As I left them to finally head to this meeting about how to judge an effective teacher I was struck by the irony that on this new 32 box "checklist" I am responsible for meeting there isn't a place for what had just happened in my classroom after school. I could neglect putting up a learning target for the day and I'd be a poor teacher, but nothing about building connections and relationships with students.
Honestly, I'm not complaining about this. To be honest, I am absolutely 100% ambivalent about the evaluation thing. My thought is that my administrators drop by my class periodically and generally like what they see. And when they have suggestions to make, they do so and I welcome it with open arms and an open mind. I believe that you can walk into a teacher's classroom and know within five minutes whether or not you're observing an effective teacher. There is a "feel" in the room with good teachers and there is a different feel when you're watching a poor teacher. I understand the need for an evaluation system; there has to be a way to get rid of bad teachers. I just wish I could have stayed in my room today after school to hang out with some students who needed my time and attention.
The Iron and the Soul by Henry Rollins
I remember Henry Rollins from when I was in high school as he was the lead "singer" for the quasi-punk band Black Flag. Then in college I heard some of his spoken word poetry and my opinion grew. Then I lost track of him except for the occasional VH1 docudrama. In this essay, originally published in Details Magazine, Rollins talks about how he started lifting weights and how it turned his life around and turned him into a man.
Essay: 7 of 10
It's not bad at all. I think there is a definite audience for an essay like this that details how he was the kid getting sand kicked in his face and then a mentor taught him how to lift weights and he turned into Charles Atlas. It's a little hokey but effective.
Teachability: 6 of 10
Again, not bad but limited audience. Some kids would really identify with this but probably not most. For full effect though, I'd show old Black Flag videos and some Rollins spoken word. That could get the kids more interested in what he has to say about weightlifting.