Well since none of my students are proficient, so, we quickly passed small talk. However, I will note we met after giving a retirement reception from 3 to 7 P.M. so we may have not been as insightful as we would have been twelve hours earlier at the start of the day.
The causes attributed to my students’ stumbles with close and critical reading are immense. First, they are not use to rereading the text. So, I have been exposing them to smaller texts (poems from the Romantic era) that are more easily reread. Second, I have been doing more modeling, illustrating the rereading of texts and the level of depth I am able to acquire each time I read the text. Third, I have been pairing them up with each other and reading the ones that closely approximate the level of depth I wish them to attain. I believe all three of these strategies have been useful. On Friday, I gave them an assessment very similar to their first assessment and I am anxious to see what the results yield.
Because Emily and I are such good friends and I trust her explicitly, it is natural to talk to Emily about my short-comings or failings. These types of conversations are only useful if you can be completely honest and it is important to note that the current evaluation system makes it difficult to have such easy, open, and honest conversation. When one of the team is evaluating the other, it spins the entire conversation. If there are any road blocks they come through me not Emily. Emily has a great grasp of literacy whereas my science knowledge does not compare. However, I did not see it as a problem in our discussion.
As for our district, Emily could address this better than I. Emily serves on the evaluation committee as we settled our contract before the new law went into effect so we were able to have a transition year in which we could collaborate as a district before teachers’ voices were silenced on evaluation. I do know that the high school has no administrator on the committee which has been a tremendous disadvantage to high school teachers. From what I observe, other schools in the district appear to have an advantage if they have an administrator on the committee. Data has to be understood by all and we have huge gaps in our district. I did note that the recent update from the committee meeting indicates that training will be given to all in the future.