Are you a competitive teacher??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mrs Teacher, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 29, 2012

    Hi there! I'm new to the forum but I thought I'd dive right in with a big question that intrigues me greatly!

    I'm curious, how competitive are you as a teacher? Do you compare yourself to your co-workers by comparing the success of your class? And if so, does it effect the level of collaboration in your building?

    For example, have you ever NOT shared a good idea because you didn't want to help the competition??

    I'm doing some research in my grad program about collaboration, and someone brought this up in our class discussion! It never dawned on me before... but I can see it being a big reality! I think even I have, at times, felt happier when I noticed another teacher not doing as well... and sometimes I get a little irked when other teachers want my homemade materials to use in their class! (I sometimes think to myself, I put in all the work! Why should YOU get any credit!) Hmmmmmmm
     
  2.  
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Jan 29, 2012

    I'm in a PLC with several colleagues. It's a partnership with the idea that we are helping each other and improving OUR students' understanding. We share lessons, resources and strategies but each teacher is respected as an individual professional. Even with the same resources, we are not 'cookie cutters'.
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,328
    Likes Received:
    570

    Jan 29, 2012

    We share in my current school. At my last school it was all about who got the credit.

    I like sharing a lot better. The climate of the school is nicer as a result.

    If you are a teacher because you want to see success in children, you will share with your colleagues. It shouldn't matter if those kids are "yours" or "theirs"
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,763
    Likes Received:
    1,718

    Jan 29, 2012

    I'm VERY competitive.

    But not against other teachers with academics. We have behavior competitions in the school where each grade level competes against each other to earn positive behavior points. At the end of each month, the grade level winner gets to carry a flag around the school. Our class has won it every month and they don't plan on giving it up. We have door decorating contests and bulletin board contests, etc. We strive to win as many of them as possible.

    As far as academics, we collaborate and plan together. We share materials and plans so we can all be on the same page. We team teach each others students in small groups, etc. We strive to be "One" (part of our school motto)academically.
     
  6. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 29, 2012

    I wouldn't say that I am competitive, but it seems like things are going that way with test scores being factored into evaluations and talk of pay incentives. I worry about what that will mean.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,677
    Likes Received:
    1,740

    Jan 29, 2012

    Thankfully, my school almost enforces collaboration. There are times that I'm working with a group of students and cannot instantly recall which belong to me and which are assigned to other teachers. The graduation rate is a team effort.
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    1,497

    Jan 29, 2012

    I am highly competitive.

    My 6th grade team has been together for about 15-20 years and I'm by far the youngest and most inexperienced member of the group. They sometimes make comments like, "Well, you came from 2nd grade and elementary school is much different from middle school." Once, they even said, "Oh, in middle school, we don't give grades based on how cute the kids are. We have to base grades on test scores." When they saw that I got irritated, they backtracked and said, "Oh, we didn't mean that you did that--we just heard that a lot of elementary teachers give the kids very subjective grades on their report cards."

    Anyway, it's little comments like these that make me want to blow 'em out of the water with regard to test scores. I may be new to the grade level, but I'm not a new teacher and I definitely know what I'm doing.

    End of rant. :)
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,961
    Likes Received:
    1,155

    Jan 29, 2012

    I'm competitive, but only with myself. I'm always trying to work on becoming a better, more effective teacher than I am. I often share my ideas with my fellow teachers, but it's mostly "this is what I was thinking of doing, what do you think? would it work?"
    They often like my ideas, as well as help me with advice, etc. If they use my ideas, I actually feel honored, because I'm very new, and they have been teaching for a long time.
     
  10. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 29, 2012

    Especially after reading YoungTeacherGuy's post, it seems that with a supportive environment competition becomes "healthy" rather than detrimental to the overall progress of a school.

    Even I am VERY competitive, but I find myself sharing despite my need to compete. It's like my conscience kicks in and says, "even though you want to stand out as a talented teacher, you are suppose to help the team!"

