Management Realism – TRYING to get PM right by @oldprimaryhead1

Full title: Management Realism – TRYING to get Performance Management right

This is not rocket science but it takes a little guts and trust on behalf of managers.

There are no numerical targets for performance management this year. No get this level, achieve this score, mark this many books, understand this many criteria, tri-mark in blood, meet these random targets, balance these subjects whilst performing social surgery, sacrifice your soul to the display God or produce this result by this time in this format.

Dang that schnozzle!

This is a re-blog post originally posted by @oldprimaryhead1 and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here.

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Performance management, for me, is very much about empowering reflection and challenge.

Remember that – The reflective teacher? *stares into the blue sky and lovingly pictures Andrew Pollard.

It is about treating ALL teachers as professionals. It is all about accepting the reality and integrity of performing at our current level and pushing ourselves into areas where we are out of our comfort zones. It is about saying performance management is a conversation between professionals; not a senior management, I know the answers I want from you bull-crap, conversation but a real professional conversation with challenge and insight at the core. I am fed up with feeling like performance management is education’s electronic criminal ankle bracelet sending a radio frequency to SLT broadcasting, “Failure! Heretic, or shameless charlatan!” It is vital that performance management in your school is pure, trusting and about personal reflection. If you find it is about ticking boxes, meeting predetermined criteria or exceeding numerical progress targets (that bare little relevance to the children in the class) then your performance management process may be a little short-sighted and naive – just saying.

99% of the time you do not need performance management to tell you if someone is doing well or struggling… Therefore, do not pretend it is the stick upon which you will – via a few hours a year – account for success or failure.

I refuse to use Performance Management as a noose around the neck – always have and I always will. You come into my school and ask for pay related performance management papers and I will look at you like the fool you really are. Performance manage as a system should have nothing to do with under performance identification or monitoring (There are other ways to identify and support this – as soon as a teacher is experiencing difficulty the TED process kicks in anyway and this is separate to PM). Performance management processes should support the lifeblood of what we do and our drive to do our job better – it should complement the day to day.

So – here’s a simple synopsis of what I have done this year:

Target 1: Focus on knowing what is happening in your class

We all have tracking procedures – how are you using this to inform your teaching?

Just show me… I will ask the following questions over the course of the year:

How does it informs your planning- show me (point if you need to)?

Indicate who is going to be a higher achiever – just let me know who they are and I may ask why not X or Y? I will be looking at their books and coming in to talk to them.

Highlight objectives missing for those who need extra support – how is this impacting day to day? Show me, let us know if more needs to be done – do not leave this to its too late.

Pupil premium – you tell me what your tracker tells us. And… What are you doing based on this evidence?

Target 2: There will be observation

Lesson observation – if nothing worth pursuing comes up in the lesson observation let’s not pretend to make something up for the sake of it.

What do you think we should explore and why? (if this happens it’s a totally safe observation – another pair of eyes and ears in the classroom) – dare you ask me to observe the lesson you fear the most?

If something important comes up – how best to address it next?

Target 3: Discourse, reflection and professional integrity are all more important than paper

Reflection – through using Iris (filming software) explore a challenging area of teaching or learning in your class. Share it with a colleague and then at the end of the year share your reflections with the school. What did you learn?

Sounds simple – and it is. Performance management should be firmly teacher led. It should not be led by management far removed from day to day teaching. Though I came up with this; its ownership is very much about teachers doing what they do and rationalising it – a little like when we ask a child in class, “How do you know 52 + 49 is 101? Show me”

The only way you can fail performance management with me is by not engaging.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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