Friday, January 23, 2009

Observating Headaches

It's been a long week.

I really hate teaching when I have a headache. Today's headache - I had 4 of the top people from my administration come through during my last period class and "observe." I'm all for people telling me how to do my job better, but I come from the profession research world were we did things a little differently and this is still taking a little bit of getting used to.

For example, this is how things worked in a lab: to get qualified to run a machine, do a research protocol, or basically anything in the lab there was a process. First you had to read about it and get signed off as done. Then you had to watch someone do it and get their signature. Then you had to do it and with the person next to you. Then you had to do it by yourself and have the person watch you. Then you had to run the next three times of doing to by yourself and have the person available for questions you might have. Then you were qualified to do whatever it was on your own, but you weren't considered a master.

In education, I was just thrown into the classroom. I was a sub and I wasn't given anything more than the rosters that were 3 days old. I didn't have access to the ability to take attendance until 3 months into school. I couldn't do grades. I couldn't do anything. I was just there taking up space. I couldn't discipline the kids. I made it all up as I went along. I tried to act as if I were a teacher and be respectful to all school rules.

When I became a full teacher in November, all rules were off. I wasn't given a rule book, a list of things to do now that I was a full teacher, a list of anything other than policy on dress code for the teachers and information on benefits from downtown when I signed. As to the school's policy's... I'm figuring them out as I go.

Now that I'm actually being observed... I think to myself that I'd like to know what I'm being observed on. I hope they know that I've just picked everything up since I've been here without any direction.

It was after the observation that I got a huge headache. I was worried that the kids would be themselves and shout about drug references during lecture or start screaming at each other. Today they were good. Small favors, eh?

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