Arguments over "stealing" content?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 23, 2016

    So I'm having to develop a new physical science course from scratch this year, with very little help from my two colleagues. Essentially I do all of the planning as the new first year teacher at this school and they try to shoot everything down but eventually end up following my lessons anyway because they never really contribute anything of their own in time for us to be prepared to teach it.

    One of the latest annoyances is that in order to teach the lesson progression, I am certainly going to have to hit upon things that they cover in chemistry, physics, and astronomy. It's a physical science course meaning that they'll be essentially getting a short survey of chemistry. Well one of the chemistry teachers on the team isn't too happy that we're going to be doing activities similar to what she does in chemistry in our class because she's afraid that the kids will not want to do it a second time or will complain that they've already learned this.

    I understand this feeling, but it's a physical science course, and they have to learn how to do certain things that they're definitely probably going to see again in more depth later. I'm of the opinion that it never hurts for kids to see things twice, especially since they probably didn't really learn it the first time around. Also there's very little that's brand new in teaching science, and everything is essentially variations on things that have been done for many decades. The teachers (the same teachers who are supposed to be helping me plan the course) are asking me to nix something that essentially a key part to the curriculum, and as you can probably tell from the tone of this post, I'm a little fed up with their constant shutting down but zero positive input. I've been content to just ignore them and do things my way, and they follow along but now they are saying that I need to rein it in and allow them to approve or disapprove of what I should teach in my classroom because they don't want it coinciding with something that they teach later.

    I used to teach middle school and most of the activities we do in middle school they do in high school again anyway. I feel like if they have such strong opinion on how this course should be designed and taught, then they should design some of the units themselves instead of putting it all on me and just criticizing it afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
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  3. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Nov 24, 2016

    That is awful that they are not contributing and shoot down your ideas.

    I think it is fine to teach the topics, if that's what the standards of your course require. When possible, I do think you should try to do activities that are different from what they'll do in later courses.

    I know it infuriates me and the other freshmen ELA teachers when we find out certain readings that are in our 9th grade lit book and are CCSS exemplars for 9-10th grade are being taught in 8th grade.
     
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  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 24, 2016

    I don't really understand the other teacher's problem. If you both teach the same things here and there, you will each teach it differently, from a different angle, different approach, the kids will better understand it and it's better for everyone. I doubt they will be so bored with that.
    I wish I could align my curriculum with the history teacher.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 25, 2016

    I can understand it if it were ELA readings, but science is definitely a spiral-taught subject where you get the same content just go deeper and deeper each time.

    I taught spectroscopy and balancing chemical equations in my 8th grade class. Both are not part of the standards, but they went a HUGE way in engaging students and helping them be prepared for chemistry in high school. Many of them thanked me years later for teaching them that because it helped them so much in their classes when so many other students were struggling with it.
     
  6. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Nov 25, 2016

    I'm a little confused by your situation. Do all three of you teach this elective or is it just you and they are criticizing what your doing? If its just you teaching the segments of this course I would ignore them and do my own thing, especially since this is an elective that could help them get better scores in the regular class. It kind of blows my mind that they are reacting this way, if I knew my kids could take a US history elective that would help them cover the material in a different way I would be thrilled. If you are all teaching this class then I would probably still ignore them unless there is a school rule that you all have to be doing the same thing. (not a thing at my school)
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 26, 2016

    I made a mistake when I said elective. I'm just so used to saying that because I worked at developing an elective on my own in past years as well. This is actually a required core course.

    We all teach the same course. We are strongly encouraged to do things exactly the same, but they wouldn't demand that we all teach everything exactly the same because that's just bad teaching. I plan to ignore them and do things my way. If they decide to stop riding my coattails on this course because they don't like what I'm doing and plan their own stuff, great! They might come up with something that's better than what I've come up with and I'd change my plans to match theirs. But sitting around and demanding that I change my plans to meet their contrived specifications so they can have curriculum prepared for them while they do none of the work on their own? No way.
     
  8. NewTeacher2016

    NewTeacher2016 Companion

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    Nov 26, 2016

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Nov 26, 2016

    With my AVID kids I do many of my lessons twice - the exact same lesson in 7th and 8th. I've yet to have them complain. When I teach Roman Republic in the beginning of the year I'm THRILLED if the 6th grade teacher has already taught it. If their kids are bored by the lesson then they probably should design a better lesson. That isn't your fault.
     
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  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Nov 28, 2016

    I understand their point. You'll have to cover the same content, to some degree. But you should choose different activities from what they already do. It's just good form.
     

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