I make it a habit each summer to try new things and to put myself in situations in which I will inevitably grow as an educator. This summer has been amazing! I decided to create my first blog, Brain Vibe For Educators, and to enter the “twittersphere.” I believe I have personally grown more in two months than possibly in the last two years thanks to my PLN.
I wanted to mention 3 of my favorite tweets throughout this summer and a brief reason why these particular tweets had such a meaningful impact.
#3 If you thought I was perfect, you weren't paying attention. Elizeducation
Recently, I was participating in a discussion on #edchat in which the topic centered around the question, “How can we fairly evaluate teachers?” During this discussion, I tweeted the question, “As a teacher – do you hope an area of weakness is identified on an eval- or are you satisfied with a perfect eval?” The many responses confirmed my intuition. Many teachers feel slightly disappointed and somewhat unappreciated with a perfect evaluation? Here are a few of the responses:
- I want to be better. Telling me how great the lesson was does not help me to grow. I want student and teacher growth. Janice Cizek
- I never got any constructive criticism except to make my plan book easier to read:( I begged for real feedback.Larry Fliegelman
- During my first year, I had two perfect evals... sort of wanted something on there to improve on. Phillip Whitelaw
- I need to know a weakness. No feedback = lack of attention, if you ask me. - Brian Bennett
- If you thought I was perfect, you weren't paying attention. Elizabeth Nelson
As a principal, it is our responsibility to provide valuable feedback to our best teachers. Many evaluation instruments consist of only three rating categories: Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory. Many average teachers receive a rating of “satisfactory” throughout their evaluation. Remember, average is just as close to the bottom as it is to the top. Every teacher deserves meaningful feedback, much attention, and an opportunity to grow.
#2 If teachers could choose their class size and were paid $3000 dollars per student, what do you think the average class size would be? - Ron Clark
I was very intrigued by this tweet. I thought a lot about how teachers would answer this question differently. In fact, after reading the tweet, I asked two teachers simultaneously this very question. The first teacher automatically replied, “Fifteen.... definitely fifteen. I am most effective when I have fifteen students in my classroom.” The second teacher responded, “I think I could take 32....maybe 33 students.” These two teachers not only answered very differently, but also differ in teacher performance. Which teacher would you want for your child?
#1 “Teachers are fired everyday; they are fired by their students [who disengage from the learning].” - Tom Whitby
This is my favorite tweet thus far since my dive into twittersphere. The conversation was centered around accountability and how difficult it is to dismiss bad teachers. Tom Whitby fired back with this veracious tweet. This I believe to be one of our biggest problems in education. Student engagement is a precondition of learning. If students aren't engaged in the classroom, they will not learn.
“The least educators can do for kids is to stimulate a curiosity for learning. The best would be to impart a passion for learning.” - Tom Whitby
If you would like to share your favorite tweet of all time or a tweet that made you go hmmmm, submit it to the hash tag #MyFavoriteTweetOfAllTime