How does THIS help my students?(Update)

Principal walks into my room on Wednesday morning carrying a clipboard and pencil. Getting observed, right? My students are at P.E., so I’m not getting observed. He asks if I have my vocabulary words, title of my book, and skill for the week posted in my room. What? My principal was actually going through all 25 classrooms in our school and marking whether or not we had that information posted anywhere in our classroom. Just wait, it gets better.

My reading class is 90 minutes long, it’s a different group than my homeroom because we have leveled reading groups. During reading, each student has a book (the one we are reading) and a folder that goes along with the book. This folder has the vocabulary words for each section of the book. Whichever book we are reading has the title on the front of the book (like 99% of the books published). Did I mention that my reading students are only in my room for 90 minutes? They’re not even in there all day to look at the words. They know the skill because I teach a lesson on the skill. How does putting this up in my room help my students learn how to read?


However, I smiled at my boss and said the words would be posted on Monday. There are some battles worth fighting, this isn’t one of them. I did ask why we needed to post this. The response:

“Well, when our instructional coaches come in, they’ll know what book you are reading and what skill you are working on.”

If the IC’s don’t stay long enough to figure that out, what good are they? That’s a post for another day.

Update:  Here is what I posted.  My principal walked in and checked on Monday, even gave me a high five!  Here’s the problem with reflection, I know I could make these better.  I could use images that show the definitions.  But, isn’t that a connection I should let my students make?



4 Responses

  1. It’s amazing how many schools run into this sort of ridiculousness (I’ve been lucky to avoid it so far). I am impressed that your principal was able to give you a reason, even if it was patently absurd.

  2. Yes, I should say this is one of the few times I have had to deal with this. It is frustrating, but I had my vocabulary words up today.

  3. While posting an objective on the board to help coaches doesn’t necessarily help your students, I would say that being explicit about expectations for student learning does help students.

  4. Mathew- I completely agree about posting the objective of lessons. The expectations from each activity should be explicit and clear to students, that’s not my question. My question is still, if the students have these words and definitions in their folders everyday, what extra benefit do they get from the words being on the wall?

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