Thursday, November 20, 2014

How PAR (Peer Assistance And Review) Has Become a Vehicle for Abusing Teachers- Written by a Former PAR Coach

Take it from a former PAR Coach. PAR is a scam. 
We were taught how to do backwards mapping- this is when we are told by administration what the candidate's score will be, and then we fill in the blanks and justify the score we give them.The candidate has no control over what score he or she will get. We have absolutely been given a score to give them. Nothing they do or don't do will change that.

We are also taught Gas-lighting Techniques to break the candidate down and get them to resign without finishing the PAR process or holding the district and union to task.The technique of Gas-lightings is used to completely break down the candidate and confuse the candidate. As PAR coaches are instructed to be vague, so the candidate doesn't really know what is expected. We were told never to model and we given many conversation workshops on how to answer questions without answering questions.We were given more money and promised advancement if we helped them fail out candidates. It was scary and I only did it one year.I'm always haunted by my involvement in PAR. Everyone should know the signs that you are being Gas-lighted
Here are the signs you are being Gas-lighted :
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You're always apologizing to your boss/PAR coach
5. You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your employer/PAR coaches behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself. This is accomplished through the PAR coach being vague and constantly moving the target of accomplishment - you can't hit it, cause it is purposely being moved.
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists. 
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.**** This is major. When you are in PAR, you are so broken down, you won't make simple decisions without extreme self doubt.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person - more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can't do anything right. Again, this was done deliberately by the PAR program.
14. You wonder if you are a "good enough" employee.
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.

Remember your employer can be an abuser. PAR coaches are specially trained to carry this out in a legal manner. PAR coaches learn how to Gas-light in stages, but they do move fast. 
PAR Coaches wil never help you as a teacher and they are not sent to do that. 

I'm so ashamed of my year as a PAR Coach. When I think of it, I can hardly live with myself. I hope that by educating others, I can begin to pay it forward a little. 

Namaste and Be Well.


jgmac1106 said...

I do a lot of work around teacher evaluation and stories like youres scare me.

Good systems need to begin with a coaching for growth mindset. Teachers are investments districts make and assets to communities.

I went and examined the PAR website after your post:

It isclear fromthe first sentence par is about culling teachers and not growing teachers students deserve great teachers, but too often they don’t get them. Sometimes their teachers are inexperienced.

When you open with such a mindset it is clear that the system carries a bias.

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