Yes you’ve read that right, I bombed my first observation. That is in fact not click bait. It happened a couple of weeks ago and let me tell you, I am at a loss for words. I’ll get real with you. I debated wether or not to talk about this on my blog but then I thought to myself, maybe I could help someone if I share my story.
We’ve completed the first nine weeks this past Friday (the day before my birthday) and boy oh boy has it been a tough one! I’ve felt beat down. Really I have. I’ve been told that my first year teaching would be tough, but this is really something. I had to totally revamp the way I do things. Fortunately for me, my mentor teacher and the rest of the eighth grade team have all been awesome! They’re always giving me advice and they let me know that obviously I have to do what’s best for me but they still give me their opinion and advice on things like behavior issues or how to organize things. I went through an organization overhaul and I do feel like things are starting to flow better. My planning was a hot mess but with a little guidance, its starting to get better.
Now a few weeks ago, the principal informed the faculty that he would be starting observation and soon and that he wanted us to go fill out the necessary forms online before his visit. When I read that, I started to panic. I hate being observed. I already felt terrible about the non progress I’ve made as a teacher and now I had to be watched too? Talk about nerves. Also, no lie, my students don’t have the best behavior in the world and can be a bit unruly (nothing a little going over the classroom procedures can’t fix). My classroom management isn’t the best (if you don’t mind me saying).
Things did get slightly better. I wrote my students a letter apologizing for not having it all the way together and I told them that I would work on getting better (I wanted to keep it 100 with them). My third period class was more forgiving of me but my fourth period? Omg save me! They refuse to like…give me a break. Of course they’re 14 and 15 but still, I expect them to have more respect for me. Anyway, I forgot to do the form so that the principal can stop by and observed my class. I was secretly hoping that he wouldn’t come to my third period class. Granted, they were behaving better instead of just outright ignoring me, but they still were not and still not following the rules like they should be.
So one day, I’m getting ready for my third period students to arrive and get ready. Of course they were super rambunctious so I had them go back in the hallway and waited for them to get quiet so that we can head back in the classroom ready to learn. What I did not know was that my principal was standing the in the hallway as well. I had three students try to hide in the classroom when I told the class to go in the hallway. Eventually they came out but the damage was done. When we got back in the classroom, I didn’t have my materials ready for the day and that wasn’t a good thing. My students weren’t “engaged” in the lesson and I didn’t update my agenda of the day and the learning goals and scales.
My principal sat in my class for about 30 minutes before he left. I had a gut feeling that I bombed it. I was honestly confused. I thought he had to meet with us before he cameo look at our class but he didn’t for me.That following Friday, he called me into his office and he went over my observation with me. What was his opinion? I was not an effective teacher. That cut me to the core. I was already self-conscious about my teacher but that observation just proved everything I needed to know: I sucked at teaching. After he talked about my results, he told me that in two weeks, he’d come by and see if there is nay improvement. We shall see how I do this time around. He was gracious enough to let me re-do the observation (hopefully he chooses another class period to visit).
What was the point of me telling you this? To remind you to have everything organized and ready; always. You are more than just a score (isn’t that something we tell our students?). Remember to be prepared. You don’t want to have the class miss too much learning time because it will only cause problems and mess laying around the floor. I want you all to learn from my mistakes.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my post. If you’re a teacher, know that you strong and you will get through this.