Lockstep Grade Level Teams?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by yellowdaisies, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,655
    Likes Received:
    220

    Aug 9, 2017

    How closely do the classes at your grade level/content area mirror the others? For example, if teacher A is teaching a certain lesson at 10:00, is teacher B in the same grade level doing the same thing? Do you teach all the same lessons at the same times on the same days? Do you ever even communicate? Or somewhere in between?

    I am a pretty independent person. My preferred style is to share ideas with each other and then each teacher decides what works best in their classroom. I love getting great ideas, from others and definitely believe in collaboration, but I also like coming up with my own ideas. I do like to have a grade level pacing guide to follow. For example, we are doing Unit 1 in the ELA curriculum these weeks. I'm planning to use these resources, focus on this, etc - what are you doing? Discussion, take ideas, the end. Go and put my individual spin on it.

    That is not so much how my grade level partner sees things. She wants everything we do to be identical, basically. (And in her opinion, the way we do it will be her way.)

    I'm just curious about whether my ideal is totally abnormal or not. It's what I've had for years, and I'm pretty sure it's what the other grade levels at my school are doing as well...
     
  2.  
  3. bella84

    bella84 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,467
    Likes Received:
    557

    Aug 9, 2017

    We generally do similar lessons on my team, but we're not always doing them on the same day at the same time. We might be a few days behind or ahead of another class. Our lessons don't mirror each other exactly, but we usually start a unit with the same idea and see where the students lead us. Depending on how they respond, we may conclude a unit with varying lessons, but those lessons aren't vastly different from the lessons in the room next door.
     
    Teacherhere likes this.
  4. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,117
    Likes Received:
    147

    Aug 9, 2017

    In my city I've heard that usually this is an admin decision. Some admin want to walk into different rooms in the same grade level and see the same lessons going on at the same time. I've always thought that was extremely insane because there's always some unpredictable things that can set lessons off schedule.

    I've never taught with another grade level partner, as I was always the only grade level or was departmentalized and still the only one teaching the subject/grade. This year will be my first with a grade level team of 2 other classes besides mine. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. While it will be nice to collaborate I now have the added pressure of others depending on me to collaborate (and me worrying about them) as well and I've been essentially working on my own for 10 years.

    I do plan to hopefully "add my own flavor" to lessons. Not sure how my new admin expects us to plan, but I do know my P makes the schedules for us so it may be that we all teach the same subjects at the same time. Just not sure if they expect us to teach exactly the same way.
     
  5. Teacherhere

    Teacherhere Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    67

    Aug 10, 2017

    Same time? not so much. Same day? somewhat. I believe if you have that close collaboration with partner teacher then that is pretty cool. You guys will be able to reflect and guide your instruction better. It all depends how closely you work with your partner teacher. I think collaboration is a great thing as long as both parties get along. You will know this very quickly. Some teachers are very open and others want to do their own thing. I am a teacher who will share anything because it is not about my ego but rather about how to benefit the students. I try to remove myself from the job and make judgments solely on the best interests of the students. It is hard at times but it is what is required if we want to be considered professionals.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,004
    Likes Received:
    730

    Aug 10, 2017

    I once worked at a school where the admin wanted us to be lockstep. We had 7 teachers in the grade level and she did expect to walk in any room and see the same lesson being taught. The only thorn in our side was that I had the SPED kids who were 2-3 years below grade level and another teacher had children who were 2-3 years above grade level. It took us a while, but we convinced the P that her idea just didn't work so she finally gave in and we just worked it out so we were on the same topic/unit, but taught it our way.
    Even after all these years in the classroom, I am still amazed at how administrators completely forget what is best practices when they move into leadership.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,161
    Likes Received:
    1,024

    Aug 10, 2017

    Not at all. Some teachers plan together, but then everyone takes the plans and makes them their own. The other grade 7 teacher and I are usually teaching the same math units at about the same time, but we don't do the same lessons and our pacing is usually not the same. We don't do any of the same reading or writing units, although we do share ideas.

    The province sets out the expectations we need to cover in every subject area; as long as those are done between September and June, we're good.
     
    yellowdaisies likes this.
  8. agdamity

    agdamity Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,472
    Likes Received:
    299

    Aug 10, 2017

    I have worked on grade levels like that in the past. Currently, we are usually pretty close in math simply because we are required to use the textbook which is pretty scripted.
     
