Teacher vs. Principal’s Evaluations. They’re Just Different.


Back to School.  Some are Happy.  Some are Sad.School is about to start.

This means a variety of things. The first thing it means is I’m already way behind schedule.

And secondly, I am getting grumpy. Or grumpier (see I’m falling hopelessly behind… how is it possible for this to be happening and school hasn’t even started???).

Even worse… stores all across America are putting school supplies on SALE.

This is code for: they would rather get rid of these pencils than count them.

Everything must go.

Paper, binders, book bags, erasers, glue sticks, and a bunch of other stuff that will eventually be lost or thrown away (don’t parents wonder where all the stuff they paid for goes??)

If you don’t believe me visit your local school’s lost and found… it has more merchandise than a Wal-mart.

Things are changing. School starts in a month (for every worried school administrator there are 400 moms filled with joy).

How is all of this possible?

Stores need to make room for the Christmas items. This my friends is a sad commentary on our society.

Before I can focus on the impending holiday season (only 5 shopping months left!), I need to get school started.

This is a complicated process.

Hiring teachers, assigning students to classes, buying some new ties… the list goes on and on.

Once the students arrive, there are certain things that have to be done.

This includes the E word.

I am almost hesitant to type it because it’s so heinous.

If you are easily offended this might be the time to look away… or at least send the kids out of the room.

Here it goes. You’ve been warned.

Evaluations.

There I said it (or typed it…).

It’s amazing how many people dread the thought of being evaluated.

And it’s not just teachers. Bus drivers, custodians, coaches, and even principals dread them.

You would think principals wouldn’t mind. Especially since they spend their days evaluating others (and chasing down that kid who stopped up the sink in the bathroom with paper towels).

The others I refer to are mostly teachers.

Some teachers don’t exactly enjoy evaluations. That’s understandable because it’s strange to have someone in your classroom that normally is not there.

Especially when they are taking notes as the teacher is trying to teach a room full of students who know the principal is taking notes.

It’s just not natural (much like expecting a junior high boy not to talk when there’s a sub).

Evaluations must be done, but they are still a little odd.

Most teachers view evaluations as a necessary evil they must experience once a year or even every couple of years.

The good news is teachers are usually evaluated under the best possible circumstances.

They have the opportunity to prepare and make a special lesson.

If all goes well the principal sees them under the best conditions. They are evaluated when they should be at their best.

Principal’s evaluations are different.

And this is something all new principals should know.

They won’t be evaluated when they are at their best. They will be evaluated starting the day they are hired.

And they won’t be evaluated by just one person. They will be evaluated by an entire community.

More importantly, this happens when they aren’t at their best. They will be evaluated when they are at their worst.

Like when they are nervous, mispronounce a name, forget a meeting, wear brown shoes with black trousers, dribble food all over their shirt, or even when they walk down the hall with their dress shirt caught in their fly (I can assure you none of these have ever happened to me… as far as you know).

Principal’s evaluations never formally start and they certainly never end.

So good luck.

But don’t worry. You should be fine.

Just remember to check your fly before you walk down the hallway (and yes, I learned this the hard way).

If you need me I will be doing all of my Christmas shopping this year out of Lost and Found. I have my eye on 12 jackets, 27 t-shirts, 3 pairs of glasses, some tube socks, and a pair of Pittsburgh Steelers sweat bands. Some of them don’t even smell… that bad.

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Time For My Dog’s First Evaluation. I Hope He Isn’t Planning on Getting Tenure.


We have a new dog.

I thought about calling him the Always Hungry, Constantly Napping, Strange Smells Escaping from Several Body Parts, Chewing on My Shoes, High Maintenance/High Drama Animal but this didn’t seem catchy enough.

So we went with Buddy the Dog.

When we got him, I decided it would be a good idea if we ran a 5k together.

After all, dogs love to run. And I could use the exercise and stress relief (especially at the end of the school year). It would be a bonding experience between man and beast.

Like most of my ideas, I considered it sheer genius.

And like most of my ideas, it wasn’t.

We are now 7 weeks into my plan and it’s apparent that our training regimen isn’t going well.

Buddy is evidently more perceptive than me. He decided it wasn’t going well after about 3 minutes.

When we first met him there was no doubt he was a go getter.

His owners told us that he couldn’t get enough exercise. Evidently, they didn’t tell him.

The first few times we ran together, he was a machine. He ran and ran and ran.

I could barely keep up.

There was no stopping him. He could run 4 miles and barely break a sweat.

Then one day it was hot. And humid.

He got tired. And stopped. And layed down. And had a brainstorm.

As he lay under a shade tree on his back with all 4 legs in the air, I could tell his little golf ball-sized brain was really mulling the situation over.

In retrospect, that was the exact moment he decided the human wasn’t in charge.

He was.

And the 5K wasn’t going to happen. Not on his watch.

He hasn’t run since.

And trust me, I’ve tried.

I take off in a full sprint. He sits down and stares at me. And it isn’t just a stare. It’s a mocking glare.

After I regain my composure and my balance, I always try again. I take off. He doesn’t budge.

The glare he gives is easy to recognize because I get it from time to time at school. I must admit, it hurts even when coming from a different species.

This isn’t even the worst part.

In a matter of 6 short weeks, he has gone from a former show dog living in a kennel… to a pampered family pet that not only doesn’t run, but doesn’t even walk outside at night to use the bathroom.

He has to be carried.

I wish I were kidding.

Here are the pictures to prove it.

Sleepy and Lazy.
Buddy the Dog Thinks He Is a Baby.

It’s just a matter of time before we have to put him in the car and drive him down the block to the fire hydrant so he can take care of business.

His business.

On his terms.

Maybe his next evaluation will go well, but as of now he certainly has some areas on which he needs improvement.

Or could it be possible that I have some areas on which to improve? Maybe he and I should’ve had a pre-conference before we brought him home.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.