There is always a certain degree of readjustment when moving from a college setting as a teacher trainee to a classroom as an instructor.
One thing they don't tell you about in college is that part of the game is political.
Parents have to be kept reasonably happy. If you're in a private school, the people who pay tuition have to be kept very happy.
Some schools that I have worked in have given meritorious bonuses each year via the final pay check. Competition for these bonuses was harsh and teachers who would have ordinarily been very supportive of each other, became very private about their lesson plans and enrichment programs.
Some teachers are also administrative sycophants - servile self seekers who toady to administration in an effort to make themselves "look good" or to accrue power over other teachers. People like these won't hesitate to report you to the office for infractions that are real or imagined.
How can you survive in an environment like this?
1) Be professional. Give administration no reason to fault you as a teacher.
2) Avoid faculty lounges. Faculty lounges are notorious places for gossip. During the 17 years I taught, I rarely ate in the lounge. I either ate with my children or ate in my classroom.
3) Be aware that anything you say to another adult could come back to haunt you. People gossip. Sometimes when people gossip, they exaggerate. Avoid this problem by not participating in idle gossip.
4) Be respectful of authority.
5) Since your appraisers became very defensive when you raised certain issues, approach questons an oblique way. Avoid confrontation by pressing them on issues of supply and support. Ask them (in all humility) how you can do your job better?
6) Find a teacher mentor who can take you under his or her wing and help "show you the ropes." Things in the real world don't work quite the same as they appeared to work in college. When I was in college, I thought I learned all about classroom management. In college, students who were not behaving were supposed to be brought in line with assertive classroom management techniques. In reality, I found that my 5th grade students had a tendency to tell me where I could shove my expectations. They didn't care about being warned, getting a check by their name, having to sit out of recess, or having to visit the school administrator. In point of fact, on my first day of teaching, a student attacked me with a switchblade!
A few years ago, I moved from Oregon to Texas. The school administrator in Texas had created in-house documents for recording and monitoring student performance on in-house tests that were modeled on the state's TAKS test, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Nobody explained the paperwork system to me and I was thoroughly lost at my first faculty meeting.
The administrator glared at me in the middle of the meeting and disdainfully said that she thought she had hired "a seasoned professional." I was told to "get with the program" or to "get out."
I subsequently approached a grade level colleague for assistance. This colleague very kindly spent a couple of hours helping me organize and understand my paperwork.
By the end of the year I was getting praise from the administrator for my organization and for student improvement on practice test scores.
In otherwords, I learned how to play the game.
It didn't matter that we had a school policy handbook or a district policy handbook which in theory defined acceptable conduct for teachers and administrators. The building administrator had two basic unwritten rules. She didn't want to be bothered with discipline problems and she expected student test scores to improve. Having built her reputation on being able to produce solid test scores, she was merciless towards any teacher who might undermine her credibility and reputation.
I basically learned how to "play the game" and kept out of her way. In exchange for doing this, I received a superior evaluation and she basically left me alone.
7) Don't rock the boat. The best way to change a system is to change it from within. Since things have "always" been done this way, any criticism you raise can be countered with the thought that you're just an inexperienced first year teacher who doesn't really know what she is doing. So - prove them wrong. Keep your head down and your nose to the grindstone. Do the best job you can do. Once you've developed a reputation for dependability and professionalism, you may be able to do some work from within the system to improve support for other first year teachers. In other words - learn how to play the game.
I know you're having a hard time. I know that you think your appraiser isn't being fair. Don't let this get to you. Hang in there. Vent on this board. Vent with friends and family. After you're finished venting, take a look at the appraisal and honestly think about what you can do to make the job better.
Don't worry about things that are outside your control. Focus on your classroom instruction ... and if possible, find an unofficial mentor who can help you survive your experience as a first year teacher.
Hang in there!