Kathy Marra

Field Supervisor Kathy Marra

10 Comments

  1. Kathy Marra observed me twice. Once on Oct. 6 and on Nov. 20. After my first observation I sent her an email bullet-pointing what I did in my lesson. She apparently was angry I did this because she took what I wrote (i.e. “I had students write bolded bullet points from the powerpoint presentation.”) and wrote that I made students copy all the notes on the powerpoint thus wasting precious class time. That was just one example of her lies.
    She also took my exit slips, not letting me see them and wrote that students got most of the answers wrong, thus indicating I didn’t teach well. She refused to return the exit slips and when I threatened to go to the union about them, she said she lost them.
    I am waiting for her post-ob for my second observation.
    What does this say about her??

    • She is my supervisor too. She took my students papers on my first interview. She took students papers and exit slips which I never saw again. I wrote to her politely to return them and she has not so far. She does not talk to me. She does not give me pre-obs and her post obs are reading what she has written. I asked her if I could get a copy so I could read along with her, she said, “It does not work like that.”
      She has always rated me with a U and each time defends herself that she was a math classroom teacher for 13 years and an AP for x number of years. Which really does not help me where I could improve my lessons that she wants to observe.

    • She did the exect same thing to me!

    • she’s a liar. record everything with her. Plus video tape your lesson or observation.

  2. She was my field supervisor last year. She told me that my observation was satisfactory and never I never had a post observation and she never gave me the write up for my observation.

    • 11-24-14 9:40 am

      Fields supervisors: Post-observation conducted by Kathy Marra and Valerie Acerra

      The Observation was conducted on Friday 11-21-14.

      Ms. Marra began by saying, “I should figure out content by study.” She was probably referring to some questions I had about two ‘Engage NY’ math lessons Ms. Acerra had given to me (note: I spent time studying the problems and could not understand a couple of things). She continued, “You should know the content as a licensed math teacher.” She made an allusion to the fact that I am an expert in mathematics.

      I then asked if I should be an expert on pedagogy as well. I got no answer. About this time Ms. Marra began yelling. Her voice was unnecessarily loud. I had to ask her to lower her voice twice. I felt humiliated, demeaned and disrespected.

      Ms. Marra lowered her voice and then told me my aim was very poor. It was ‘How do we write the equation of a line given the slope and the y- intercept. She said it should have been, ‘How do we write the equation of a line given the slope and the coordinates of one point.’ It’s true. The aim I used was what regular teacher suggested. As I modified the lesson, I forgot to make the change. However, the objectives are very similar to Ms. Marra’s suggestion and they are written into the lesson plan. In addition, as a teacher who has been rated unsatisfactory, I should have a chance to review my lesson with a supervisor before the lesson is given. This is an oversight, which could have been easily corrected.

      At about this point, I was asking Ms. Marra to slow down to give me time to write down some information. She refused and kept talking. When I asked her to repeat what she said, she refused. At this point I was just trying to write down what I could. I am trying to reconstruct what happened accurately, but I was not allowed time to write what was being said or to ask questions. When I finally got a chance to ask questions they were often ignored.

      Ms. Marra continued with regard to the do now, “It isn’t good practice to represent two distinct points using the same letter.” She was referring to the two problems in the ‘do now.’ Though they were different problems Ms. Marra claimed the students were confused because I didn’t use different letters. However, the problems were graphed by most of the students and a student did review the correctly graphed problems on the board (there was one student mistake which was corrected).

      When preparing for the lesson I spoke briefly with the regular teacher and she assured me the students could graph a line. There was no issue here with regard to the students’ understanding.

      Ms. Marra continued, “Afterwards you used the point slope formula, but you offered no explanation of slope.” To be able to graph the lines in the ‘do now’ the students had to be aware of slope. The explanation of slope is a different lesson. No math teacher explains slope every time they use it. It was expected that the students had already covered this and indeed they were aware of the slope formula.

      At this point every time I tried to speak to defend my lesson or to ask a question I was shut down. I said, “I’m getting no chance to make any points. This is a set-up.”

      From the very beginning Ms. Marra extremely critical. She only spent a few seconds making one positive comment. She corrected my aim to what she thought it should be, and then proceed to criticize my lesson based on what she thought I should have taught. She did not criticize my lesson or even look at what I was trying to accomplish . When I spoke I was threatened with a disciplinary hearing.

