Don't think we're going to be much of a team

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bella2010, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 23, 2014

    As lots of you know, I am at a new school (loving it) this year. All the teachers on my grade level team are new to the district. There's me, 8 years in; another teacher (let's say teacher 2) who has been retired for five years and is now back in; and a former sped teacher (let's say teacher 3) who has been teaching for 15 years but this is her first year in a regular ed classroom. We have no classroom curriculum. My new school is big on creating your own, which I think gives way to a lot of freedom; however, when you're new to that grade level, not so much.

    Me: I'm very overwhelmed and tired. I don't mind planning with everyone and using the same resources. I feel like it makes us a little easier on us, but we can still kind of do our own thing.

    Teacher 2: Is very overwhelmed and tired as well. She's been retired for five years, and lots has changed even in that short amount of time. This district is big on collecting and analyzing data with a testing company that supplies weekly formative and quarterly summatives. I did this at my last district, she has never dealt with it. When this starts, next week, she's going to be even more overwhelmed. I'm dreading it, and I've done it before.

    Teacher 3: Says things are going great and is completely doing her own thing.

    Teacher 2 and I spent almost 3 hours planning last Friday after school (not my idea). She spent 2 hours whining about how overwhelmed and tired she was. I am too, but I wanted to get it taken care of so that I could go home!!!!!! So, we rough planned. I made copies for the first two days of the week. We were going to ask if teacher 3 wanted to join, but she said she already had her plans made. Fine, totally don't blame her. If I had my plans made, I would have been leaving, too.

    Teacher 2 was supposed to make copies for two days of the week (last week) but she didn't. She did something completely different than what we had planned. Again, fine, whatever works for her. However, I kind of feel like it was a waste of my time to make copies for her as well as myself.

    Thursday, I had my plans done. Teacher 3 had hers done, doing something completely different and not too willing to share, but whatever. I told teacher 2 I would give her a copy of my plans and she could use them if she wanted. She started telling me how she would take whatever she could get, how tired she was, how overwhelmed, etc.

    So, teacher 3 appears to be doing good. I'm happy for her. I'd like for her to share what she does to make things go so well, but whatever.

    Me: Struggling but sucking it up and moving forward. Trying to help and make copies of Saxon worksheets for the three of us. Had some bawling meltdowns, think ugly cry kind of meltdowns, but I know I'm in a good place and I'm trying to focus on that.

    Teacher 2: Struggling as well. I mean, she's been retired for five years. Before she retired, she was in a resource room setting. She looked like she was about to cry yesterday when she left. I feel like I should be doing more to help her, but I can't stay 3 hours late every Friday. I can't spend time making copies of things she's not going to use.

    Weird side note about teacher 2. She's told me and teacher 3 how she is used to running things and being the boss. IDK if she's irritated because teacher 3 is going her own thing and I'm kind of planning for us because I don't have time to sit around and whine about it or what.

    The district gives grade levels a little time to visit and plan. This starts next week...it'll be interesting to see how things go down.
     
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  3. hopesma

    hopesma Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2014

    It's still early. Hope you will all find a groove together. It's a shame that Teacher #3 isn't more interested in working together. I do understand some teachers appreciate the freedom and want to plan their own stuff. Most teams I have seen split up the subjects - one writes all the Lang Arts/ other writes Math, SS/Science, etc.
     
  4. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2014

    I hope you're right. That's what I keep telling myself. :(
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 24, 2014

    Wow. I love sharing stuff with those on my team. It's a shame Teacher 3 isn't as oriented to that kind of thinking. Hoping she isn't doing so to make her work look better.
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Aug 24, 2014

    I am totally Teacher 3 when working with someone like Teacher 2. I would just do my own plans and focus on my classroom rather than trying to help someone who doesn't sound like they want help. I'd be happy to plan with Teacher 1 (YOU!) because you sound like you are willing to pitch in.

