Same lessons, same grading style of multiple teachers. What is going on here?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SF_Giants66, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I remember in 7th grade when all the math teachers had the exact same rather unique style of grading that they couldn't have all came up with the same system on their own. I was observing two middle school classes for 8th grade science this year and both teachers had the same presentation.

    Do they do this just because it is easier to work as allies, or is there a reason they have to do it this way? I actually really would rather not copy someone else's grading style when I start teaching, and I don't know about lectures such as SmartBoard and PowerPoint presentations. It is a pain to come up with all of them yourself, but some of them I don't like and if I was the teacher would have made up my own or found another one on Web 2.0 Tools.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It has been my experience that some schools require the teachers to teach the same lesson. I once worked for a P that would walk room to room to make sure we were all teaching the same thing at the same time.

    Obviously, that's not a good educational practice, but with the advent of standardized testing many schools have lost their educational focus.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    At the high school level especially, it is sometimes expected that all teachers within the same subject have the same grading practices. That way one teacher isn't deemed easier than the next and there aren't any issues of unfairness when class rank is determined. I like it.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    My grade-level partner and I work from the same curriculum map and use the same assessments. We use the same basic materials, but we are still very different teachers.
     
  6. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I know that when my kids were in middle school and high school their teachers used the same common or unit assessments. Probably on the same day.

    I also know that each department has the kids purchase a binder. Everything goes into the binder. They have binder checks, usually the day of a test.
     
  7. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Commonalities between teachers who teach the same subject will vary between districts and schools. However, I know that having commonalities (lessons/assessments/grading) is considered a "best practice", so many administrators push their teachers into adopting this. The level to which each teacher is asked to give up their autonomy differs.

    My district is pushing my content area towards common everything. I have a hard time with that, especially because another teacher in my content area sees absolutely no room for compromise when developing these common materials. It's pretty much her way or the highway. It's put a bad taste in my mouth about "common everything". It seems like the "art" of teaching goes away when you ask teachers to teach synchronously.
     
  8. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    We are required to have our assessments 75% similar. We share resources, but I always modify things others send me. Some teachers just use exactly the same materials.
     
  9. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    If it wasn't for these state loans and federal grants I borrowed, I would consider another line of work right now. I wanted to be a teacher when I first started, but as each semester goes by, it sounds more and more as if teachers are just expected to be robots giving students material on how to be better state test takers and learning just takes place only if there is enough time left. One of my professors even said it is being debated on whether or not they should have teacher salaries depend on their student's state test scores.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The teachers on my team have our curriculum planned together well in advance, with the same pace and assessments. This way, if a student needs to be moved from one class to another (this has happened), the transition is a smooth one. We weigh our grades identically as well, and meet every week to plan our lectures and interventions. I love feeling like I'm tethered to a plan and a great partner, but I can still do my own thing in my own classroom.
     
  11. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Well personally, I think when I become a teacher it should be my business the kind of tests, projects, and homework I use. I can make my own course out of the common core standards and don't need a group of teachers setting up how I grade and what lessons I teach.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Easier said than done in some districts. In many districts, especially these days, you may be expected/required to give common assessments and have identical classroom policies about grades, homework, late work, etc. This is up to your principal/district.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You have fun telling your administrators that.
     
  14. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    What part of being a teacher consists of teaching then? I could regurgitate pre-designed material without a college education.
     
  15. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Good question, but irrelevant to the discussion. If you're in a situation where you are expected to use an exact curriculum, then you will catch hell from administrators if you don't. There are teachers out there in (bad) situations where they are literally expected to read from a script... and even worse, they tend to be special education or other interventionists... the very people who should NOT be following a script.

    That isn't the same thing as what's being described here though. Theoretically, at least, the teachers have collaborated to design lessons and grading policies (for what it's worth, it is now extremely common for high school departments to have the same grading policy).
     
  16. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Well I have to teach to avoid an extra 15 thousand of loan debt, but I guess if I have to read from a script, the good news is I won't need to do any less planning. I also won't really give much concern to whether or not my students all pass or fail. Not my problem. Talk to the script writers.
     
  17. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    You still have to write up the lesson plan and you are still held responsible whether or not the students pass or fail.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The frustrations you're describing are basically the same frustrations that many teachers have and, in my opinion, the reason that our education system is failing. We are given less and less power and choice in the classroom, but we are held to a higher and higher standard. The sad fact, however, is that this is how things actually work in the world of education these days, at least in certain settings, subject areas, and grade levels. You have to find a way to work within that system if you're going to be a successful teacher. (I define "successful" here as a teacher who both reaches his or her students as well as maintains a teaching position without getting fired for insubordination.)
     
  19. RadiantBerg

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    Honestly, in many districts, you can give it a lot of lip service that you're going to do exactly as the other teachers do, but then actually do what's best in your classroom.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would be in real trouble.

    I can't even guarantee that I'll be teaching the same lesson from one period to the next, even within the same prep.

    Sometimes my kids have questions that slow me down in one period or another.
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That is the hugest downside to teaching this way. It makes lesson tailoring to the speed of student mastery more difficult. If my class hasn't kept with my pacing guide and completed reading through Chapter 25 of To Kill a Mockingbird, I can't take a ton of time to stop and work with those who are lost.
     

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