a friend of mine from high school, in response to my last post. She is now a teacher in Indiana–a 15-hour drive from Rhode Island, and yet the same patterns apply! Here is what she wrote:
Your first point: Our administrators are under fire to do more, more, more. To make teachers increase student learning–yesterday. We are in the boat of not having a contract, so the upper level admins have been deciding what they will do to us and it all rolls down hill.
2. We will no longer be evaluated using a system that was developed by our board and union, but using a state adopted evaluation rubric that uses test/student growth as 51% of the score. Teachers will get points deducted for failing to show up for non-contract hour events and PD, etc. Seems like little or no security to me. Also, they haven’t yet decided how they will be evaluating special ed teachers or others who do not have scores tied to their names. Further, it will be student growth through the years. So failing scores in third grade can come back to the kindergarten teacher.
3. The admins extended our school day by 45 minutes for daily mandatory meetings. So we go from 7:30-230 with students with a 40 minute prep, 30 min. lunch, then have from 230 -3 to work in rooms. Mandatory meetings from 3 “until we get the work done”. needless to say, by the end of the year, I had NEVER seen my friends so exhausted. This makes for some snapping at kids and transferring stress!
4. Yes. Absolutely. How do you prove that you and your position are valued and valuable? Who would want the struggling students if your eval is based 51% on test scores???? Is this crazy town?
5. I wouldn’t say this so much as new vs. old [teachers], but given the other things, our district is definitely in the mode of hiring young, unencumbered (no family, etc) folks who have much more time on their hands.
6. I would say this [divide and conquer] is happening behind doors and not in front of the administration. We find our people and look to them to help us. There are many people who have been moved up to “buffer” positions but these are not people that are really and truly trusted. We know that emails are monitored, facebook, is being watched, etc.
7. Yes. Lots more drinking and bitching.