Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some thoughts teacher evaluations

If there is an equation for teacher effectiveness, I wonder if there is a complementary one for student achievement?

Right now it seems to be a dependent (performance) vs. independent variable (teacher) model. My students are constants of some value, not formally defined. Plug in the value for Ms. Mack and out comes the performance level for her kids. :-/

Last year my students' performance on the state test was :very: high. But did that primarily have to do with me? I don't think so. They were mature, and had test taking stamina. They were very confident in their abilities. I did some preparation with them, but nothing crazy. The tests were also given later in the year.

This year my prediction is that my kids are going to struggle. Again I don't think that I am the primary variable in this equation. By fifth grade students have history of test taking. They have anxiety about it. My students this year really struggle with test stamina, focusing and sitting for periods of time and confidence in their abilities due to past failures.  I try to mitigate all of this, show them their successes, show my belief in them, but they carry all this emotional baggage.

Every year we get such different groups of children with diverse needs and exceptionalities. Yet there doesn't seem to be any accounting for that in the model that I will be evaluated on at the end of this year.

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