Everybody Is Innovating

My school district uses the Marzano model to rate teachers. Every year, we stress and worry about whether we’re going to get enough Innovating scores to make sure that our overall rating is good enough to earn a bonus. That’s of course combined with student testing scores, but a lot of it comes down to how your principal sees you.

This year, all I can see is that everyone is innovating in some way. Who of us was trained for this? The best teachers that I know are being forced to teach in ways that are counter to the best practices that they have followed through the years. Everything we’re doing is new in some way, and that way is usually not good.

I’ve heard arguments that teacher scores should be skipped for the year. I disagree. I think that teachers should be listed as innovating pretty much across the board. I’m sure there’s some weird case out there to be the exception to prove the rule, but none of our principals have ever taught in a situation like this unless they’re one of those hybrid model principals who also have classes.

And a special shout out here to new teachers. Y’all got ripped off. This is not how your first year is supposed to be. Those of you who survive this year and return should go down in The Big Book of Resilient People. Please remember to keep stirring love and care into your mix so that as you grow stronger, you are strong with a kind heart, and not just a woody exterior.

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