Help with dealing with a co-worker who does nothing

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by momtomm, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. momtomm

    momtomm Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    For the second year in a row, I am going to be working with a teacher who does nothing. Last year, she was the third member on the team and new to second grade. I need to add that I was also new to second grade. I knew going into last year that this teacher is constantly moved around our school because no teacher can deal with her not pulling her weight on a team. Last year we had a new principal, so I am not sure how much she knew about this teacher's background. Last school year, the other teacher and I planned everything and turned in all the required work. This teacher would never help us and would always say she was overwhelmed. Anything that we had to turn in, we did not put her name on, since she would never help us. I did go to the principal several times to let her know about the situation. This school year, there are only two second grades and I am working with her.
    How can I get her to help out this year, when she wouldn't do anything last year? I really don't want to be planning everything by myself, but I know the principal will come to me for everything!
     
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 15, 2011

    I know elementary and secondary are radically different in their approaches, so please forgive my ignorance.

    But how much planning do you need to do together? Can you plan your class and let her plan hers?

    Honestly, if the math teacher next door does no work, it doesn't really effect me at all (aside from the fact that his kids will show up at my extra help sessions. But that's fine-- anyone can join in.)
     
  4. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,311
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    In elementary it is kind of expected that grade levels work together (in most schools). In my district, we have weekly planning together. Some schools even expect the grade levels to be doing similar things. I have been lucky that up until now- it wasn't that way at my school. I have a feeling it will be in the future though!
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,972
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    I am with Alice on this... Let her sink. Why do you have to share your plans? The P already knows that you are pulling your weight. Hopefully if the P sees that her performance is affecting the students, she will do something about her and get someone in there that wants to be there.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jul 15, 2011

    REally. I would put it all on her... "Let me know when you want to get together."

    "No, I haven't done any planning yet, I'm a bit overwhelemed at the minute. What have you gotten done?"
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    Another idea to consider is that you've done most of the work already. You probably have many plans written from last year that you can use to make planning that much easier. You probably have most of the materials figured out and know a bit more what to expect from the age level.
     
  8. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 15, 2011

    That is how a lot of schools are going. Everyone has to plan together, be on the same page, and be doing the exact same thigns.
     
  9. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 15, 2011

    We have a team member that does nothing at all and she has been there for quite a long time.

    It's to the point that parents were complaining because they were seeing their kids doing far less in her class.

    I'm hoping next year since we have a new principal she does a little more.

    I try not to get involved with being upset about it because it's not really my problem, but at the same time, it's a little hard not to when you know your working your butt off and all you hear is the 5th grade does nothing.
     
  10. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    MissJill, you must work in my building. :)

    We have the same situation. We have one non-"team" member. Every year there is some kind of drama/blow-up because the rest of us are tired of doing her work and/or dealing with the "bad rap" that our grade level is getting because of her. Each year she starts with about the same number of kids as everyone else and somehow by the end of the year, she is down 4-5 kids. One or two students are moved even before school begins-- actually as early as class lists are made public. Then, during the year 1-2 more get moved into another room. Seriously! Frustrates me to no end.

    We have started to "not share" with her as she never reciprocates. We will assign something to her and make sure she's accountable to finishing the task- even if that has meant letting our ADMIN know. The difficulty has been having the ADMIN know about her and her teaching habits but doing nothing about it.
     
  11. momtomm

    momtomm Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    It is the same with me Dale. Last year I ended up with 4 of her students too. She never had test data to turn in and the principal was always after me for it. I am nervous because we are starting a new reading program and we are expected to plan together. Last year when she did not plan with us, she would just take my plan book and copy it. Then I started to keep it with me at all times or lock it up. When the parents find out that it is just the two of us, I know that everyone is going to request me as their child's teacher. I know that I am going to get every special education student because she does not follow the IEP or complete any necessary paperwork. I feel that I should get her pay along with mine too!
     
