Delaware Professional Appraisal System 101: Part 3 of 6

I felt very long-winded in my last post about DPAS II, so I am going to summarize a lot more and use more headings.  Time is always short and I believe less is more.  I wish the writers of this evaluation system agreed.

Component Two: Classroom Environment

This component focuses on how you set up, organize, and run your classroom on a daily basis.  Overall, the more student centered you make your classroom, the better your scores on the Criterion rubric will be.  Directions and procedures should be posted and when asked, students should be able to explain the directions and procedures. This component has four elements which I will explain in this order of appropriateness for art teachers.

2c: establishing a Culture for Learning

This element makes sense and is something that every teacher should strive to create.

2d: Organizing Physical Space

Some elements are optional and this one tends to be popular because the teacher cannot control where they teach.  I do think however that it gives schools a pass.  If the art teacher is on a cart or doesn’t have access to a sink it should be noted somewhere.  Some administrators are unwilling to look outside the box and find better teaching situations and if no one speaks up, process cannot be made.

2b: Managing Student Behavior

This is a big one and it really focuses on the individual students which is good, but challenging for a teacher who teaches hundreds of kids with little to no assistance.  I believe the criterion rubric is harsh for elementary art teachers and rubric should be modified to fit different teaching situations.

2a: Managing Classroom Procedure

This is my BIG ONE for this component.  I was put on expectations for this a few years ago because my administrator did not understand my content area.  Clean up time is an important part of every art class.  Clean up time is usually at the end of class, but it is a part of the learning process.  To be a successful creator ones has to be able to use media correctly and clean up when finished.  My administrator considered clean up a waste of instructional time which is mentioned on the criterion rubric over and over again.  Clean up is instructional time.  I had to create a crazy system where I cleaned up the room and the students did sponge activities.  I hated it and tried to explain the learning involved and my reasoning was dismissed due to ignorance of the visual arts.  To be proficient here, I would post all routines, procedures, and repeated transitions even if not in use that day.

Take away:  Administrators should be trained about the differences between a grade level class and a content area class.  Maybe we should be observed by an specialists in our field too.  Teachers remember students should be able to explain your classroom environment when asked.  Practice this and ask your students.  Your classroom should look good and be functional for everyone.  Stay Tuned!

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4 thoughts on “Delaware Professional Appraisal System 101: Part 3 of 6

  1. June Krinsky-Rudder says:

    It’s very interesting that your administrator/observer didn’t understand how vital cleaning is to maintaining a safe and effective art room. That fact, alone, probably shows that he/she had no business evaluating your teaching. I am in Massachusetts, and our state standards include cleaning and maintenance of materials, tools, and workspace. You may want to check to see if your state standards include that as well (more for others, than for yourself, as it seems you are in a better place). Cleaning not only keeps the work environment safe and healthy, but also helps to form a sense of community. Not all of my students enjoy cleaning, but they all understand their responsibilty to themselves and each other, and to me, and do the cleaning that is expected. (When they don’t we sometimes have ‘a day without clay’, and review the dangers of silicosis; my advanced students get very upset when others don’t clean, and will call them out publicly, as they don’t want to lose a workday because I determine it’s not safe for us to work…they have an investment in the work, and therefore in cleaning.) I’m surprised that anyone who is in an administrative position doesn’t also consider the economic costs of not teaching students how to maintain tools and materials. Taking care of things keeps them functioning, and prevents the need to replace things that shouldn’t need replacing. Can you imagine the cost of throwing away paint brushes and extra paint rather than washing/saving them each day – not to mention the environmental impact?! I hope that your former evaluator receives the education that he/she needs about what is vital in an artroom, and learns that cleaning is not just an important piece of instructional time, it may be the most important piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another colleagues emailed me about this post. She said that her admin questioned her use of class time for student drinks after gym class. Again, a complete lack of understanding when it comes to physical education.

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    • June Krinsky-Rudder says:

      Astonishing…and these are the people supervising others, and telling them how to educate students, and keep them safe. Irony? It’s probably a waste of time to send sick students to the nurse, and emotionally distraught students to the social worker, as well. Hell…why eat lunch?! *Thankfully, that is not the case where I work. My administrators ‘get’ what is important for students.

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