Why teacher evaluation is failing kids. A snarky monologue by my inner ‘reformer’.

A classroom observation by an administrator usually comes at an opportune time. Undoubtedly the teacher is deftly representing the breadth and depth of their skill in that 45 minute period of time (because aren’t they always?). And should they NOT expend the best of themselves, dear teacher, then the result easily becomes a blame game. Was it the curricular materials? The fire drill? The snow storm? The fight on the playground? The hearing check? The assembly? The kids were being what again? Oh. Kids. Well, YOU’RE a teacher. Do your job.

When an educator is given a roster, s/he gets 30 individuals to teach-why do teachers complain they can’t effectively and compassionately parent them all? Is it really that hard to add in constantly changing academic expectations with diverse learning needs that range as dramatically as the substances of the cosmos? For the good teachers the stars sometimes align to shine a light on the systemic problem. Individualism. So charters are the answer! Of COURSE. Who needs the underfunded overly-bureaucratic state/district/building system? It isn’t even held accountable with test scores in a meaningful way!

Resources. The shiny glory of gold and richness in revenue founded America-it is at the heart of our national birth. Tax hating white men started this experiment of representative rule, and we wallow now in the hyper-capitalist drama that ensues. A smart phone holds the infinite classroom. So why are human teachers so ineffective? They have those genius devices, with access to Khan Academy- how hard is it, really, to teach math to 29 eleven year olds. Teachers just need to try harder. For the kids.

Crappy teachers don’t discipline kids how their parents think their babies deserve – how dare a teacher defy the obvious societal decree of s/he shall ‘ALWAYS do what is best for (my) kids’- and who cares that the teacher must assume/predict/use a crystal ball to know what parents expect anyway. Any consequence for my kid’s behavior means that is a bad teacher, of COURSE. But those other kids? They deserve punishment. How else do they learn the lessons of a civil society? And still teachers complain they don’t have enough support for at-risk youth. If they just punished the bad kids and protected the good ones…. How else do we train those kids to get by when they’re incarcerated?

While we’re on topic of how mouthy teachers can get — How dare those greedy teachers ask (demand, sit in for, strike for, fight for) more caring adults in the classroom, hallways, nurses office, playground or lab.

I mean, how dare they suggest that they shouldn’t have to compete like everyone else for the best deal, the most expedient and efficient means to keep kids safe, fed, healthy, learning, loved. You can’t just throw money at the problem, after all. That’s crazy talk. There is always a cheaper way. They just want to waste tax dollars.

They even have the gall to think they should work on their own evaluation protocols! The idea a system can police itself is ludicrous. Only banks get to do that. And big oil. And prisons. And big pharm and the war machine and Monsanto. But that’s it. Our kids’ education is sacred. Those women, I mean, teachers, need to be put in their place. They need experts using standardized test data to tell them which kid is really not learning. How dare they suggest that those struggling kids need more ‘caring’ adult attention? THEY JUST WANT MORE MONEY.

Teachers don’t get that without competition there is no innovation. Ever. They don’t get that kids are entering a global workforce and if they aren’t driven to push beyond their capability in every subject (uh, reading and math) and score higher on tests then the terrorists will win. Because, capitalism.

A Teacher, Anonymous