Thursday, November 20, 2014
The Field Supervisor From Hell.
This is a true story that has happened this school year. I have kept the names of the teacher and field supervisor out of this post to protect the ATR from retaliation.
The story starts innocently enough. The field supervisor, a retired middle school principal from the Bronx, formally observed the teacher in her contact area (Biology) and gave her a "satisfactory rating". End of story? Not quite.
A month later the field supervisor showed up for an informal observation while the teacher was assigned to cover a foreign language class. The ATR was given work by the absent teacher to hand out to the class. She handed out the work and walked around the room to make sure the students were on task. While she is not a foreign language teacher she did offer assistance to students who seemed to be struggling with the assignment. The ATR took attendance and because some students arrived quite late to class, the ATR took the time to take attendance again to ensure accuracy.
At the end of the class the field supervisor told the ATR that her classroom pedagogy was "unsatifactory". Why you ask? Here's why according to the field supervisor.
First, he wanted the teacher to expand the teacher directed assignment beyond the material given to the students to complete, despite the ATR having no real knowledge of the subject.
Second, the field supervisor complained that some of the students were not on task and were talking. Really? How unrealistic is it for an ATR who has never seen these students before, expect them to exibit perfect behavior.
Third, The field supervisor claimed the lesson was disjointed. However, the lesson came from the absent teacher and not the ATR. How can he blame the ATR for somebody else's lesson?
Fourth, taking attendance twice was a waste of time.
Finally, the field supervisor saw no common core or rigor in the lesson. Really? Didn't the lesson come from the absent teacher? What was the ATR to do, ignore the lesson and risk being insubordinate or follow the school's direction and hand out the absent teacher's assignment? Moreover, the ATR is a Science teacher and how can she add common core based rigor in a subject she has little knowledge of?
This abuse of the observation process by the field supervisors must stop and the ATRs should only be observed in their content specialty. Being observed in a subject that the ATR is unfamiliar with is wrong and harmful which must be stopped by the union.