Is this unethical?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Sep 6, 2014

    I don't think it's unethical, but I also don't think it's a good idea. Most teachers are more than happy to share lesson plans, just ask :)
     
  2. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    If this is a teacher who you have admired for their lessons, I would simply 'fess up and admit that had the situation been different (time, availability, etc.) you would have never touched the binder without permission, and that you have been wracked by guilt because you had no intention of being sneaky or underhanded. Now, if you saw something that amazed you, this would be the time to compliment and ask if you could talk to her about the rationale she used to create awesome plans. You might even ask her to look at your plans and see if anything struck her that might be an extra spark to make the lesson really sizzle. Then, make a point to not peek again, but address outstanding teachers for pointers when there is time and rapport.
     
  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    This is my question. It seems like the OP was only interested in getting new ideas to perfect her lesson plans.

    IMO, none of my ideas are so great, life-changing, or profound that I would be upset if someone else used them - with or without my permission. Whether it be lesson plans ideas, classroom management ideas, or anything similar; I don't think it's a big deal.

    I guess some people feel that their lesson plan ideas need trademarks ... you know, because they've invented the next light bulb or something else revolutionary. :cool:
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Many teachers would be amazed to know that many districts own the intellectual rights to material that is used in teaching while under contract. I only know that because my mentor had some lessons that she wanted to sell on TPT, and this fact was brought to her attention by an administrator. The fact that this obscure fact was buried deep in her contract was pointed out to her. That didn't go well, and it was discussion fodder at lunches for at least a month! :cool:
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Nothing about this job surprises me anymore. Not a thing.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 7, 2014

    In fact most universities do likewise, in the absence of specific language inserted in the contract that says otherwise.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    This might become a bigger issue when/if districts and states pit teachers against each other. NC had a plan to reward the top 25% of teachers with extra money. I imagine there would be a lot less sharing going on if money was on the line.
     
  8. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    I think it depends. Did the idea to look just hit you when you were standing there putting your own in the box or had you been thinking about sneaking a peak for a bit of time?
    How would you have felt if someone caught you looking?
    The only issue I would have would have been if there had been something private in there that wasn't for your eyes. For example, sometimes I shove something in the back of my plan book for safe keeping. If you saw something private, like an evaluation, then I would be a tad upset. Yet, I would be more upset with myself for leaving it there for the world to possibly see.
     
  9. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    Sep 7, 2014

    I'd be upset. I've always been fine sharing stuff (and "stealing" from people who voluntarily showed and shared their ideas with me), but you need my permission. The one time someone was looking through my stuff after I'd left it in a printer accidentally, I was annoyed. The difference is in asking. Most people are perfectly happy to help you out, but it is weird and sketchy to look without permission.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm pretty good about sharing. But sometimes, when I spend hours and hours creating something on my own, I want MY students to benefit from it before it gets spread around the school.

    And I really, really want to be about to iron out any kinks before people get a chance to try and criticize.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Many teachers would be amazed to know that many districts own the intellectual rights to material that is used in teaching while under contract...********


    My contract is about two paragraphs long, so I don't worry too much about this. But if it was a consideration, there is an easy way around it: "my husband made this for me..."
     
  12. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Sep 7, 2014

    I would ask before looking. I've worked with too many teachers who guard their plans like nothing else.
     
  13. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    I think it's weird to look without asking. I wouldn't want someone else looking at my plans just because I'm new and don't have a lot of confidence, but I would still let someone see if they asked. If my plans were sitting on the copier and someone looked, I'd be fine with it because they're out in the open. But the fact that it was in a closed binder in their mailbox makes me feel that there should be some expectation of privacy. I definitely think you shouldn't look again without asking first.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I agree with chitown. Especially after reading all of the comments on this thread about colleagues' inferior plans.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    If it would be ok to look through someone else's lesson plans that are in a closed book and do so without permission, what else should people be able to look through without permission.

    Would it be acceptable for someone to go into a classroom that was unlocked and look through anything that was unlocked? Would it be ok to look through the drawers to see how they organized their work supplies because someone was struggling to get a handle on their own? How about their filing systems for student work? What about an unlocked computer that has lesson plans on it? Would it be ok to look into the folders to see if you can find some lesson plans to look at the templates? Why not, it is just another form of the same lesson plans?
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think it would be good professional development for everyone involved to have some time during their scheduled collab time, pull out their written plans for the next few days (or perhaps the last few days, so that they've had time to complete them) and do a kind of lesson share, just to see how everyone plans their lessons and what kinds of activities they do. It would be a good place to share new ideas and get feedback on things.

    Of course this would be done with the full knowledge of everyone involved.
     
  17. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    ^^^ My school tried this a few years ago, but many people were not interested in seeing other people's LPs especially those who had been teaching for a while.

    Also, in my school where the departments are tiny (there is only one other HS social studies teacher), people were not interested in seeing lesson plans and hearing ideas from someone who taught another subject.

    I still think this is a good idea, just depends on certain things.
     
  18. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2014

    If I wanted some ideas about lesson planning, and to see some other teachers' work, I would wander into their rooms after students were released but while they were still around, and strike up a conversation. Just because they left before you, doesn't mean they were completely unavailable.
     
  19. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Just to clarify; I was looking for format and required concepts that experienced teachers were turning in. I wasn't stealing their unique lessons, I was looking to find a new format template. And basic curriculum covered on the lesson plans. A model to go by. I had a template but didn't like it. I was not looking at other papers or notes. But if I'm guilty of being unethical, then I guess I'll have to live with that. I meant no harm. Thanks again for your comments.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Some of the best teaching practices that I use in my toolbox came from a history PD that I decided to sit in on one year. I was the only one not from the history dept at that meeting. I don't understand why people think there's nothing they can learn from another subject. Maybe it's because it's the nature of my subject to include history, writing, math, and many other content areas that makes me want to see how others teach, but I think learning from the other subjects than the one you teach would produce great amounts of growth in your own teaching and student learning.

    It's proven that linking your content with other content areas helps recall of information as it creates that mental network needed to recall and apply learning.

    I also think the practice I mentioned would be a good done like 2 or 3 times a year, but not much more than that, because after getting initial ideas from other teachers, most people like to take them and run with them on their own if they find something useful. It would get old and un-useful if it were done too often.
     

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