Teammates Who Don't Get Along

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RaiderFan87, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2018

    Last year, my two teammates were departmentalized and shared students. One person taught ELA & Social Studies and the other taught Math & Science. Then, they'd switch students. At the end of the day, they'd bring everyone together for P.E. It didn't work out well because they had different management styles and the rules/expectations were completely different in both classes. Anyway, by the end of the year, they were barely on speaking terms and decided to go back to self-contained this school year. It was like witnessing a bad breakup.

    They went from being besties to having a strained relationship. It was awful to watch. I hope this year is better. It's only the three of us in 5th grade.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2018

    This is how we teach in my school, too. I've lucked out in having switching partners with whom I've meshed with so far, so it's worked out well for the kids as far as expectations are concerned. I do, however, have a teammate who teaches the same content as me with whom I don't always agree. It's difficult because she often gets her feelings hurt when I don't want to teach something the same way as her or spend my plan time with her. My goal this year is to act like I like her and try to make myself believe it. There's no getting rid of her, and my year will go a whole lot better if she and I get along. I think I've figured her out, as far as her mentality and what makes her tick, so I'll do my best to play along.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Aug 4, 2018

    That is where admin needs to step in and get some common expectations in place.

    I teach on an I-person team, and if we didn’t have commonalities set in place, it would be a hot mess.
     
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  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Agreed. I'm also surprised that they get to decide whether or not they departmentalize. That seems like it should be a decision made by an administrator.
     
  6. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

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    A lot of other 5th grade teams throughout the district are trying departmentalization. They thought it would work at our site because those two ladies were so close. Everything seemed lockstep when they were self-contained...but went sour when they switched students. It actually wasn’t our principal’s idea—they presented it to her and she was on board.
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I’m not a fan of team teaching. Two teachers could have the same teaching philosophies, similar personalities, similar pedagogies but you never know how you mesh till you share a class of students.
    If it was hard for the teachers, imagine how hard it must be for the students. They pick up on tension and they will know something is not right and it just isn’t fair. Then there’s the colleagues who have to walk on eggshells, trying hard to be supportive without picking a side. It’s just all round awful when it doesn’t work out. I’d personally not risk it.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree that it can be difficult, and it does have downsides. That said, in my experience, departmentalization truly allows for diving deeper into the content that you teach. I would say that I am a much better math and reading teacher because I can focus on those areas without having to worry about writing and language arts.
     
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  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    This year, I'm moving up from 5th to 6th grade. There are going to be three of us; I'm teaching math, another teammate is doing Social Studies, the third is doing science, and we each do our own Language Arts. I'm actually really looking forward to it. It gives a chance to delve deeper into things and be more focused in my planning. We're already setting down common expectations though.
     
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  10. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Aug 4, 2018

    I took over a pre-K class a few years ago and walked into a situation where it was pretty hostile. There were two assistant teachers and one was very young. I mean super young. The other was several years older than the lead teacher I was replacing. The two assistants hated each other and it didn't take me too long to figure out the lead teacher played them against each other. I heard it from the team next door and I could see it in the first days when both teachers tried to basically get me on their side. It was nuts. I think the lead teacher didn't appreciate the older assistant's knowledge and felt like she was overstepping. She favored the younger teacher, who would do thinks like sit and read a book while she was on playground duty...with preschoolers.

    When personalities clash, it can be difficult, but I feel like the best thing to do in that case is to assign roles so toes aren't stepped on. It's hard when you clash on classroom management though. That just confuses the kids. On the other hand, if you had 5th, they're going to be subjected to multiple teachers in middle school anyway, so they're going to have to get used to it.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I started switching classes in 4th grade. For 4th-6th, each grade level had three teachers and they each taught two subjects. I remember a few of those teachers very clearly and would definitely say their expectations and management styles varied wildly. It never seemed to affect us though as students. We knew what the rules and expectations were when we were in Mrs. X's room versus when we were in Mrs. Y's room and so on. It may have taken them a little longer to teach us procedures, but it seemed to work well.

    I've worked on teams where one didn't want to do any sort of department meetings or anything. It made it so hard to get anything done or accomplished. I've asked admin to sit in on department meetings before too to help guide us. I found that helped a lot because we also got to hear from our admin what their thoughts were and what they noticed.
     
  12. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

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    Every Monday, we dismiss our students early (minimum day) so each PLC team can meet. It got to a point where our principal or vice principal had to sit in on our entire meeting to make sure that things didn't get too heated between my two teammates. I let the ladies (my two teammates) know that I was going to talk to admin because I was uncomfortable and that our meetings weren't productive anymore because they were constantly bickering (hence, admin attending every meeting).

    Believe it or not, I've worked with them for 8 years. However, they've been teaching together for nearly 20!

    I'm truly hoping that we can go back to where we were prior to last year. We really used to be a well-oiled machine.
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    We have departmentalized classrooms for 1-6 in my school. Teachers will work together in a grade to work on a system that all of them can use, but we also have our own ways of doing things and we are okay with that. It is a shame they couldn't work it out, but I love being able to teach the subject I love most to my students.
     

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