| | Advanced Search

 

Monfredo: Former Worcester Public School Member Publishes Book—A professional manual for students and professionals

QCC 50th, Celebrating Students: Ato Howard—A Biomedical Engineering student on the rise

MA Beauty Insider: Pedi Nation – Get the Best Pedicure Ever—A guide to finding a pristine pedi place

Fit for Life: Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail—Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail

Tom Finneran: Running on Envy—America's doctors run the gauntlet of envy

Arthur Schaper: Justina: Still Not Free—The crusade continues

Central MA Up + Comer: Vision Advertising CEO Laura Briere—Meet Central MA's rising stars...

FlyORH: Vote for Worcester in JetBlue Contest—Supporting ORH and JetBlue....

Catch the Moscow Festival Ballet With Your WOO Card—Where will you be WOOing this weekend?

Acclaimed Author Leah Hager Cohen to Give Reading at Holy Cross—Will read from new novel 'No Book but…

 
 

Tom Finneran: Parent-Teacher Night

Friday, February 07, 2014

 

Oh what a night!

With due apologies to the “Jersey Boys” and “The Four Seasons”, I’m not writing about a blossoming romance and rendezvous under a December evening sky. Rather, I write of a cold dark slushy snowy February evening trudging into a Parents/Students “Show Your Work” night, which turned out to be as warm and bright and beautiful as a July summer day.

I went as a grandparent, admittedly biased, admittedly proud and not quite sure what to expect beyond the normal energy and excitement of little children. Bedlam is almost always included.

There were about twenty-two students ranging in age from three to five years old and two teachers. Wow, was I impressed by the entire evening. The children come in, sit in their chairs, very quietly retrieve, read, and return books, and wait until the teacher calls for their attention. Then with eye contact and sign language she welcomes them to class and they in turn greet her. Two little songs, accompanied by sign language, recite the months of the year and the days of the week, ending of course with the particular day in question. Then we were off and running…………………………………..

The main topic of the evening was “electricity”, including power sources, batteries, circuits, positive and negative charges, and even protons and electrons! This was interesting stuff and utterly fascinating to hear four and five year old students explain it.

After the main topic the students got to show and share a lot of their other daily activities in one-on-one time with their parents. How proud they were of their work. How patient too. Who were these little ones, so focused and so attentive? I’m used to running wild and free with them, at the playground, at the beach, in wrestling matches, and playing hide-and-seek. Beyond the children, beyond my bias, two things stand out in my mind. The teachers. And the parents.

Let’s start with the teachers. Bravo to them. They deserve enormous thanks and praise. They have created an environment that is quiet yet active and serious yet fun. These little children are curious, as all children will be, but they are also focused, as few children will be. And the patience the students show is amazing. An example—if a student has a question or some urgent matter to bring to the teacher’s attention and the teacher is engaged with someone else at the moment, the student is taught to put his hand on the teacher’s shoulder as a signal that he needs her attention. There is no yelling, no interruption, just a simple quiet action which alerts the teacher to the student’s need. Voila! The cacophony of twenty plus voices vying for attention simultaneously is eliminated and the students learn a lesson in patience and cooperation. It’s a true learning environment and the children rise to the challenge of expectation. These teachers are superb. Bravo indeed.

And the parents. There they were—twenty plus parents and twenty plus students. By today’s standards that’s a miracle. I know dozens of capable public school teachers who would pay for such parental attention and involvement. Those teachers have indeed prayed, paid, cringed, cried, and begged for engaged parents to show up at parent-teacher meetings. The response? An empty silent room………….......and another heart-broken teacher left wondering how to break through the indifference. Occasionally, very occasionally and much too infrequently these days, that teacher will get a good student, quiet, well-behaved, obedient to classroom rules, and eager to learn. It’s an additional delight to find an engaged parent behind that student but why is it so utterly rare today? And why, more often than not, does it seem that the parent is an immigrant? What is wrong with American-born kids and families?

Back to the parents at my Parent-Teacher night…………they were different hues and complexions and colors, and of obviously different nationalities and backgrounds, some with accents, and some as “American” as apple pie. Most appeared to be blue-collar folks. If there was a trust fund in the bunch it was well disguised. It was quintessential middle-class or aspiring middle-class. The common denominator? A parent’s love and concern, reflected in their presence and their determination to provide a foundation, not monetary but rather mental, to their children. May they and their children soar to America’s greatest heights. They are certainly working toward it.

Irony of all ironies---these parents, who pay out-of-pocket for their children to attend this school, are stressed by the financial pressure and sacrifice. Yet when their children and their children’s children soar and succeed, they will be attacked as “one-percenters”, as “privileged”, as part of the allegedly great “inequality” plaguing America. What nonsense. What political drivel. How shameless can these phony advocates of “equality” get? The parents I saw are America’s greatest asset. And if America is to survive in any meaningful way, these parents are the ones who will have set the example of hard work, honest effort, and personal sacrifice. They need make no apology. In fact they deserve assertive political support not the snide political commentary of some pampered academic.

