Yesterday, I met with administration to schedule my first of two formal observations (COMPASS) for the year. The score I get from these observations, along with how my students score on the state standardized test (LEAP) will determine my effectiveness as a teacher this year.
This is not my first time being formally observed, as Illinois has been doing this for the entirety of my teaching career, but it's my first time in this school, with this population. I've already told you how I don't see eye-to-eye with these folks about what "good teaching" looks like. Call me stubborn, but I'm still doing the authentic teaching thing, as opposed to skill building lessons like the rest of the school. I'm sorry, but I refuse to lower my expectations and treat these 8th graders like elementary students.
Anyway, the good news is that my mentor teacher said they're starting with the strongest teachers first (based on our informal observations earlier in the year). So... I have that going for me.
After learning that my administration wanted my first observation to happen before Christmas break (aka: within the next two weeks), my heart skipped a beat. This past week, after having Thanksgiving break, my students were out of control. Students that are normally well behaved were, all of a sudden, acting out. And students with behavioral issues were definitely testing. It was exhausting, to say the least.
I figured the behavior is only going to get progressively worse as time goes on, so I chose to get it over with on Monday. Yes, this coming Monday. And since they're usually my best behaved class (unless they're at all like they were yesterday... yikes), I asked that my inclusion class be observed. I have them first and second periods on Mondays, so I hope my biggest issue will be keeping them awake.
Wish me luck!