Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teacher Evaluations

ASCD sends out a daily e-newsletter called SmartBrief. I rely on at as one of my sources for education news and for topics for my daily blog. Today's SmartBrief is a special edition that focuses on teacher evaluation. I encourage everyone to read it.

I'm a critic of homework policy but not a critic of teachers. If anything, I believe teachers need more support than they currently receive, with a  major proviso, a better recognition of the boundaries between home and school. I think that the problems teachers face with excessive evaluation and a societal wide tone which has placed them under-the-gun, has significant parallels to the issue of homework, where parents are getting judged and evaluated by teachers, as if they are agents of the school. This interferes with family life. It burdens children with responsibilities beyond what they should have. And, it interferes with the learning that naturally takes place, at home, under the care and supervision of parents.

I think we are better equipped as homework critics if we are also empathic to the pressures teachers feel and support them in being free to use their skills without excessive and damaging review, while maintaining a distance from the activities of the home.


Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.

 I recommend giving copies of the book to the teachers at your child's school. Discount purchases are available through Wyndmoor Press. Single copies can be purchased at Amazon.


No comments: