Teacher in a Rut
Date: Apr 14th, 2006 10:17:57 pm - Subscribe

This seems to be such a common problem, and a hard one to deal with. Mrs. McFarland has probably seen a lot of fads come and go. She would be leery of new ideas and want to stick to the ones that she knew had worked in the past. Unfortunately, she can’t do that and be an effective teacher for today’s kids. Changing her to another grade would force her to change some of her routines, but it might upset her if she didn’t want to change. If she became upset, and went out talking in the community about it, the community would probably side with her since she had taught many of their children and lived in the community for many years.

The most important question to consider is, what is best for the children? If the children were not learning what they should, testing like they should, and/or enjoying school like they should, then a change would need to be made.

I think it would be important to sit down with Mrs. McFarland and discuss my concerns. I would tell her that I know she works very hard, but that her students are not learning what they should. I would point out the programs or teaching methods that the school has implemented that she has not been using, and the importance of using them for the children. I would ask her why she had not been using the new methods or programs. Maybe she would benefit from visiting another school and observe a teacher of her tenure having success with the new teaching method or program. This would be less threatening than her having to observe a younger teacher in her same school. I would let her know, that as a veteran teacher and leader in her school that it is important that she show support for the new methods, in order for them to succeed.

I would make a note of my concerns and discussions with her, along with recommendations. I would make note of visits to other campuses, workshops, or reading that I require of her. It might be possible that there might be another position, such as a pullout program or something other than a teaching position that she would be better at. If she did not begin to show any improvement, I would have to change her position to one that she could be effective in, or continue the process of collecting information until I had sufficient evidence to terminate her contract. It would be very difficult to do, but I would have to remember that the children have to come first.

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