My CT in my Spanish class was out all last week, and consequently was unable to complete my Field Experience Evaluation. I talked to her today while the students were taking their Spanish test and asked if she could fill it out at whatever time was most convenient for her. She decided to fill it out during class and discussed it with me when she finished. She checked high marks for all areas except: “Written communication is free of grammatical errors” and “Displays positive interpersonal skills with staff”. WHOA!!!! WAIT A MINUTE!! These are among the many thoughts that flew around in my head in a span of 15 seconds. I had a look of wonderment on my face so she decided to explain her rationale.
The lower mark for written errors was because I do supposedly do not use standard script when I write on the board. By this, she is referring to the fact that I write my lower case “a” like it is printed here on the computer rather than how it was taught in kindergarten. Now keep in mind, in all of the in-service and orientations I have been to this year, no one has ever mentioned to me that writing in script was mandatory, but maybe I dazed off during that talk. My 5th grade CT, who would be more entitled to make this critique than this lady, never talked to me about this and I wrote on the board every day! I guess my frustration stems from my belief that how I write my a’s in 8th grade is of very little overall importance. To me, they should and do know that there are at least 2 ways of making this letter and both should be able to be recognized. I would say my CT made this critique because she didn’t have anything else to comment on, but boy was I wrong!
The second critique she made was of my interpersonal skills with other staff. I asked her to clarify what she meant by this because I was totally flabbergasted!! She told me there was one instance. At the beginning of the year, there was a team planning meeting. The interns expected we would discuss the goals and mission of the team and what the expected of us. Instead, we were welcomed with about 120 manila folders and 120x4 progress reports which we first had to alphabetize, then stuff in their appropriate folder- all while the CT’s explained to us that this is what teaching is. Mind you, I have already spent an entire quarter teaching, meeting with parents, conferencing, grading, filling, organizing, decorating, etc. My CT refused to let me get involved with the students (which is the heart and soul of teaching), but instead put me in teacher boot camp with filing and alphabetizing for conferences that I would not even be attending!!! Any who, the system of alphabetizing that my Spanish CT wanted me to use was incredibly complex. Call me slow, but I just didn’t get how she wanted me to do it. So I simply and what I thought was respectfully said “I don’t really understand how to do it this way, so I’ll just use my own system”. All of the papers got alphabetized and filed without a hitch. I thought education was distancing itself from the “there’s only one way to figure this out” mentality…guess I was wrong again! This CT never made any reference to me about my tone or disrespect any day during the 3 weeks since this meeting, but clearly she was bothered by whatever did or did not exist in my comment. I think it was very unprofessional for her not to address this issue to me when it happened, but then turn around and write it on probably the only evaluation I will have from her during this experience. I’m trying to focus on the positive comments she made (my great enthusiasm, preparedness, and eagerness to teach), but I just find my self sweating the small stuff.
Tomorrow is my last day before break!! I teach Language Arts all day tomorrow so I’m pretty excited about that! I am leaving the stress of my evaluation ordeal write here on this post…I feel a huge weight lifted off already!