Monday, November 13, 2017


Last Wednesday at the Delegate Assembly, UFT President Michael Mulgrew made a big deal about how we can use the contract and a joint letter from him and Chancellor Carmen Farina to take advantage of teacher autonomy over lesson plans. We posted the letter on Saturday. MORE sent it out too. We received a reply that shows how administrators can easily make an end run right around the letter and the contract to dictate teacher lesson plans.

This is from a highly respected chapter leader:

How do we reconcile the Joint Letter:
Although a supervisor may suggest elements to include in a lesson, lesson plans are by and for the use of the teacher. Their format and organization, including which elements are to be included, and whether to write the plans on paper or digitally are appropriately left to the discretion of the teacher.
With the MOTP: Domain 1: Planning and Preparation
1a: Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy
1e: Designing coherent instruction
When these domains explicitly mention:
In Domain 1a:
•The teacher’s plans use inappropriate strategies for the discipline
•The teacher’s plans demonstrate awareness of possible student
misconceptions and how they can be addressed.
In Domain 1e:
•The plan for the lesson or unit is well structured, with reasonable
time allocations.
•Lesson plans differentiate for individual student needs
I understand that domains 1 & 4 make up 15% of our final rating, but I am afraid that some of our overzealous administrators will try to “bootstrap” a poor Domain 1 rating via lesson plans and then using that to bolster poor ratings in the other domains.
For example:
Your lesson plan did not include appropriate discipline strategies therefore 1a & 1e are ineffective. Therefore you could not create an environment of respect (2a) or manage student behavior (2d). This lack of respect also means that students cannot engage in learning (3c) and your assessment tools are weak (3d).
How do we prevent such an occasion from happening?
I say this because we had an afternoon election day session devoted to Domain 1 and the importance for our lesson plans to reflect this Domain.

The ICEBLOG answer is to bring the joint letter up in a consultation meeting and file individual APPR complaints so the principal is aware that this is a local and central union issue. Remember, we only have five school days from when we receive an observation to file an APPR complaint.

More importantly, we need to mobilize to lobby the state to get rid of Danielson and the entire teacher evaluation system and create something that is sane.


NYC Educator said...

If the lesson plan is reviewed independent of the lesson that is grounds for an APPR complaint. As a remedy you may ask for removal of that portion, or of the entire observation.

Anonymous said...

If they have fifteen days to give us the negative rating and we only have 5 to complain about it aren't we stuck between a rock and a hard place anyway?

NYC Educator said...

You have five days from receipt of the written observation, so no you are not. You just have to react quickly.

James Eterno said...

Five school days is not a whole lot of time to file a complaint. NYC Educator is 100% correct. It is five school days from when you receive the written report.

Praveen Kumar said...
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