blindly following the leader...NOT

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherforlife, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. teacherforlife

    teacherforlife Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2008

    :help:What do you do when you are a teacher who does not just jump through hoops for a new program or method of teaching that comes along. I am at the age when I ask questions and want to learn as much as possible about new programs that are being implemented at my school. It doesn't mean that i am being negative. I just want to know all I can so that my students are getting what they need to learn. However my headteacher seems to think that those of us who are questioning some new plans for our school are being negative. She made a statement to me this afternoon that she is just going to keep coming into school with a positive attitude and praying for our school. She was implying that everyone else including me I guess is being negative. Why is it that if you want to discuss or question something you are automatically labeled by some as being difficult. She kept saying well it's going to law soon like I'd better get on board with it whether I like it or not. I am just so frustrated and need some advice as to how to handle this situation.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 18, 2008

    I think it depends on your level of experience.

    I think that enthusiasm and questioning have their place; they're vital if education is to keep meeting changing needs.

    But by the same token, people who have been in education for a while have seen the same approaches re-packaged over and over again. You know the saying "Everything old is new again"?? It applies not only to fashion, but to education. Lots of these brand new methodologies have come and gone before-- some remarkably successfully, some not so much.

    Sometimes it's a question of phrasing. Maybe your questions need to be phrased in such a way that they allow her to tell you all the benefits of the new program, instead of focusing on its weak points??

    If she thinks that "everyone else" is being negative, it's probably her. But if it's a smaller minority of new teachers, maybe it's worth giving the new method a shot? Maybe she knows something that you haven't seen yet?
     
  4. catsos2

    catsos2 Companion

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    Oct 18, 2008

    Is it possible that you're misinterpreting your head teacher's comments? It's possible that she's getting a lot of pressure to convince her team to get on board. No new directives are ever whole-heartedly accepted by everyone, but for some reason administration sometimes thinks they should be.

    Maybe you could try a new approach with her. Instead of directly questioning her about the program - because, keep in mind, this is a directive that she is learning and must follow too - try to approach it as a team effort. What would be best for the team? How can we work together to solve these challenges? What is the most efficient way our team can approach this?

    Also, if you feel comfortable enough with this teacher, just explain your viewpoint. You want to make sure that your kids are receiving the highest quality education possible. Therefore, you want to know the ins and outs of this program before you begin to implement it in your classroom. Tell her you understand that she has a lot to deal with, but that figuring out the details before jumping in is just the way you learn best.

    Good luck with this!
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Oct 18, 2008

    I think a lot of times it makes a difference how long you have been teaching and how well you are regarded by the administrator.

    When I was a new teacher, if I had questioned a new program, my administrator would have thought "Why is she being a troublemaker?" "Why is she being so negative?" Most administrators would rather see you do everything in your power to make a new program work, and then work through any problems with the system.

    However, after you've been teacher 10 or so years (or many more), administrators tend to look at you in a different light. They realize you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from, and you are trying to analyze problems rather than "wait to face them."

    I think the gentleness of approach is also important. If you approach it from the "I'm a team player, and I want my team to succeed... .but..." type of approach, it is better received.

    If an administrator brings a new package to the table which they total support, and people question it, many administrators feel personally attacked. They, after all, might be the one who researched and chose the new package. If you don't agree that it is great, they feel as if you are questioning their intelligence, their leadership, and their decision-making skills. Some react very negatively.

    I think the key is to gently and positively approach the questions.

    I know there are many times I've finally had to say, "I'm not sure I agree, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I'll let you know how it goes."
     
  6. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Oct 18, 2008

    It could also be her confidence in the new programs also. If she doesn't know everything about it yet, and there is someone asking questions, she may feel uncomfortable. I agree with watching how you ask and also when you ask. If you are asking in front of everyone she may feel confronted.
     
  7. xmasqueen

    xmasqueen Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2008

    I'm assuming that a headteacher is like a grade level chairman or as we call them team leaders. Some people I think just except everything that's "new" as being the way to go but experience always tells us that questioning is what brings out the good and bad points of a program. If the program is presented as we have to do this and you might is well get over it then most of the teachers probably won't "get over it". Teachers always like to have and should have input into everything that affects them and affects their students in the long run. I try to always have a positive attitude but it's really hard some days when I'm at school at 5:30 still doing paperwork that I see as a waste of time. I say keep questioning...in a positive way of course lol....and let her keep praying and smiling if it makes her feel better. She'll probably have a nervous breakdown because she doesn't know how to express her objections or concerns.
     

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