Today was a paperwork deadline day at my school. And I didn't make it. I am sick and took the day off, and I just finished writing an email to my boss about how I hope it's OK if I turn in my lesson plans a day later than planned.
It got me thinking about how that would not have been OK in college and got me wondering about whether it would be OK in most other jobs. My friends have things "due" for their jobs - presentations, reports, etc. - and I'm guessing they would never be able to turn them in as poorly done, as late, or as infrequently as teaching typically allows. On the other hand, perhaps the types of paperwork that are "due" in other jobs are more meaningful than a lot of the paperwork that teachers end up completing. Lesson plans are useful, but they aren't - in and of themselves - an indication that student learning is actually happening.
Do I have any good ideas for what would be better? Perhaps some artifacts of student learning, or surveys taken by students in addition to lesson plans.When I had to do those things as part of my master's degree, I always talked about how they distracted me from my real job - getting up in front of the students and teaching. I don't really believe that's true. I think teachers do need to be forced to step back and look at the bigger picture of where they are going with their teaching and then, when a unit is over, how it went.