Too much togetherness

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Flanny108, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Flanny108

    Flanny108 Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2014

    I am at a new school this year, and the principal wants the grade levels to be more cohesive. We have to put up the same posters in our room, have the same rewards and punishments, same homework, same theme, etc... We even have to do open house together. It's so frustrating because my teammates are more laid back and aren't as concerned about the way their posters and things look as I am. I feel like the principal is trying to squeeze me into a mold, and I am just struggling to be an individual.

    There's really nothing I can do about it. I just don't understand why everything has to be the same. :(
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 20, 2014

    :hugs: That sounds awful!
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 20, 2014

    I feel like I'm in a similar position. Good luck. It's not really my style... I'm all for teamwork too, but sometimes it is easier to do things the way you want to do them.
     
  5. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Aug 20, 2014

    We don't have to the same room set up or anything like that but I think as a grade level we spend too much time planning together. I know i know can that really be happening too much planning. We plan every Monday. Ok I'm good with it that sorta of but we are often there until 6 pm on Mondays. Kinder gets out at 3:10. Our kids are usually gone by 3:20 or 3:25. We never start our meetings until 4:00. They never want to plan during out conference period god for bid we do that. It would make us be more focused and productive during our meeting. Tomorrow we have a plan to meet. We all ready have a list of things to discuss. Then all next week the kids only go 1/2 day. I will have to eat lunch and then plan with them. Ughhhhhhh toooo much time with my team.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 21, 2014

    The word of the day is homogenized. Do I think that will homogenize test scores? Probably not, but schools are afraid to let too much individuality enter into the picture, because there isn't a way to analyze data for that. I give them some sympathy because it is a brave new world in evaluations and production of data, and as a science teacher, I can say that the ideal is to limit the experiments to one variable. If they can point out that the single variable is the teacher, it makes it easier to assign blame or glory for the results. Of course, there are many factors outside of poster placement, etc., that affect test scores, but I give them kudos for trying to minimize the variables, despite prior precedent. Just a thought from outer space.
     
  7. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2014

    That stinks. I can see using the same assessments and even scripted lessons in a grade level, but decorations and themes?? Unnecessary micromanagement.

    My team meets every day (we don't technically have to... they all just want to). It's kind of a lot, but it's also beneficial for me because I'm new, and for them because the curriculum has changed. One of our programs is scripted, but everything else is "open to interpretation" by each teacher.
     
  8. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Aug 21, 2014

    We just had our first planning meeting. It was a waste of an entire afternoon for me. We are supposed plan as a team but anytime anyone but the two very controlling teachers has an idea it gets shot down. We have 7 on our team. 4 of them I guess have learned not to suggest things and just go with the flow. I on the other hand I guess have not learned. I was put off more than once this afternoon during our meeting. Wishing I could learn to go with the flow. I tend to be a little more progressive in my teaching style. Wanting to try new things. The others have either all been teaching more than 20 years or they were mentored by so some one with 20 or more years. It's very old school! I'm kind of new school.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 22, 2014

    I guess now would be the time to smile and nod at the team meetings, then close your door and teach the way you need to.(Been there, done that)
     
  10. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Aug 22, 2014

    That's what my system has been trying to do for three years now.

    Right now, we are feuding over how to teach spelling. We all (12 teachers in second grade ) have to teach it the same way.

    Some want to do what is right by the students, while others want to do what is easiest for them as the teacher. Then we have a couple that don't seem to care how we teach spelling. Lord, help me!!!!!!
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Aug 22, 2014

    When I read this, I thought please tell me she is kidding. I know though that you are not. To me this would be an absolute nightmare. I don't doubt that it is for you too. I have some questions.

    1. Is this your first year at this school?
    2. If not, did this happen last year to the teachers?
    3. How long has the P been at this school?

    Oh, I need some time to think about this one. I am so sorry. Your P really has a control problem. This is so sad to me. :(
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 23, 2014

    Honestly, I don't mind being told what to do as long as my instructions are clear and I don't dislike the actual method of delivery. So, scripted lessons are fine with me, as are similarly decorated classrooms. However, if the school wants everything to be the same, they need to provide that. They (that being the admin or whoever is making that decision) should provide a fully decorated classroom (or materials provided to do so) and a set curriculum and say "here, teach this, in this way, in this classroom". Asking teachers to decide how they want to do everything, and have to agree on every choice that is made, is asking for trouble IMO. Someone is always going to want to teach a different way, or decorate a different way, and then feel like their opinions aren't valued when the group agrees to follow a certain plan.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 23, 2014

    No one could have summed it up or said it better. 100% agree. :thumb:
     
  14. Flanny108

    Flanny108 Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2014

    Yes, it's my first year at this particular school. From what I understand, she has been trying to get the teaches to be more cohesive each year. The principal has been at the school for 6 years.

    I have to say the school is much better now that she is there. (At least that is what I hear.) She is not telling us exactly what we need to do, but as a team we need to all do the same things. We have to have the same rewards and consequences, which is hard because I am a pretty strict teacher....not mean, I just don't reward kids for showing up to school.

    It's really hard, but I think the reasoning behind is good. Probably 75% of the classroom teachers have 3 years of less experience, and I think this is her way of getting the more experienced teachers to help the newbies. At least that is what it seems like to me. I'm trying to make the best of it this year.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Aug 24, 2014

    After some thought and reading your 2nd post, here are some things you might consider.

    1. Your P seems to be someone who values teamwork and probably wants peace among the staff. You can begin with that by making sure you have plenty of time to have lunch with your grade level team, and see what you have in common.

    2. Maybe by the same posters and decorations, the same theme might be enough. See if there are themes that you might agree upon. Possibly a theme similar to a unit you are all teaching.

    3. With classroom management, having similar rules and consequences/rewards could work. Find out on what you agree upon. Where you don't agree, try to make the language more vague. Example: If a child first misbehaves, the teacher may give a warning instead of a consequence. As all of you are making some things optional--you are doing the same thing. However, you are leaving personal flexibility in how you implement the rules.

    3. Is this the #1 most important item to your P? Does she really want each team to do whatever they want, it doesn't matter how little or how much it helps children, as long as it is the same? (Yes, I know she doesn't exactly say these words, but the reality is similar). I am guessing things such as test scores, communication with parents, and using best practices to maximize learning might be 3 that are more important. If so, than you can possibly let P know, "I have been thinking about what to do to improve test scores. I have been researching a way in reading that I think will challenge students more and lead to higher test scores. Is it okay if I try this out?" (Be ready to explain your item). I have found this statement has allowed me to do basically whatever I want as long as I could defend how it could raise test scores.

    In closing, I don't agree with your P. I don't believe that experienced teachers should be telling the new teachers what to do. Sometimes the newer teachers are closer to some of the new techniques and latest research. Sometimes they are not. All of us look back at our best teachers, and it was their uniqueness and things that were different, that made a difference with us. I have total autonomy to teach any standard however I want. Our teachers are very close at our school due to a common mission and how we value each others unique gifts. I believe in the statement,

    "When everyone thinks the same, no one is thinking very much."

    Good luck to you.
     

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