David wouldn't move his seat. It didn't matter that the assistant principal was in the room. It didn’t matter that her pen was poised above the pad, ready to make all the low inference observations required to give her evidence to rate me ineffective, developing or effective.
David doesn't like me much. He has had the misfortune to be assigned to my resource room four semesters in a row. If I understood at all how the programming office works I would figure out exactly what the probability of that is. Just for starters there are about 100 students in the school that are assigned to one out of eleven resource rooms with six different teachers. This school doesn't consider grouping students together based on need or grade level, unless you consider which period is most available in your program a need, so I imagine the chance of being assigned to any one teacher repeatedly, is extremely low. But David has “crapped out” to a use a gambling term, four times.
I have a fondness for the blog Math=Love, where an incredibly young, incredibly talented math teacher writes about all things to do with high school math. In one blog post she states that she understands probability way too well to ever choose to go gambling. I applaud her sentiments. I choose to go gambling a lot.
David is a hard-working dedicated student, who often appears to be quite bright. But he can’t read well. Though I have seen official reports with his grade level as high as seventh grade, my assessments always show that he misreads (as in reads the wrong word, or leaves it out altogether) about 40% of the time for material written on a middle school level. He earns good grades. The teachers like him. He works hard.
But I have spoken to him too many times about his reading disability. He won’t work with me. Everyone, his father, the school psychologist, the teacher from the same country as his parents (he was born here) and the assistant principal have tried to speak with him, but he remains aloof.
Actually he hates me.
The assistant principal was ready to observe the goings on of our little resource room. I had things set up, all I needed to do was sit down next to the group working on the Algebra Regents. But David had the seat I needed and he wouldn't move.
I asked him nicely, I bribed him under my breath, I shifted the table.
I didn't have the time to consult the rubric. What would a highly effective teacher do? (I suppose highly effective teachers don’t have students that hate them).
Finally, exasperated, I told David, I was going to get some papers and if he wasn't gone from the seat when I returned to the spot, I was going to sit on his lap and sing.
Maybe? He moved.
Yesterday I got the rated observation back.
All categories were rated effective. I am either very good or very lucky. Most likely a little of the first, more of the second, many people have shown me much less favorable rating sheets.
“Your classroom is structured, routines are obvious and you relate to your students with kindness and humor.”
I survive the rating miasma another year.
Effective- I have my personal doubts, I still can’t get David to work with me on reading skills.