      So Ms. Marra continued, “I didn’t write the procedure to graph a line given the slope and the coordinates of a point.” The students had graphed the line and didn’t need the procedure. It was understood from my brief conversation with the regular teacher that the kids knew how to graph the line. Ms. Marra continued, “If you look at a line going from left to right and the line is falling…” I just couldn’t keep up with her and she refused to repeat what she was saying. However, Ms. Marra was talking about a lesson on slope, not the lesson I was teaching. She continued, “You can’t argue with my supervisory judgment.” She continued, “You did not write the procedure…,” I think for the slope intercept form. Yet, the students were able to put the equation in slope intercept form. I believe she also made the same point about switching from slope intercept to point slope form.

      I remember one point during the actual observation when Ms. Marra interrupted my lesson. She said, “Label the points x_1 and y_1,” referring to two of the coordinates in the lesson. Yes the kids were having difficulty understanding the substitution, but I had time to handle the situation. Ms. Marra’a interference prevented me from being able to make my presentation clear to the students. Then in the post-observation she criticized me for not using the 〖 x〗_1 and y_1 designation in the lesson.
      Most of Ms. Marra’s suggestions are on’ level one’ on the DOK (depth of knowledge) hierarchy with some’ level two’ suggestions. However, Ms. Acerra, in my previous observation, suggested that I engage the students at a higher level . In order to reach a higher level a lot of lower level knowledge must be taken for granted. If I followed Ms. Marra’s suggestions I would have spent the entire lesson on level one (writing out procedures) and level 2 (interpreting slopes and graphs.) It was my intention to integrate some level 3 and level 4 DOK activity. Ms. Marra made no suggestions in this regard.

      Ms. Acerra now took over from a pedagogical perspective. She said, “you should have had more interim assessment points. “ This, despite the fact that the students completed many problems and several students went to the board and explained their solutions. While students were busy at the front of the room posting and explaining a problem, I was circulating observing student work. On several occasions I paired a student who understood the procedure with one who didn’t and observed them working together. There were interim assessment points for point-slope and slope intercept form of the line. There was also an interim assessment of the conversion from point slope to slope intercept form. I believe most of the students in the room understood these procedures.

      On a couple of occasions as I switched between topics I asked, “Are there any questions?” I was told that students seldom respond to this question. I was told to ask students specific questions. I had covered the topic and was moving on to the next facet of the lesson. I had asked specific questions at several points in the lesson. My lesson was organized around several topics. My intent was to compare the two forms of the equation of a line and be able to convert from one form to another. This activity, the way I organized it, required DOK level three and/or level four thinking. Yet, the intent of my lesson or even the idea itself was not discussed.

      When I tried to discuss my intentions I was in effect told to be quiet, and if I protested I was threatened with disciplinary action or told not to argue with ‘supervisory judgment.’ At two points I was told I was at risk of getting a U-rating for the year. After one of those assertions they said I would be removed from my position by a 3020A hearing.

      Ms. Acerra continued with, “You lacked specificity in your academic language.” The last thing I wrote I wrote was, “You should not ask content questions, but should figure it out,” I think referring to my questions on the Engage NY lessons referenced above.

      The meeting was abruptly ended and the supervisors left.
      At one point during the post observation Ms. Acerra said that Ms. Marra came as a favor to her.

      Ms. Acerra made several suggestions in her original observation, which I implemented according to my understanding. No mention was made of my efforts. I had the students brainstorm relevance. I posted three rules in the room and I attempted to stimulate higher level thinking. All of this, in addition to structuring my lesson in the way I was directed. It seems that a new set of expectations has required, unbeknownst to me.

  3. VS lies, knows nothing. Only U’s . Write to Chancelor’s Office. Labor Institute.

  4. I have never received a U and this year as I am rotating I have so many U’s. She says I am here to help you but she gets angry and goes on the defensive. With the first U I told her that is not helping me to acquire a permanent position. “Go to the Bronx.” I showed her all the positions I had applied and she wanted to keep a copy. I told her I would make a copy for her. She cut me short, “Why are you angry, I only want a copy.” She has an attitude and does not to sit and chat civilly.

  5. Thank you for reading, I am correcting myself for a typo

    She did the exact same thing to me. will be publishing some of her report on this site!

  6. Dear Anonymous,
    You left a post about Marra saying she did exactly the same thing to you as to another ATR. Would you be willing to discuss this in detail privately or post the details? She was my supervisor (as you can see from my above post). I would be quite interested if you have a story similar to mine. You can write me by looking for my DoE address and sending me a short request for my private email.
    Greg

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