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Eric Baylin's
Songs to Brighten
A Teacher's Day


The new year brings with it the intensified process of teacher evaluation as contract renewal looms closer in the coming months. I recall a moment years ago, when I was a young art teacher and my department head came to observe my class. I thought I was completely in control until a jar of white paint suddenly leapt out of my hands and ended up all over the floor -- the result of some unacknowledged nervous tension. Fortunately, my supervisor just let out a hearty laugh. Many years later, though, I still get nervous when a supervisor comes to formally observe my class. A good moment to start singing!

The Evaluation Song

(Sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda)

No matter how many years weve been in the classroom, the prospect of a supervisor coming to observe can trigger all our latent -- or not so latent -- fears of inadequacy. Im still not good enough. Maybe I was never meant to do this in the first place.

About the Lyricist

Eric Baylin has been a teacher for 38 years, working with a variety of age levels in both public and private schools in New York and North Carolina. He currently works at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, a K-12 independent school established in 1854. In addition to teaching art and photography to middle- and high-school students, Eric coordinates a program of collaborative faculty study groups in Packer's professional development program.

E-valuation! E-valuation! My supervisor is coming to see
If Im managing my classroom and sticking to my lesson plans.
My supervisor is sizing up me.

Wont yell at kids. I wont get impatient. Wont do the things I might do when alone.
Well, Ill tap dance and bring out my most successful lesson plan.
Ill show her how Ive professnally grown.

What if the kids all start misbehaving? What if the lesson Ive planned is a bomb?
Well, my mother once said I should never be a teacher. Well,
My supervisor might be like my mom.

Im getting nervous. Do I deserve this? Im having trouble sleeping at night.
There are so many other jobs that might be much less stressful.
Oh, maybe, just maybe, my mother was right!

Oh, supervisor, what will you write up? What will you put in my permanent file?
Well, I might as well start now, looking through the classifieds.
Finding my next job might take me a while.

E-valuation! E-valuation! My supervisor has come and shes gone.
It was fine; not the worst, not the greatest -- but its over now.
Id like the rest of the day off for fun.

Song lyrics Copyright© 2007 Eric Baylin