Tweet today, from a student in my Pop Culture class last semester:
“It’s only the second day of this semester and I must say I miss Pop Culture Studies class already.”
Reading his tweet changed my already awesome day to “epically epic” (as my 7 year-old niece says when all is right in her world).
Today after school, some friends and I were talking about the precarious state of public education. One friend shared that people aren’t becoming teachers anymore, and we all offered reasons as to why: we’re vilified in the media, we don’t get paid what we’re worth, parents sometimes treat us like retail store clerks. And then he said, “But I can’t do anything else!”
(Let me interject here with this: actually, he could do anything he wanted to. He’s smart and motivated.)
My other friend said, “I don’t want to do anything else. I really love what I do.”
Politicians talk about how to measure teacher effectiveness. Anecdotal evidence from students, parents, and colleagues should factor into that equation.
The kid who misses being in my class should count toward measuring my effectiveness.
The hallway conversations after school between colleagues about how they really enjoy their work should count toward measuring effectiveness.
Just today, I got to watch a friend wrap up his biology lesson, and he connected biology to history and the kids were asking questions and offering answers. That passing observation should count toward measuring effectiveness.
Relying solely on test scores doesn’t fully measure a teacher’s effectiveness. It might be one piece of the puzzle, but it doesn’t show the whole picture.