Miles' rules for how teachers must teach will harm children and demoralize teachers, students and parents alike. What parent wants a worksheet on the first day of school? Why is Miles militarizing learning? Read below, an HISD teacher's post that summarizes many of the changes.
There has been lots of discussion about what new HISD policies are affecting NES/A schools versus non-NES schools, so I wanted to post about new district policies that affect ALL HISD schools and students, regardless of campus designation, grade level, or school performance.
-All internal doors must be open at all times
-no student free-writing (like journaling)
-A tightly-controlled lesson format where we have to focus on a specific objective each day and assess students’ “accuracy” at meeting that objective at the end of the class (As an AP teacher, this concerns me because it really limits the amount of discussion and open-ended work we can do in class. It also means that every class is cut short by a formal mini-assessment to collect more data.)
-no “weak readers” can read aloud because it models disfluency (I teach English and am concerned about how to enact this policy when we read plays as a class)
-Whole-class response activities must be implemented every four minutes (meaning no independent reading/work for longer than four-minute increments. I have significant concerns about how this will affect the reading and writing stamina of students in my STAAR-tested and AP classes. The “every four minutes” piece is a specific part of the teacher evaluation).
-Minimal writing on the whiteboard
-Use a countdown timer on the board for every activity
-No dimming the classroom lights (my understanding is that this includes dimming lights for a film clip or in rooms with lots of natural light)
-Content instruction is expected and monitored beginning on the first day of class (again, I have some concerns about making sure my students learn the expectations for the class and get to know their classmates)
-District observers will be walking into classrooms and “coaching” teachers on their instruction during lessons, with students present. (My non-NES campus has told us to prepare for this as early as day 1).
Of course, every campus administration and staff will approach things differently, but there are no schools in the district that are exempt from these expectations, and all teachers are struggling to figure out how we’ll follow policy while serving the needs of our students. I wanted to post for the parents whose children are at campuses that have historically had more autonomy, as I think it’s important to know how all children in the district are affected.
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