After conducting a few more I am learning to deal with it. I go through periods where I talk myself into the rubric. Maybe if I grade against the rubric the teaching will get better? People with more experience have vetted this rubric and decided it is a good measure of teacher performance, so who am I to decide there are better ways to help a teacher. So I try again, I become even more frustrated. I don’t feel like I am helping when I use the rubric. There is nothing wrong with evaluating against a rubric, we do that all the time in our classes, but the rubric has to measure the right thing. The rubric we use to evaluate teachers is vague, emphasizes a show and doesn’t help improve instruction. Every time I am either walked through the rubric or grading someone against the rubric, it feels like I am creating a performance. If I ever decide to become a public speaker or performer I have learned a lot of strategies to be successful. TED talks here I come.
When we give feedback the entire conversation is around what the teacher is doing and what the teacher should be doing against the rubric! Not about what the students are doing or learning or even how effective they are. Yes, there are components that look at student engagement and student conversations, but the advice and critique always come back to something the teacher didn’t say or do that often wouldn't even impact student learning. Where was the whip around, where was there reference to the Lo, students are working but why are they in pairs not groups? Let’s stop and ask where the learning is?
All of my coaching training is about how to evaluate against a rubric. What about how to help a teacher? I do not want to be an administrator that takes a rubric, grades a teacher, and moves on. I have never been a teacher that plans against my evaluation rubric and I never want to be. I am passionate and dedicated to this work. When I set my goals for the year, it has never been about my performance or my evaluations. I hope my work in the classroom speaks for itself and is recognized by others, but the focus is on our students and ensuring they are successful. When I think about what kind of coach I want to be, I want to be one that helps teachers achieve their goals with their students. I want to learn how to strengthen teachers in the classroom to respond to student’s needs, adjust lessons, and plan effective lessons. What I do not want to do is learn how to check off a rubric. In this district though, I honestly do not know if I will ever be able to be that kind of leader.