Tucker Carlson’s proposal for cameras watching teachers 24/7 is funny to me.
Thirty years a teacher and my classroom was an open door to anyone who wanted to come in and watch me teach or watch my students work. When there were parent complaints, and there occasionally were, I invited the parents in and I also invited them to participate in what we were doing. None left unhappy that I can recall.
Administrators rarely looked in except when they had to do a once every two year performance review observation. 45 minutes once every two years.
I was “on evaluation” my final year, which is stupid if you think of evaluation as being for instructional improvement (or for punishment for that matter), and I was supposed to fill out a form supplied by Marcy, my principal, describing the lesson she was going to observe, it’s aim and purpose and my expectations of final outcomes.
Of course, my classes often took unexpected turns and predicting the outcome was a dangerous game. Teaching and learning shouldn’t work in an entirely predictive way.
After all, the students are a central part of the equation and have something to say about what happens in class. And that wasn’t up to me. After thirty years I was pretty good at predicting, but I could always be surprised. The surprises are what makes the classroom experience so great.
So I handed Marcy the form back and asked her to tell me what the aim and purpose of the class was after it was over. If she could tell by watching what the aim, purpose and outcomes were, I figured the class was a success. She shook her head in dismay, but since it was both our final year she just decided it wasn’t worth it.