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Performance management and UP3 progression

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Rosieett, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. My head and deputy have informed me that I won't progress to UP3 unless I have 3 'good' rated lesson observations. I become extremely nervous when observed and I'm never myself (I tend to get satisfactory 'with aspects of good'). It seems unfair that one and half hours of observations during the year can put paid to any hope of progressing up the scale. In addition to this, t's usually the same observer and someone whom I've fallen out with on many an ocassion. I feel her observations aren't always reliable and accurate but based on opinion and who she likes or dislikes. My class is great and they are achieving well. I'm on top of everything. Feeling depressed. Can they do this to me?
     
  2. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    That depends on your school's performance management policy but basically, yes, they can.
    Observing lessons is theoretically a way of checking on standards of T+L but it is a bit like saying a gun is for keeping the peace - it can be used like that but unfortunately often isn't. Lesson observations are easily used as a weapon against particular teachers, as a way of keeping staff from progressing beyond M6, as a tool for bullying or retribution, as a means of exercising control for a weak manager - the list goes on and on. The problem is they are so subjective - I hear faint cries of 'But there are criteria for LOs' - indeed there are, they are themselves subjective: my school has been unable to provide me with an objective definition of what constitutes 'sufficient' use of AFL, how fast 'pace' is and how it can be measured objectively etc etc. 1 pupil not excited by and enjoying a task, going off task or losing concentration during an introduction or missed out of questioning in a plenary can give excuse enough to downgrade a lesson. Training for observers does not get round this problem, it merely reinforces their credibility.
    I once read that it was impossible to walk the streets of New York for 30 seconds without infringing at least 1`2 city ordinances: I likewise defy anyone to have a lesson I could not find sufficient fault with to declare it only 'good' using any of the observation criteria I have ever seen.
     
  3. bonniconni

    bonniconni New commenter

    I have to say I agree with becktonboy. Lesson observations rarely reflect real everyday classroom practice, especially if you have advance warning of them. We haven't had to meet any criteria foir progressing up UPS in our school - automatically moved up after 2 years at each level. Your ability to be a post threshold teacher is dependent on much more than just classroom observations.
     
  4. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Lesson observations are a total joke, there is no quality control at all and the whole situation is contrived and farcical
    Hence thats why some teachers including myself have gone from consistently good to outstanding at one school to unsatisfactory to satisfactory to good and currently back to barely satisfactory (with the latest hoops and agendas) its all a joke you have to keep believing that for 95% of the time you are good, you know the kids in your class get a great deal and thats why you went into the job...Ive had too many children, parents, colleagues tell me lovely and uplifting things over the years to doubt myself too much...SMT and Inspectors mean nothing to me at all in this respect
     
  5. Here Here!
    Although I wonder how long before web cams are routinely fitted in classroom to observe teachers constantly?
     
  6. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    I know where to lay my hands on a can of shaving foam.....
     
  7. Thanks to everyone who posted in reply to my problem. If you note the time at which I posted my message you will see that this reflects the fact that I'm kept up most nights worrying about it. I know I should focus on the positive - parents, children and my colleagues have givens me support and say lovely things. I've been teaching for 25 years and the fad have changed so much thorughout the years. I sometimes wonder what the next fashion's going to be in teaching - robots, all teaching in exactly the same way??? Another thing I forgot to mention. On asking my DH why she'd left teaching to go travelling around the world (before coming back and applying to DH post), she replied that it was because she 'wasn't much good at it (teaching)'. This doesn't exactly instil in me much confidence in her ability to judge others (except if they're her friends with whom she goes on holiday). How can you have a heavy social life with some teachers and then be impartial when judging lessons? It's all wrong. I'm not in the clique because my children are still young and I often have to turn down invites. It does me good to get this off my chest.
     
