August 30 | LA School Report

By Haena Shin

Teachers can tell when they are effective. In my first year as a special education teacher in a pre-kindergarten setting, the signs were small but profound — a nonverbal student who started to greet me in the mornings, a student who didn’t know how to hold a pencil properly who learned to write full sentences about books he read, a student who memorized over 100 sight words, and a student who didn’t know his numbers who began to start adding and subtracting.

My principal also noted this growth, and his vote of confidence helped me earn a Rookie of the Year award at Los Angeles Unified School District while I was teaching on an intern credential.

It’s this experience that makes me seriously doubt the California State Board of Education’s new plan to label thousands of teachers as “ineffective” based solely on the credential they bring to the classroom, not their or their students’ performance. In fact, many of the fellow intern credentialed teachers that I have taught with have not only shown mastery of classroom management and instruction but also exceeded the expectations of their administrators and were recognized at their school sites.

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