Delaware Performance Appraisal System 101: Part 1 of 6

IMG_3392[1] Part One: Overview and Rationale

One task I wanted to tackle this summer was a “deep look” into the Delaware Performance Appraisal System for teachers.   A few years ago, I was put on expectations by my administration and my teaching was ripped to shreds.  I survived to tell the tale and grew wiser, less trusting, and more pissed off in the process.  I was made to feel like I was the worst teacher in the world.  No teacher, or person, should ever be made to feel like I did.  Unfortunately, teachers are made to feel “unsatisfactory” everyday.   I hope to bring to light the issues in this system for all teachers, but specifically for art, music, PE, and other teachers like me. Bring to light the issues AND how to work around them to get the best evaluation possible!

The guide is 130 pages long.  Who really has ever read it and thought about what it means?  NO ONE, probably not even the people who approve it in the first place.  There is a guide for administrators, teachers, and specialists, but I am going to focus on the teacher guide.  You can find the whole document on the DOE website under educator and then DPAS. Direct Link Here. If you can’t sleep and counting sheep doesn’t work for you, this guide will.

I am NOT going to read the whole guide, that is just stupid and a waste, who does that; NO ONE.  Rubrics are the keys to the kingdom in education, so I will analyze each rubric, define terms, summarize the information, and translate it into information that teachers can use.  Yes, it needs translation because it is written in Stupid Education, not English.

I hope you get some good information out of this and please comment and add anything you would like.  This is my interpretation of this mess, meant to establish “consistent educator and student performance expectations and outcomes across all schools.”  We are dealing with living, breathing, human beings, who are they kidding?  Stay tuned!

A sink…

You know with all this talk about testing, common core, opting-out, it makes it very easy to focus on policy and papers and not on other, obvious issues in education.  It can be like the smoke screens sent up to hide poverty as the number one issue effecting schools today.

I have a new job that I am starting in the fall, and one of my classrooms, I am at two schools, has no sink….  No sink?  I am an art teacher and I have no sink?  Wow, in an era where we can communicate in a second to anywhere in the world, I have a classroom with no sink.  The administrator was somewhat embarrassed when they told me and the actual art room, which currently has a grade level classroom in it, may be mine before the school year starts.

I am not upset.  I have done the bucket brigade before.  I am, however, very impressed that my new administration is working on getting me a classroom with a sink.  With a few room changes I may be in the REAL ART ROOM, but think about it.  Last year, the art teacher at this school did not have a sink and had not had a sink for many years.   HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

This reality goes with the fact then many of our students have no food to eat, but have 300 or so television channels to watch.  Or our parents have 5 numbers on the blue card that do not work, but they update their Facebook account every night.

Policy, regulations, and law are important, but if the basic necessities are not provided to our students and teachers, the paper doesn’t mean a damn thing!

It is amazing the times we are in.  One minute I feel like I am in the dark ages and the next I am in the future.  What will tomorrow bring? Hopefully, a phone call from my administrator saying I have a SINK! 🙂