Friday, May 22, 2009

Fluff no more

Multiple posts today because there is just so much going on in education. The first concerns a great blog post and subsequent comments by Joanne Jacobs on New York City’s teacher and student requirements. The blog post is definitely worth a read as are the comments that people have left about the post.

One of the things that absolutely drives me crazy in education is the fluff that gets passed off as critical elements of the teaching practice or learning process. Joanne’s article calling out New York for excessive fluff is dead on. For me, the two most annoying terms to me are ‘reflection’ and ‘portfolio’. Only in education can going home and thinking about what you did right and wrong during the day can have a fancy term and be held in such high esteem. And only in education could you submit a collection of your best work and have it be the determination as to your ability to perform on a daily basis.

Now – both of these have a place in helping teachers become better teachers so I will end the extremist rhetoric with that thought. Yes teachers should take a good hard look at what they are doing right and wrong. And yes we should look at a portfolio of their work to ensure that we see signs of solid performance. But we should not talk about it as if this brings teaching into the highest levels of achievement. We need real performance evaluations to truly judge our teachers.

No comments: