What are the rules and procedures for observations? How many? When? With or without notice?

Nov 1, 2007 3:13 PM

A: Observations and evaluations fall under the general category of performance review, which is cited in Article 8J of the UFT contract.

Performance reviews are intended to help teachers accomplish their educational goals with their students.

In response to concerns about the evaluation and observation system for teachers, the UFT and Department of Education agreed upon a plan for teacher evaluation that is incorporated in the contract and is spelled out in the document “Teaching for the 21st Century.”

This document is available from your chapter leader or your UFT borough office.

You can find highlights of this document at online.

Tenured teachers, in consultation with their supervisors, may choose either the “performance option” or the traditional classroom observation as the basis for their performance review.

New and probationary teachers in the community school districts (non-high school) must have at least two formal classroom observations per year; those in the high schools must have at least four formal classroom observations a year.

For all new and probationary teachers, at least one of these classroom observations must be conducted by the principal.

If you think you are being excessively observed, keep a log of the visits and speak to your chapter leader.

A formal observation is one which includes pre- and post-observation conferences and written feedback and/or comments.

A supervisor has the right to enter a teacher’s class unannounced. However, such visits generally are not written up.

Preconferences are required for all formal teacher observations.

They may be: 1. one-to-one conferences between the supervisor and teacher; 2. small group meetings; or 3, a written notification outlining a menu of possible instructional areas to be evaluated during the formal observation, with teacher input on the area(s) to be addressed.

One-to-one conferences are required for U-rated teachers but any teacher may request one.

A written request for a one-to-one conference must be granted (Chief Executive Memorandum # 80, 1997-98).

If your written request is denied, you may grieve under Articles 8J and 20.

Following the observation, you should write down your recollections of the lesson, which will be helpful to you in the post-observation conference with your supervisor.

You will receive a written report of the observation after the post-observation conference and will be asked to sign it to indicate that you have seen it, whether or not you agree with it.

If you believe the post-observation is inaccurate or unfair, you should speak to your chapter leader, who can help you formulate a written response and advise you of the other options open to you. Your response must be attached to the original report and placed with the original in your file.

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