  12. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 15, 2011

    Our class lists were all screwed up last year because even before the school year started parents were transferring their kids out of her class. They were actually requesting me which was weird because I had only been there a year and half at that point. (I'm not going to lie, that made me feel good though)
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Jul 15, 2011

    Is this about lesson planning, where everyone must be on the same page? Or about special events?

    Could you do something like a scope & sequence i.e. this week I'm doing unit 1 in reading, starting the unit on physical science and doing lessons 1-5 in math? That way you're not doing the actual planning for her, but keeping her in the loop.
     
  14. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 15, 2011

    Since the principal is newish, taking the hands-off approach isn't going to make you look good. I know you mentioned the situation to the principal, but if it were me, I would approach the principal and say, "what advice/strategies to you suggest?"
     
  15. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    Do you help to prep different activities for each other? In our 4th grade team, we would meet each week and decide what the next weeks would bring, then split up the work. Could you say when you meet for planning "I'll prep this, could you get this ready?" That way you're not waiting for her to volunteer, but still demonstrating that you're helping out too?
     
  16. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 15, 2011

    Same at my school too. We have one teacher who is a great teacher but lousy teammate. She doesn't collaborate. She prefers to do her own thing, which is fine but we are supposed to team. We have another teammate who is overwhelmed by everything. She complains that we do things and don't share, but she was at the same meetings where we talked about it. Her stock comment was, "I didn't know we were doing that." or "When did we decide on that?" Um....at our last meeting---you took notes.:unsure:
     
  17. janney

    janney Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    :agreed:
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    I think asking your principal in advance for strategies to use instead of whining is a good idea.

    Also - document, document, document. Start a file and just keep adding to it. If you have a meeting and she agrees to do so and so, send her an email confirming what was said in the meeting so it is clear. Keep copies of it and then send another one if she doesnt follow through. I wouldn't cc the principal on everything but you will have the documentation, and then if the principal needs it, you have it or if the principal has specifically asked for something to be done you could cc him that you have asked for the data or whatever. If the principal keeps expecting you to pick up the slack, I would carefully ask if you are being compensated for doing extra work or being her mentor, or politely say you are not her supervisor so have no authority to force her to do things.

    It is a touchy situation - good luck!
     
  19. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2011

    I don't think I can really be of much help but just wanted to say that I feel for you. My grade level team was in the same situation last year with one teacher who was always overwhelmed, needed help, complained we weren't sharing, etc. She had been moved to every grade level and was basically "dumped" on us because we had the reputation of being a strong team. It was easier because there were 5 of us outside of the helpless teacher so we could support one another and vent our frustrations. We honestly did everything we could all year to help her but nothing ever worked. All this teacher was interested in was copying and taking credit for all of our work/plans/ideas and never putting in one ounce of effort. This is what she defined as help.

    It never got any better and she retired this year thank goodness. I think that teacher, our team, and especially the students are much better off. I guess my only suggestion would be what someone else mentioned...go to the principal and look for advice on how to handle it. That way you are still being a team player while at the same time letting admin know about the issue. Hopefully your principal will be a little more supportive than mine was. I don't think she really knew what to do either so she just apologized a lot and thanked us for carrying this teacher's dead weight. That wasn't much help when we felt like you did... that we would be happy to keep doing double the work if we could split this other teacher's salary between us! :unsure:
     
  20. Toast

    Toast Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 16, 2011

    Definitely ask for advice from your principal instead of whinning. Also, perhaps you could lay out exactly what needs to be done and have each team member choose what they want to do. Rather than just wait for her to volunteer herself for a task...

    Sometimes it's not that people aren't willing to help, they just aren't sure exactly what they should do and they lack the social competence to ask or offer.
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,199
    Likes Received:
    1,121

    Jul 17, 2011

    At that point, a light bulb should have gone on and she should've done a LOT of self-reflection! :2cents:

    I would be oh-so-embarrassed if that ever happened to me!
     

Share This Page

test