If there’s a war underway in America between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, I’m left wondering about the above scene, played out in front of my own eyes and ears. Eager little children from ordinary and hard-working families, making sacrifices and standing on their own two feet. It’s called self-reliance and it was once taught in almost every household. Not one of those parents that I saw should ever feel guilty or defensive. What they are doing is awesome, urgent, and heart-warming. Oh what a night…………

 

Related Slideshow: Central MA School Districts with the Highest Teacher Evaluations

During the 2012-2013 school year, Race to the Top (RTTT) districts in Massachusetts were required to implement the new Educator Evaluation framework with at least 50 percent of their educators district-wide. Of Central Massachusetts’s 52 school districts, 26 implemented the Educator Evaluation structure. These 26 school districts are listed below ranked from the lowest teacher evaluation score to the highest. Keep reading to see where your district’s teachers rank, as well as to view the state and regional averages.

Prev Next

State Average

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 7.4%

Percentage with proficient scores: 85.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 6.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.7%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 37,940

Total number of educators evaluated: 61,441

Prev Next

Central MA Average

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 5.1%

Percentage with proficient scores: 88.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 6.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.04%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 8,843

Total number of educators evaluated: 5,987

Prev Next

#26 Quaboag

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 6.3%

Percentage with proficient scores: 75.0%

Percentage that need improvement: 18.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 131

Total number of educators evaluated: 80

Prev Next

#25 Oxford

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 8.7%

Percentage with proficient scores: 73.9%

Percentage that need improvement: 17.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 168

Total number of educators evaluated: 46

Prev Next

#24 Uxbridge

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 84.2

Percentage that need improvement: 15.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 162

Total number of educators evaluated: 19

Prev Next

#23 Fitchburg

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 8.6%

Percentage with proficient scores: 77.3%

Percentage that need improvement: 13.3%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.9%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 456

Total number of educators evaluated: 233

Prev Next

#22 Westborough

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 1.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 86.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 10.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 1.5%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 335

Total number of educators evaluated: 67

Prev Next

#21 Lunenburg

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 1.4%

Percentage with proficient scores: 87.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 10.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 1,209

Total number of educators evaluated: 495

Prev Next

#20 North Brookfield

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 2.7%

Percentage with proficient scores: 86.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 10.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 59

Total number of educators evaluated: 37

Prev Next

#19 Millbury

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 3.3%

Percentage with proficient scores: 87.9%

Percentage that need improvement: 6.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 2.2%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 158

Total number of educators evaluated: 91

Prev Next

#18 Blacktone-Millville

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 10.6%

Percentage with proficient scores: 81.9%

Percentage that need improvement: 7.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 162

Total number of educators evaluated: 94

Prev Next

#17 Southbridge

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 9.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 83.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.7%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 212

Total number of educators evaluated: 152

Prev Next

#16 Worcester

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 6.2%

Percentage with proficient scores: 87.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.4%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 1,859

Total number of educators evaluated: 1,825

Prev Next

#15 Webster

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 10.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 83.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 159

Total number of educators evaluated: 101

Prev Next

#14 Hudson

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 3.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 90.8%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.2%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 288

Total number of educators evaluated: 153

Prev Next

#13 Gardner

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 3.3%

Percentage with proficient scores: 91.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 5.0%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 227

Total number of educators evaluated: 120

Prev Next

#12 Dudley-Charlton

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 6.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 88.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 4.2%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.6%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 320

Total number of educators evaluated: 168

Prev Next

#11 Northbridge

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 95.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 4.0%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 229

Total number of educators evaluated: 200

Prev Next

#10 Winchendon

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.7%

Percentage with proficient scores: 95.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 3.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 139

Total number of educators evaluated: 137

Photo: Flickr/AdmissionsQuest

Prev Next

#9 Bellingham

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 1.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 95.6%

Percentage that need improvement: 3.4%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 215

Total number of educators evaluated: 206

Prev Next

#8 Quabbin

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 4.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 92.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.5%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.5%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 207

Total number of educators evaluated: 199

Prev Next

#7 Grafton

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 97.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 253

Total number of educators evaluated: 178

Prev Next

#6 Ralph C. Maher

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 2.6%

Percentage with proficient scores: 94.7%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 79

Total number of educators evaluated: 76

Prev Next

#5 Marlborough

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.9%

Percentage with proficient scores: 96.2%

Percentage that need improvement: 2.8%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 434

Total number of educators evaluated: 423

Prev Next

#3 Auburn (Tied)

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 99.1%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 202

Total number of educators evaluated: 116

Prev Next

#3 Leominster (Tied)

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 0.0%

Percentage with proficient scores: 99.1%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.9%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 523

Total number of educators evaluated: 332

Prev Next

#2 Wachusett

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 29.1%

Percentage with proficient scores: 70.3%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.6%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 534

Total number of educators evaluated: 334

Prev Next

#1 Douglas

Teacher Scoring Breakdown:

Percentage with exemplary scores: 9.5%

Percentage with proficient scores: 90.5%

Percentage that need improvement: 0.0%

Percentage with unsatisfactory scores: 0.0%

Sample Details:

Number of educators to be evaluated: 123

Total number of educators evaluated: 105

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.




Write your comment...

You must be logged in to post comments.