Teacher Observations & Traffic Stops- If They Want to Get You, They’ll Get You.

Teacher Observation and Traffic Stops

Two scenarios. One of someone taking a drive past a police cruiser in BLUE and One of a teacher preparing for a class lesson observation by their administrator in RED.

I left my house and walked down to my car that was parked in my driveway. I was going to take a drive.

I walked into my classroom and prepared for today’s lesson. I was going to educate.

On the corner of the intersection I saw a police cruiser parked. The officer was sitting inside.

My administrator told me they were coming in to observe me today.

Knowing the police officer was in view, I walked around the car and made sure there were no objects that I was going to back into. I always followed the rules of the road, but I wanted to be extra careful.

Knowing my administrator was coming to observe me, I made sure my lesson plan was printed, the board had necessary information and the classroom was clean. I was considered an effective teacher, but I wanted to be extra careful.

I got into my car, put on my seatbelt, adjusted mirrors, seat and began slowly backing up. Placing the car into drive, I made sure to perform a hand over hand motion on the wheel and fully stop at the stop sign. I made sure my blinker indicated my right turn and looked both ways as I could feel the officer glare at my every move through his sunglasses. My hands were at the 10 and 2 mark.

My middle school class entered and I greeted them at the door.  “Don’t forget we have a visitor today…best behavior” I mumbled through clenched teeth. In comes Ms. Adams, my assistant principal. The Do Now was on the board, the students were quietly working on the problem as I went around collecting home work. We started the lesson and the students were engaged asking and answering questions.

I drove about a block and felt I was in the clear when all of a sudden “Woop Woop!” “Pull over!

I sat for the post observation with Ms. Adams feeling pretty good .

Officer: “I’m giving you a ticket!

Ms. Adams: “I’m giving you an Ineffective Rating for that lesson

Me: “What for?”

Officer: “New York State Traffic Law Article 33 Section 1213 Obstruction to driver’s view or driving mechanism

Ms. Adams: “Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Rubric Domain 1e - Designing Coherent Instruction

Me: “What??”

Officer: “It appears you have your cellphone suctioned to your windshield and it’s obstructing your view of the road. Here’s your ticket. Have a nice day.”

Ms. Adams: “Sally stared out the window at one point. Your lesson was apparently not coherent and engaging and Sally did not answer any of your questions. At one point she was just blurting out answers. Unsatisfactory.”

Moral of the Story: When they want to get you…they will get you, no matter what you do. The Danielson Framework was not supposed to be used as a “Gotcha System”. If you are targeted by an administrator file an Article 23 Special Complaint and check out Educator Survival Guide.

References:

Danielson Framework for Teaching

NY Code – Vehicle and Traffic

My First and Only Unsatisfactory Observation

The New Annual Professional Performance  Review (APPR) Principal and Teacher Evaluation is being published by NYS Education Commissioner Dr. John King  Jr. on June 1, 2013. Posted below. 60% of a teacher’s rating will be based on objective observations using the Danielson Framework.

http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/nyc-appr-plan.html

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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One Comment

  1. I noticed that...

    At least with a summons everyone has the rights to go to court and fight.

    With the APPR only 13% will be able to have their day in court. The other 87% have to pay with their career.

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