  8. Poor you.........You said that three of the lessons must be 'good'. But how many will be observed? The more you are observed, the less nervous you will be, so can you keep going indefinitley until you get to three?
    I would hate to be observed by certain staff members at my school, particularly those who I have no respect for, in terms of classroom practice and attitude to the job (this may be on the cards in the near future).............. I think often it is WHO is watching, rather than other variables.
    I hope it all goes well for you. Can relate to not being in the clique. I work three days and have young children so know what it's like to be on the sideline so to speak. Hope all the positive responses you've had will be noted. This is too often overlooked.
    Good luck x
     
  9. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Youve been teaching for 25 years and have young children? Really???
    If this is genuine two things:
    If youve been teaching for that long, so.d the lot of them, it does not matter one bit your track record from 25 classes, over 500 children and countless schools should keep you going and answer any questions idiot SMT put on you
    and ...I totally agree about socialising outside of school hours, and the amount of times Ive been shot down on here by the clique who presumably do this and then justify to themselves they can be totally impartial in a school matter the next day, rubbish absolute rubbish...Im big and honest to admit that If I had been out for a few drinks, meal round of golf, holiday etc any form of social event my professional judgements would be blurred, they have to be-thats human nature
    I know someone who is friends with the HT at a local school she spplied to the other day..quelle surprise she got it over 4 very qualified people

    I really wouldnt worry, stay on UPS 2 and be grateful, no one ever starved on 35 k a year
     
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Wow! Hope no-one says that to me in a few years time! Imagine starting teaching at 22 (most people do) after 25 years one is only 47, it will be pretty easy to have young children at that age! Sheesh, I'm 38 and only just vaguely feeling I might start in the next few years...

    But, back to the point of the thread...

    The upper pay scale was meant to be a way for good and outstanding teachers to stay in the classroom and not move into leadership. If you cannot demonstrate you are a good teacher (look at the professional standards needed) then you can't really expect to move up. I know teaching is only one part of the whole, but it is quite a key part. Look at the observations from before and see which parts were only satisfactory and concentrate on getting those right. Ask to be observed as often as possible (ask colleagues you get on with to do it just to help you out) so you get used to it and to up the chance of having 3 good ones!

    Remember you were judged to be a good teacher the day you applied and were successful in moving on to the UPS, you can do it again.
     
  11. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    i.e. just keep jumping higher when they move the hoops.... Minnie are you really only saying it's the OP's fault and the solution lies in their hands - just try harder to please?
     
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Nooo of course not. Goodness me I didn't intend to apportion blame and am not in a position to do so.

    But if the OP needs to show 3 'good' observations to progress, then somehow she will have to do that. I was just trying to give ideas on what might help.

    Moaning about unfair systems and changing goalposts is all very well (and I can do it for England when the mood takes, usually with a bout of serious sulking as well!) but it doesn't actually achieve the desired outcome, in this case progression.
     
  13. You're so right. I don't always get satisfactory. I've had the odd 'good' before. The problem is that I get so pathetically and ridiculously nervous/emotional/excited etc whenever anyone comes in the 'grade' the lesson. I'm much better if I'm being watched but not graded eg during peer obs. Soembody once joked that they'd hide in the cupboard during an observation but thought that I might have freaked out (which I would have done - no doubt about that). In answer to previous q's rearding my age. Yes I did have ny children 'later' in life and they are under 10 years old. I'm 47 and a half. Is that considered old? Oh no! How depressing is that? Thank you.
     
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL Apparently 38 is old now, so someone told me when I said I was thinking of having children in the next few years! You would have thought I was totally decrepit!

    Just do what you can to get through to UPS3. If it doesn't work out, you are better off on UPS2 when you want another job!
     
  15. Thank you for your reply and lots of good luck to you with your new endeavors. I didn' t feel broody until 37!! I was far too busy with work and then wham - my clock kicked in big time.
     
  16. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    Writing on this thread inspired me to put my thoughts on lesson observations into more coherent form on my blog:
    http://becktonboy.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html
    Make a cup of tea before starting...
     

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