    Honestly, it doesn't sound like planning with Teacher 2 is going anywhere - she clearly wants to do her own thing. Teacher 3 is taking care of herself and I don't hold that against her. You should just stick to your own plans and share things if you are asked.
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 24, 2014

    Sounds like you have a good idea of what your team members are like. That is great. It looks like team member #2 will be a great listener and open to new ideas. It looks like team member #3 will need little help from you and is low maintenance. If she is so confident with what she is doing, she might be doing something well or even unique. I'd try to see if she will share a few of her ideas, thoughts, or opinions after you have gotten a bit closer.

    The best thing is that you have the grade level you want and a whole new opportunity. Anything is possible, and you are the leader of that classroom. No one gets to take that away from you. Enjoy! You finally have a great opportunity to have a great year. I am very happy for you.
     
  8. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2014

    Thank you so much!!
     
  9. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2014

    So, teacher two has been texting and asking about this and that for next week. Um, I gave her my lesson plan Friday. I didn't make her copies because that proved to be a waste of my time last week.
    The things she has been texting sound like she's wanting to know where her copies are. Geez, whatever. I'm just going to keep on keeping on. :|
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2014

    For what it is worth, I would go out of my way to throw in with Teacher 3, and be far less available with 2. Teacher 2 is a user who will give little back in return, but will blame you if anything goes awry. I have lived that scenario. I am so showing my age here, but taking care of #1, YOU, should be your first priority in this new setting. Be careful about seemingly throwing in with Teacher 2, as that is what others will think, even if you are actually wanting to break away. Shall we say, been there, done that?
     
  11. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2014

    I've already been in that situation with teacher 2, and had to clear the air with my P about it. :(
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2014

    If you have had a conversation with the principal, move forward and make a concerted effort to align yourself with Teacher 3. Teacher 2 will either fall by the wayside, or step up her game, but that is not really your concern. Please take care of yourself first, so you don't get dragged down by the whining one. If you have to document for administration, do so, but stick to the facts, no commentary. You will be better off with taking that high road. :hugs:
     
  13. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 24, 2014

    Thank you for these thoughts! I really appreciate it, and you've totally given me a new train of thought on the situation. A lot of it is that teacher two is in her 60s, and I feel bad that she is struggling so much.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2014

    That isn't your problem - I am as old as she is, and I pull my own weight. No one has given me a card that says I get a free ride despite creaky knees and bad feet. I work harder than many of my younger colleagues to make sure I stay at the forefront. Perhaps she retired before because things got too hard for her, but that would only be speculation on my part. You can do the work of two people and NOT gripe or whine about it, or you can quit enabling and let the chips fall where they will. I am somewhat in favor of the second scenario - your life will be much more pleasant if you are only having to worry about your work. :cool:
     
  15. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 28, 2014

    Teacher 2 is on her own. I've had it. We split up planning this week, and she doesn't have her *naughty word* together. Lesson plans are due tomorrow. Mine are finished. I have given them to her, and I've made OUR copies. I've seen nothing on her end. Done. Done. Done.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 28, 2014

    In this situation, I think you are making the right decision.
     
  17. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2014

    I felt bad for her, again. So, I tried to just suck it up and give it another go with us splitting up subjects. Well, she has math. What her part of math equates to is a worksheet everyday. My part, reading, I try to find games or activities that go along with what we're focusing on. I mean, I make copies of worksheets plus copies of games or activities. The planning is becoming more and more uneven between us. It'd be easier if I just did the math myself because I always end up finding games and stuff to go along with the worksheets she copies.

    How do I politely tell her I think it's best if we go our separate ways? We still have to focus on the same subject because of the pacing calendar the district has for us, so it's not like I can say something about doing something different like that. She's a drama llama, so I don't want this to start something and her get all pouty about it.

    :help:
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Sep 14, 2014

    Bella, you seem like a dear, but don't be the deer that is caught in the headlights. This is a lost cause. I would be going out of my way to make her mad so that she gets to proclaim that she broke up the partnership. I would still throw my lot in with the other teacher, but she may not be interested in throwing in with either of you since it seems that drama queen comes as a package deal. I am guessing that I am older than you - I have reached an age where I don't like to waste my time on fool's errands. Pouting is so Pre-K - let her pout. I wouldn't give in to a child that pouts, and I wouldn't try to get along with a teacher who acts that foolish. Best of luck! It is going to be a long year for you, I fear.
     

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