A Phillie Teacher

I was a starry-eyed teacher from New Jersey. Now I work for Philadelphia Public Schools.

No News is Good News

Posted by aphillieteacher on October 16, 2010

I can’t lose my job. Not with this economy, not with my mortgage. Not from any perspective.

But I have no idea what my administrators think of my job performance. Any feedback our teachers get is negative so we begin wondering if there’s any good stuff here at all.

I recently got feedback from our Vice Principal after she came through my classroom a few weeks ago. I got feedback in the form of a checklist. Every category indicated “meets standards” except for one: “Student work displayed” Here she scribbled “No evidence.” Nothing else. Nothing about the lesson, if the kids were engaged. Just “No evidence.”

No evidence??? she was standing with her back to a gigantic board covered with colorful student art depicting Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God” plus some essays my seniors had written.

Now I am in constant pursuit of the woman to change what she wrote. I managed to get her to come back to the classroom to look at my bulletin board, but what guarantee do I have that she will change what’s written in my file?

Does anyone notice the things that I do that are good?

The “No News is Good News” formula doesn’t work well for me.

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4 Responses to “No News is Good News”

  1. ricochet said

    The highlight of last year was that I didn’t get yelled at by the principal.

    In 5 years, I have gotten 2 complements form him – both relayed from other teachers (so, did he really say them? And one had no basis in reality – did he confuse me with someone else?)

    A lot of principals make lousy managers and poor stewards of their resources (their teachers and the talents and skills those teachers possess).

    • I don’t understand this. Most classroom teachers know that fear does not equal respect and sooner or later a resentful class will turn on them.

      How is this fundamental reality lost on administrators? Judging by the low morale in my building, things can’t go on like this much longer.

  2. ms_teacher said

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I’ve added you to my reader, so that I can continue to read your blog.

    I’ve met very few administrators who are good at their job of creating an environment in which teachers feel valued & respected.

    • Having good people skills seems so fundamental to the job that administrators do, I can’t imagine how they went from teaching a room full of youngsters to being cranky, micro-managing office-sitting tyrants. And why did they choose that path?

      *sigh*

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