Advice for New Lead Teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by skittleroo, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    This year I will be the lead teacher for my grade level. This means I am responsible for being the "organized" one. I do fine with organizing my lessons and other teaching stuff. But I feel more pressure to be more organized when it comes to my grade level. I need to keep documentation on our meetings, lesson planning, etc. I am responsible for relaying important info from the principal about various thing. I also need to make sure everyone on the team is doing their part to ensure our planning time goes smoothly each week. I also need to help remind my teammates of due dates, list of things to get done, etc.

    Does anyone who has done this before have any suggestions on how to organize all this "extra" stuff for me and my team????

    Any other ideas from experienced team leaders about how to be the best team leader I can:eek:???? Thank you
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    I had a notebook devoted specifically to team lead stuff. I had clear page protectors to keep things like the calendar and certain school handouts (like our intervention process and how to print grades, etc.). I kept all team notes in the binder. At the beginning of the year I asked for everyone's reading assessment results.
    As a team lead, a line you might want to get familiar with is, 'Why, that's a perfect idea! Go ahead and get started on that!"
    Whenever somebody on your team has a great idea, let them be in charge of that, don't think it is up to you to do it. Example: Teammate: Hey skittleroo! I think we should write a month publication in our school newspaper.
    Skittleroo: That's a fabulous idea! Go ahead and get started on that!
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    I have an example of our team notes if you wanna see. PM me and I'll send to you. The format is the same every week.
     
  5. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    No I don't think I'm going to have much trouble with people wanting to do extra things. In fact, the team has people that really don't want to do much of anything. 2 of the 5 don't really want to teach (one should be at home with baby and the other is pursuing another degree) and another is being moved down and on a growth plan.

    So, this is what I am looking forward to. It scares me. Literally last year people were leaving planning meeting right and left and the team leader never addressed it. So this is going to be difficult whether I address it or not. I want there to be more accountability (for all of us) without alienating anyone. The team leader last year never had a plan for anything and therefore meeting often accomplished nothing. I have to figure out a way to put more structure within our team without making everyone hate me.
     
  6. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Haha, this sounds like someone on my team! She should be at home with the baby, but instead decided to stay at school and complain about hating her kids and the way I was leading the team. Our meetings turned into this teacher's gripe session, and everything positive someone else said, it was twisted into something negative or something about her.
    Example:
    Me- "My kids did really well on their Language Arts test. I was surprised because I know it's a tough skill."
    Her- "Well, your kids are way smarter than mine. There is only so much I can do because mine are dumb. 1st grade needs to give me an easy year this year."

    One thing that I did to avoid this (at the suggestion of a veteran teacher at my school that has dealt with her in the past) is to type up an agenda for the meeting, and send it out in an email before the meeting. It just had bullet points of reminders for the week and things that we needed to discuss. I asked them to come with their questions and ideas for each topic. This also helped eliminate some of the many times that people weren't paying attention at the meeting (we have 11 ppl on our team, it's hard for everyone to stay on one topic for long). Once I did this, it eliminated the some of the whining and complaining, because it wasn't on the agenda :)

    I don't know if it's this way with your planning meetings, but we don't really have a choice to be there or not be there... don't know if that is the same there. We always have the possibility that the P might pop into our meeting.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2010

    No advice but I can commiserate! I'm in the same position this year. The responsibility of the day-to-day doesn't scare me at all-but the attitudes-I'm not sure how to get over those. And I'm also new to the grade level-so "that's not how we've always done it". Well, is the way you've always done it working? Our kids HAVE to be more successful this year or changes are going to be made-no pressure or anything :). Good luck-if you figure it out, let me know the secret! :haha:
     
  8. JTeach619

    JTeach619 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2010

    I have been fortunate enough to work with a very cooperative team of teachers, so I don't have advice on bad attitudes. However, as far as organization is concerned I do agree with Lynnnn725 about having a team lead folder. I would also make sure to have field trip/fundraiser request forms handy for when it is time to plan those. I would always jot down notes during our grade level meeting so when I had to type up our minutes I didn't forget anything we discussed. Our minutes form also had a section labeled "Questions/Concerns for Administration" where we would write down anything we needed to ask administration. It was very helpful to have this section because since we were all gathered together, if something came up we wrote it down write away so we wouldn't forget later on to bring it up to administration.
     
  9. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Yes our meetings are mandatory. She doesn't really complain. She always thinks she has the hardest kids (we teach kinder) and her mind is just never on school. It's always about her baby. Being a mom myself I understand how important my own kids are to me, but also understand that my students are very important as well.
     
  10. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    KinderCowGirl you must work in my school. I came to K last year because of the mess K was in - little academics. We are doing really good now. But they took the other strong teacher out and now this is what I am left with.
     
  11. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    You might want to set ground rules or meeting norms at your very first meeting, things like what times meetings end and begin, who has what job, etc. Then type those up and give each member a copy to keep with her team notes. We use a collaborative decision making model in our school district, and we are required to do this every year. In our team, we rotate all of the jobs except the notetaker, and that's mainly because the person who does it has admin access in PowerSchool and therefore has access to all of the kids' info. The rest of us can only access our students'. The jobs we use are: time keeper (keeps the meeting moving), reflector (reflects on the work completed or yet to be done; particularly helpful in sticky situations because you can hear how someone else interpreted the conversation), the facilitator (that would be you!). There are one or two more that I can't remember.

    Good luck.
     
  12. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    thanks everyone. I am working on a sheet for notetaking.I have sections for the actually lesson planning for reading, math. I also have a section for questions to ask - anything I am forgetting??

    thanks
     
  13. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2010

    Sending calendar notices through email (if this is even possible in your district) is another good way to remind your team of when meetings are scheduled, due dates, or important school events. That would be one way to ensure that everyone knows when certain things are happening or need to be done by.

    You may even want to set norms amongst your team of what the expectations are when you meet (ex. Be willing to share ideas and listen to others, meeting will start/end on time, etc.). That will help keep everyone on the same page and if need be, you can reference them at the start of each meeting if people aren't following them.
     
  14. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 24, 2010

    thanks that is a great idea. I can use google apps to share my calendar and put everything that's due, upcoming on that. Thanks
     
  15. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2010

    That's a great idea... but don't be disappointed if people never look at it. This is one thing that I realized pretty quickly with my team, and it kept frustrating me. Though I may be super organized, not everyone on your team is. Sometimes I would have to remind the same person about something daily for weeks, and then on the due date they would act shocked, "What are you talking about?" I would send out reminders about things every week (so that if someone missed a meeting they still got the info, or if they forgot something), but I know I have two teammates that never check their email, and only two really actually pay attention to what their emails say. Haha, it's hard because everyone has different ways they do things/ want things done.
     
  16. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 25, 2010

    yep I can definitely see that happening with us. But at least I'd feel like I did my best.
     

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