  9. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    16

    Aug 10, 2017

    I am high school. That said, yes. All the algebra 1 teachers teach the same thing every day. All the precalculus teachers teach the same thing every day. And so on. Obviously it's different for honors vs. CP though. We all use basically the same handouts and give basically the same tests/quizzes, though we can make minor adjustments if we want to. I love it---it reduces the work we need to commit to planning time as each teacher plans just a day or two for the week, it lets us compare data, and it gives us a defense mechanism if parents complain (i.e. all sections are the same).
     
  10. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    32

    Aug 10, 2017

    They wanted us to do this a few years back also. We all had to do scripted type curriculums with fidelity. However, we had zero planning time together. Everyone ended up doing different things. Some were slow, some skipped things and were ahead. We did use common assessments though.

    Admin. basically couldn't monitor this. We complained and they gave us two hours to meet. Nope, it was not enough. Years later, we still do the same novels and exams. However, we deviate on some activities.

    This was in LA, our math teachers are usually on the same topic. Yet, I don't think they are as in step as the previous poster. They do have common planning times though.
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    310

    Aug 10, 2017

    This is exactly the same for us. We all had to submit year plans, which were pretty general, so we did those together, which meant we were usually covering the same units at the same time. But our pacing and lessons were totally different since we all had different groups of students. If one of us found a great, relevant resource we were sure to share it with our team, but there was no obligation for anyone to use it.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,087
    Likes Received:
    327

    Aug 10, 2017

    I can't imagine such a scenario. How does that allow for sub days? Students that need extra help?
     
  13. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    16

    Aug 10, 2017

    We try to cover each other's classes whenever possible. We then let the sub handle duties like cafe duty, study hall, etc instead. We also have plenty of review/practice days built in so there is a little flexibility if we aren't able to cover for each other. I don't know how students who need extra help is an issue? Before school, after school, study hall, there are plenty of times to seek extra help.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,041
    Likes Received:
    1,150

    Aug 10, 2017

    We tend to be in the same chapter in math, but not necessarily same lesson...one might be half chapter ahead, another a half chapter behind. Usually in similar writing units. Reading, science and SS vary more.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,779
    Likes Received:
    216

    Aug 10, 2017

    We share ideas, but we don't control each other. We meet regularly to share what we are doing, but it isn't always the same. I am always allowed to be myself. I am expected to share and listen. I never have to do what another teacher does. Sometimes I do need to stand up for myself, but I try to do it in the kindest way possible.

    I think sometimes there is a fear that one teacher will race ahead and then all the parents will want that teacher. In the end, even if we teach the same book and are on the same page, we are all different teachers. Since I am a man and the rest of my team are women that is a bit more obvious. Still even in an all female team, I hope that it can be a place of sharing and growth and not one of control, intimidation, and fear.
     
    yellowdaisies likes this.
  16. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,655
    Likes Received:
    220

    Aug 10, 2017

    I absolutely love your response. This is exactly how I want things to be. I need to learn to stand up for myself, though.

    I don't understand what you mean here. You mean if your partner teacher is absent, you take their entire class?? We each have over 30 kids so that's not happening!
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,937
    Likes Received:
    521

    Aug 10, 2017

    I've been at campuses where this is an expectation. As of last year, my current campus did not have that expectation.

    I prefer group planning as to which objective is being covered but freedom to teach the standard the way I am comfortable.
     
    yellowdaisies likes this.
  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    16

    Aug 10, 2017

    To clarify, I teach high school. We have 9 periods a day, but each teacher only teaches 5 periods. Each course usually has 3-5 teachers (i.e. there are 5 geometry teachers, 4 pre calc teachers, etc.) So if one of the other precalc teachers is out, I can cover for them during one or two of the four classes I don't teach (of course we get paid class coverage for this).
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,655
    Likes Received:
    220

    Aug 10, 2017

    Ah. That does make things easier!
     
  20. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    32

    Aug 11, 2017

    An aside to TrademarkTer, in my district we have to cover classes and we do not get paid for this. During each week, we have to have a certain amount of "planning" time. They consider twenty minutes before school to be required planning to get around this. If they take up too much of our planning, we can file a grievance. Still though, we can end up covering twice a week. I wouldn't mind doing it if we were paid. Our school struggles getting subs!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Caesar753,
  2. MissBee06,
  3. MissScrimmage
Total: 730 (members: 4, guests: 621, robots: 105)
test