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Observation judgements

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by twitterbix, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. twitterbix

    twitterbix New commenter

    I am being observed this week.
    My school judges the lesson against the teachers' standards with each standard being judged against a scale of 1-4 in increments of 0.5. Each is added to create an average score that is added to the teacher's "bingo card" where all their scores are kept (similar practise for work scrutiny, QA activities etc.)

    IMO this is just arbitrary, ofsted don't require it. School is an outstanding school so no particular worries.

    How can I approach the school about this? Do other schools still do this?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    The general response here is going to be that it's a crazy, overly bureaucratic approach. Bur it's whole school policy so not much is likely to be changed for your observation.
    However the staff as a whole might initiate discussion, helped by your union rep(s). Going for a refusal and for confrontation might be attractive, but better would be to present an analysis of the current system, costs, benefits, impact on teaching and learning, impact on professional development, and then an outline proposal for the replacement, again with costs (lower) and benefits (more).
  3. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I'd argue about every half point, every judgement. Make them justify every score: 'i see you've given me a 3. for xxx; I'd like to know why this wasn't a 3.5? What would I need to show to have scored a 3.5?' etc.

    Play the idiots at their own game.
    bevdex, VeronicAmb, mannyosei and 6 others like this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Given all your other threads and posts about your school, I would think this odd way of grading is the least of your worries!

    You can't challenge the school about it, unless you have the full support of almost all the staff. Those who might join you in saying it's daft, will not necessarily join you in a formal objection.

    Judging against teaching standard shouldn't be too tricky. Presumably all teachers are meeting all the standards as a matter of routine. If not, then there should already be action in place.
    Still?????? I've never known any school to do this.
    Pomza and agathamorse like this.
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    At one point many schools gave their teachers a grade (a decade or two ago Ofsted inspectors gave you one after they observed you, at least in a couple of the schools I worked in) but most people I talk to say they are no longer given a number grade, but until recently most teachers I know had to put up with a 'rating'. Do I think this practice actually helps children? No. Does anyone? Is it any more useful than picking a number out of a hat, and letting a teacher 'wear' that number for a term? Doubt it. Is it worth leaving a job over? I guess that's a matter of opinion.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    "Bingo Card"?
    "Bingo Card"?!!
    For goodness sake, you're a professional adult, not a five year old.

    Somebody somewhere high up in the school has been enlisted with making sure every single teacher's Bingo Card is filled in correctly, and they'll be busying themselves in their office with this, completely oblivious to the permanent and fluctuating gaggle of year 10 kids outside just below their window dealing cigarettes, picking their zits and bunking RE lessons. Evidencing progress by ignoring every single child not progressing around them.

    Coming soon-Performance Management Reward Sticker Charts,also completely devoid of meaning.
  7. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I think there is a much bigger correlation than you realise between ‘outstanding school’ and ‘rigorous lesson evaluation’.

    The reason outstanding schools offer such an excellent education is because they have quality teaching staff, supported by an SMT that makes sure standards are being upheld.

    Lesson observations are really the only way for management to get under the skin of what is really going on in the school. It also allows us to see where the areas of best practice are, and how these can be shared.

    My place records all lessons, which can be watched on a live or recorded basis to allow SMT feedback.

    In terms of the scoring system, I think it’s important to have an objective metric system to judge performance. It is really no different to the mechanism used on strictly come dancing.
    Mrsmumbles and sooooexcited like this.
  8. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Why not follow your own advice?
    Quality teaching staff are left alone and trusted to do their jobs. They are not required to be catering/ help desk/caretakers just because incompetent SMT at your school cannot balance the school budget.
  9. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    So which Strictly judge do we think 'old GreenPeas' is trying to emulate.
    I reckon he's a bit of a 'Bruno Tonioli' full of over the top expressions and a bit of desperate attention seeking.
    What does everyone else think?
    If you happen to work in 'old GreenDreams' school just write you score on a card and hold it up to the camera.
    install, Morgelyn, ATfan and 4 others like this.
  10. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Really! There isn't much evidence of that in your posts.
    It also not a good idea to start your posts with a lie.
    Hope this helps.
  11. Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe New commenter

    That's actually a good idea, next time you convene a staff meeting, give your teachers a crate of rotten tomatoes and ask them to give you an "appraisel". I think you will get a highly "quantitative" yet accurate response.
    install, Morgelyn, Piranha and 5 others like this.
  12. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I could debate the veracity of the assertion that SCD is objective, but I won’t.

    I will say to the OP that it’s best to ignore @GreenTrees123 every time s/he posts and maybe sound out other staff to see what they think.
  13. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Holy f€ck.
  14. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    No, most schools don’t do this kind of thing anymore, as it is a waste of time. But, some haven’t stopped yet.

    You could simply have a chat with the HT and explain why your school should cease this practice. I doubt you’ll get anywhere though, as presumably your HT believes in this approach and will be well-versed in articulating why it’s the right thing to do. Are you able to present a compelling case why it should stop (other than you just don’t like it)? Also, do you have a thought-out alternative approach to monitoring you can propose to replace grading/scoring?

    Remember, all those colleagues who always score top marks will all secretly love this way of doing things and not support any challenge to it. People like league tables when they’re at the top of them, it’s generally only when their near the bottom that the complaining starts...
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  16. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I'd go for the unscientific, invalid and unreliable angle.

    Research (and that's very popular right now...) shows that even highly trained observers (your head isn't) using the best methodologies (they aren't using these either) can only tell an above-average teacher from a below-average one, about 60 per cent of the time.

    If they tossed a coin it would be 50 per cent.

    No-one likes it being explained to them why they're wrong though. So best to get another job - or suck up the nonsense.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    I don’t disagree with you, but you don’t bring about change and alter a person’s established way of thinking just by telling them their way is rubbish - something that is demonstrably beneficial (to the right eyes) needs to be presented to take its place...
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I bet SLT have glowing bingo cards as they are members of the same golf club
    ajrowing and agathamorse like this.
  19. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    We prefer polo these days.
  20. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    As a teacher of pupils who find school difficult and struggle with self-worth, away from this forum I'm very used to talking to people in such a way as to get the results required while allowing them not to feel ignorant, "thick" or small. An approach that works admirably with adults too.

    However, HTs should be intelligent enough firstly, and secondly they should be very well aware by now of the research around this. It's what they are paid to do. It was well known over 7 years ago at the very least. I have shown people the relevant research around several matters but no matter how deferential and polite you are, it counts for nothing. I used to speak to friends working in scientific research depts and they found it utterly hilarious how baseless the whole system of observations and grading was.

    In my experience, if people don't understand the maths or the stats, they will not defer to others, they will just plough on. Which is why it has taken so long to get a simple bit of science through to school leaders. And, in wider terms, why we're probably going to be seen off by the climate before too long..

    I wold just add, I didn't say "rubbish". I said the method being used is invalid, unscientific and unreliable. And that ought to be enough to get anyone to listen.
    ajrowing and agathamorse like this.

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