Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Observing Teachers to Death

Note on tenured professor privilege ( and why the powers that be want to eliminate people like me)-- I have not been observed ONCE since I was promoted to Full Professor over 20 years ago! Does this mean that I have decided to "punch it in" and collect my salary, while putting my students to sleep with stale lectures that i write on the blackboard? Exactly the opposite. Not only have I not been "coasting," I have never worked harder to make my classes exciting and entertaining- or more in tune with the latest research in my field- that I have in the last ten years. Why? Because of professional pride. Teaching is my heart, my soul, my life, and the key to it is learning from and responding to each group of students who come to my class, as much as building on my own research as well as that of top scholars in my field. If you don't understand what drives me, and the millions of teachers like me around the country, you will surely snuff out the spark of creativity that thrives in classrooms from Pre-K to graduate school. We are observing and evaluating public school teachers to death and are about the same to do with college professors. What we are doing is sick, counterproductive and devised by people who have never been in the classroom or have gotten out of it as quickly as they could when they found out teaching was too demanding for them

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