    My school has competitions too for classes... I'm wondering if having a competition increases the chance of less collab, than say a regular school with no specific competition. I was at a school before my current one and the dynamic was awful! No one shared anything unless directly told by the principal. Some teachers would try to hide what they did so the principal wouldn't make them share it. We had monthly competitions too.... It also created student tension. I think the attitude of the teachers rubbed off on the kids, creating academic bullies. One student in my homework help block refused to help another kid with their homework because he wanted his class to win the homework competition! Ugh!
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jan 29, 2012

    Not competitive regarding academics.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,328
    Likes Received:
    570

    Jan 29, 2012

    When I was in college I quickly learned how helpful it was to have study groups. There were quite a few of us that ended up in the same core classes semester after semester and we'd gather in the library to study together. Someone would bring the chalk (chalk!), someone would reserve a room and someone would bring snacks. We did this for several classes.

    A few of us ended up in a different class from the others down the road. In that class your grade was based on the class average. If everyone earned a 30% on the test, the curve was set so that 30 was a 75. The 30 was the apex of a bell-shaped curve. The professor didn't just add 45 points to everyone else's grade so there was never a risk of anyone getting higher than a 100.

    The reverse was true as well. If the class average was a 95, then everyone that earned that grade ended up with a 75 too. I quickly learned that by helping my friends get higher grades, I was lowering mine.

    That semester was the last semester we ever gathered for study groups :(
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    51

    Jan 29, 2012

    Yeah I'm competitive. I want the best test scores, I want the best kids, and I want to teach the best. But I would never even dream of holding back information or a good resource because I want to win. I want the KIDS to win. I think it's super important to share.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    993

    Jan 29, 2012

    My answer is similar to YoungTeacherGuy's. I can be competitive when people push my buttons. There is a reading intervention teacher at my school who has more experience than the other title teachers, the other sped teacher, and I combined and she rubs it in our faces constantly, even though she's really the weakest link in the entire department. She also tends to steal ideas and take credit for them. If I'm being honest, I do love it when my kids (who have more severe learning problems than her kids do) outperform hers. I don't mind sharing at all. I do mind if someone takes an idea of mine and shouts from the mountain tops that they created it in order to make themselves look good.
     
  15. joe22k

    joe22k Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 29, 2012

    I am very competitive and want my students to score the highest scores on everything they do. However, I do share everything I do. I feel like my competitveness is petty a lot but I know that I want every student at the school to do great and if something I have made can help with that I will do what I can. I also know everyone will look better if the department as a whole does good.
     
  16. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 29, 2012

    Just from my brief time on this forum thus far, it already seems apparent that those who would take the initiative to find such a website and participate in the discussion forum is already in a class of collaboration and teamwork. That being said... do you think that there is a concern for competition hurting collaboration for other teachers in your building? I know that in my previous school it was sickening.. and I also know that they were not the teachers who would ever think of going on this website anyway! The thought of asking others for insight? Sharing ideas? Getting and giving advice?? They would be floored! haha
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,067
    Likes Received:
    1,884

    Jan 30, 2012

    I don't consider myself in competition with any of my colleagues (except for during our annual game of Teacher Musical Chairs :lol:!). We are all there for the same purpose--the students. It's my responsibility to do the best I can for those little (and not so little) bodies in front of me every day. I can't compare my class to the one next door--they are different people.

    I want my students to be successful and I push them to do their best. I share materials and ideas--we all do. Tomorrow, 3 of our grade 7/8 classes are getting together for an art lesson; one of the teachers has a great idea and she wants to share it with everyone. That tends to be the way things work in my school.
     
  18. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 30, 2012

    I am competitive, but I still share! I do compare myself to the others around me, but not openly to everyone! In my mind, we are here for ALL students regardless of who's class they are in. I think some of it does depend on the school atmosphere. At my last school, you basically stayed to yourself. It was very intimidating to go to another teacher with a new idea or thought. The school I'm in now is the opposite. Day 1 I realized I could go to anyone and they would come to me!

