But Seriously…

My previous post was a reaction to my frustration with Washington state’s new teacher evaluation law and its inclusion of student performance data. Obviously there is never going to be a parent evaluation system connected to our use of data in teacher evaluations.

But I would like to share some of the parents whose children have attended schools where I have taught. First, there was the father who informed me at a conference that it didn’t really matter if his son did well at school. After all, the father didn’t, yet was successful in the field of contracting. If that was the same message he gave his son, no wonder the boy was alternately apathetic and angry.

Then there was the dad who was unhappy that I didn’t cut his son some slack behavior-wise, and stormed off, shouting, “I’m pulling my kid out of this school!” Then, as if an afterthought, added, “And you’re a moron!” Well, you know what they say about falling fruit!

Next up is the eight year old girl who lived in a house that in any normal community would be condemned for human habitation. I witnessed the principal “escorting” her to the office as she screamed a never-ending string of expletives, including all known forms of the f-word. The scene reminded me of “The Exorcist.” What kind of parenting produces that?

I’ll never forget the day and a half I spent as a substitute in a classroom where a girl repeatedly called me “Mr. Clown.” Multiple trips to the office did not discourage her. The rest of the class was not likely to be offered future work with the state department either. This was obviously a troubled community.

And what would one expect from the boy whose father hasn’t held a job for any length of time since his son was born? Apathy oozing from his pores, that’s what.

I could go on, but my point is these students must perform well on assessments if their teachers are to be evaluated fairly. And what are the odds of that?




About Michael Brown

I am an Elementary School teacher in the state of Washington. I enjoy writing, bird-watching, working in the garden, photography, and spending time with my family. View all posts by Michael Brown

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