Tuesday, September 13, 2011


WARNING: This is going to be a long post!

I lost my kids last Friday...yes all of my kids. You may be asking yourself how does a teacher loose all of her kids! Yes, last Friday I lost my kids during specials. I dropped them off at P.E. went about my business franticly (you know the feeling so much to do so little time) and then tried to pick them back up at P.E. The operative word here is try...my kids were not at P.E. No one seemed to know where they were other than a six year old that informed me they went inside. So I'm thinking great....somehow my kids decided to go back to our classroom without me...surely they wouldn't do that. Finally a substitute informed me my kids were taken to the computer lab. So I'm now running because I'm late up the stairs to the computer lab to pick them up. When I get there though there is no one in the room. Now I'm really starting to worry but I thought they may have been downstairs in our class. So again I run down the stairs to the room very out of breath and my kids are waiting patiently with the computer lab teacher. Of course they were perfectly fine and told me that I was late. Oh kids!

Now there is something else that I'm lost with as well and need your advice on. My district wants us to have goals posted in our classroom (check) with scales and for students to be able to know the learning goal for each lesson and relate it to what they are doing and the scale. The million dollar question is what is a scale and what does it look like?? Well this is what I was told for clafication: a scale is an attempt to create a continuum that articulates distinct levels of knowledge and skill relate to a topic. But I just don't know how this is to be posted and referred to for each lesson. How can it be the same for each lesson....how will this actually benefit my kids? Do any of you use scales in your classrooms?

I'm just slightly concerned because this is part of our evaluations for this year and upcoming years. If you didn't already know teachers in Florida will start getting paid for performance in 2014 at least that is the current projection. Half of my pay will be based on observations in my class the other half will be based off test scores. Not the test scores of my own kids even though we do plenty of assessments (look for my rant later in the week about this!) but the state test (FCAT) that 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders take. It isn't very fair not to mention teachers know the state isn't hiding money up its sleeve soo we know there isn't going to be some big check for merit based pay. The state still hasn't said if they are going to pay for experience or advanced degrees but it has been a battle before that they may do away with that as well.  For now I laugh it off because I love my job, I couldn't do anything else in the entire world, and I never got into teaching for the money...it's about those adorable smiling faces I see each morning.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings! Also a special shout out to my brother who is deployed and still finds the time to read my blog and my adoring parents who want to see what's up in first grade! LOVE YOU!


  1. hmmmm a scale? Would that be something like a rubric... ??? to show the children what they would need to accomplish to show an above average score????
    Sorry... just guessing! I feel your pain! We haven't received a pay raise for 4 years in NC!
    But I just keep focused on my little ones... and their needs! Keep your head up.

  2. From what I understand, if you were hired before June 1, 2011 (I believe), you do not have to go for performance pay. You can choose to stick to the regular payscale and keep your tenure. If you jump over to performance pay, you lose tenure and can be fired at any point. Our union is urging none of us to jump over to performance pay. Like you, I don't want my pay being controlled by something that is out of my hands such as someone else's class.

  3. @Pam Yes, it is similar to a rubric but you are supposed to have to posted for every lesson next to the goals. The kids are supposed to relate the goal to the rubric/scale and decide where they are in their learning. Thanks for your advice!

    @Cindy If you were tenured before June 1, 2011 then you have a choice of performance pay. In Florida you have to stay in the same county for 3 consecutive years and get good evaluations to be nominated for tenure. It's ultimately the principals decision. I have been teaching for 3 years but I switched from Palm Beach to Orange County so I'm not tenured and I never will be now. I will be on annul contract for the rest of my career unless they change something. I would definitely not do performance pay if I had the choice but I'm forced to since I'm annul.