    There is, however, one instance where I have stopped sharing. We have a new teacher in K. From the start, she just thought she knew it all. We would give her ideas and activities and her response would be "I know" or "I do that." But then the next day would turn around and complain about her kids or her lack of materials. Basically nothing we do makes her happy. I don't go out of my way anymore to help. If she comes to me (ha ha) then I will.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 30, 2012

    Competing with my team teachers would be the same as 2 running backs competing to see who gets the most carries and/or yard, 2 receivers competing to see who gets the most catches, 2 outfielders competing to see who catches the most fly balls, etc. Some level of inner-team competition can be healthy, since it pushes you to try harder, but when it reaches the level where beating your teammate becomes more important than the team winning, then it has gone too far.

    On a basketball team, if one player demands to be the "star" and take the most shots, chances are that team is NOT going to be the best team and win championships. Lebron James is a good example. You can't carry a team by yourself and when you mix other mega-egos, the individual competition ends up hurting the overall team performance. Even Michael Jordan couldn't win championships by himself. It wasn't until he got a supporting cast that could help him that the Bulls became the dominant team of the 90's.

    I definitely push myself to be the best I can and to learn from my team teachers, but I could never imagine "competing" against them to make myself look better than them. My goal as a teacher is to give my students the best education I can. I can accomplish this two ways; presenting the material in the best and most engaging way possible and working with my team teachers to provide a comprehensive approach to their education.

    Even if evaluations and pay raises are tied to "performance", that just means I have to do the best *I* can, no matter what the other teachers do. Just as earning an "A" in class has nothing to do with what my classmates do. It's all on me. If I make an "A", then I've done my job. If my classmate makes an "A+", that's great for them and shows me I still have some room for improvement.

    We have a teacher in our district that had 100% of his/her students past their EOG tests a few years ago. The Super raves about this achievement, but after seeing the teacher in class first-hand, I can tell you our philosophies are MILES apart and I will stay with MY philosophy, even if it means never achieving the golden 100%.

    On another note, my CT had a fantastic exercise for the kids involving Order of Operations. When I finished my internship with her, she shared her resources for this lesson. Last year, when we were teaching at the same school, we were both covering Order of Operations around the same time in our respective classes. The exercise she uses involves having the kids make pictures that can be hung in the hallway. I chose NOT to use that lesson with my kids because it was HER exercise and I would not have felt right having my kids do the same thing around the same time as hers. It's a cool exercise, but as far as I'm concerned, it IS "her" exercise and there is no way I was going to do anything to steal her thunder, even a little bit. I wouldn't want to share a resource and have someone else take credit for it, so I certainly wasn't go to do that myself.
     
  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    53

    Jan 30, 2012

    I am competitive...very competitive...don't play cards with me, I cheat! But I still work with my peers to better all students. It is important for all of us to do well for the reputation of our school. I do compare previous classes with current ones. I push my kids to do better to top old scores. I believe that we should raise the bar, never lower it. And I get upset when my kids don't do well.
     
  21. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jan 30, 2012

    I'm competitive with the other schools in my district. I want my school to be the best! My 7th grade team is pretty awesome and always willing to share ideas and resources. I'm just crossing my fingers that merit pay doesn't mess it up.
     
  22. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 30, 2012

    No, I'm not competitive. The teachers in my department always share resources. Because I'm new, I don't have many resources, but if I find something useful, I'll share.
    For test scores, I wouldn't want my class to have the lowest average or the lowest exam grades, because then I feel like I haven't done well as a teacher.
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jan 30, 2012

    :haha: And I'm only the banker for Monopoly so I can swipe a few big bills when you go to the bathroom!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Melanie Lytell
Total: 234 (members: 3, guests: 213, robots: 18)
test