TO:        Lorelle Miller, “Milken National Educator”

FROM:  Dr. Polly Jones, Principal

RE:        Expertise Needed


As you may know, the newly formed Arizona Department of Education Commission on Effective Teaching will visit the school in two weeks. The charge of this Commission is to visit all schools and to determine if there are teachers who have poor classroom management techniques and/or discipline problems. After the Commission identifies the problem classrooms, they will publish the list of them along with the school name to the Arizona Republic and those schools will be put in an "Improvement" status.  

Unfortunately, our newly hired Government teacher, Ms. Linda Norton (the person who is certified but was hired two days before the beginning of the semester), has been having the problems that the Commissioners are looking for. I became aware that there was a problem in her class because it seems to be that the teacher's discipline plan is to send the students to the Assistant Principal's office. The Assistant Principal mentioned to me that she could have as many as 10 students in one day that came from this teacher's classroom.

Besides the report from the Assistant Principal, a considerable number of parents have called me to complain that their students have shared with them that they are not learning anything in the class, even though Government is a required class for graduation and an important one. Further, a parent mentioned to me that her student threatened not to go back to the class because of the lack of structure that promotes an unsafe environment.

As the Milken National Educator Award recipient, I ask you to coach this new teacher. I have videotaped her and I am enclosing the videotape so you can identify the problems in the classroom.  Although I am already know this information, I will remind you that a good teacher is reflective and knows the theory and research that pinpoint what the characteristics of a good teacher in terms of classroom management, a good teacher has a classroom management plan, and she or he communicates communicates the plan to the students and parents.

Because the Commissioners will visit our school in three weeks, In a week, I will need to see the list of problems that you identified in the tape and in conversations with Ms. Norton. After I discuss them with you, you will meet with the teacher and will discuss your findings with her so she can starts writing her classroom management plan which will be based on research.. By the second week, you and the new teacher will have the first draft of the classroom management plan that needs to include

Watch this video First!!

Mr. Brown's Note | Ms. Norton's Note | Mrs. John White's Note