How are CLT/PLC meetings at your schools?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Eric, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Eric

    Eric New Member

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    Apr 12, 2017

    Hello,
    this is my first post on this forum. I am a new teacher teaching in an elementary school. My first teaching gig was last year teaching Kindergarten. I absolutely loved it. I had so much freedom to teach the class as I wished and I felt like I always had the support of my principal. Of course, I would have stayed if I could but it was only a leave replacement position. If I wasn't sure I wanted to be a teacher before, then this experience changed it. I loved teaching. I got a job this past summer over here in Virginia after moving from New Jersey. I got a job at a school as a 1st grade teacher. I was so hopeful. I wanted to try all of these great lessons on the kiddos. This was going to be the best experience ever!

    Fast forward to now... I am miserable. I have absolutely no autonomy whats-so-ever. Quite a contrast, right? I won't say that this school is so horrific that it deserves to be shut down. I actually don't even think it's a bad school, although, academically it's the worst in the county. You see, we attend these weekly CLT meetings. I had never heard of these things in New Jersey. In these meetings we plan as a team. Everyone has a job. We all bring together our resources, then unpack and frame our lessons. At first, I was thinking to myself "ok, maybe its the beginning of the year and we're all lost so we have to the same lessons." But as the year went by, I realized that we are all obligated to do the same exact lessons. Admin even steps in our room to make sure our lessons are in alignment with the CLT plans. I was even told that I wasn't following the CLT plans and that I have to follow them. So now I am doing exactly what everyone else is doing. All of those creative lessons, down the drain. Then I thought by suggesting some of my ideas that I might get a little more autonomy. Nope. Every always ignores my suggestions, mainly my grade team (excluding the specialists and ESOL teachers as they have taken a couple of my ideas.) I thought that these meetings would be meetings where we could talk about our ideas, take some we like and don't take ones that we don't like. But that is not the case. We all have to teach the same lessons. My enthusiasm for this school has plummeted quicker than the stock market did during the recession. I want autonomy! I'm not the type of teacher that just wants to teach random things that don't work. I am willing to take other people's ideas. I am willing to try things. I know that everyone is more experienced than me. I'm not so stubborn as to say "my way or the highway." I just want to feel like I have some say. Are all CLT's this way? I already resigned from this school, but I am super scared that all the schools here in Virginia are the same way.

    I'm fiercely debating whether or not I should go back to Jersey. Are all schools in Virginia like this? Only some? Are all CLT'S run this way? If anyone has experience in this, I would greatly appreciate it. Maybe some schools are like what I thought CLT would be like, a group of people sharing ideas but no one forcing anything on you.

    Thank you.
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Apr 13, 2017

    We have them weekly. It's not required by state, just by our data-obessed administration. We are leaving feedback to lessen the frequency.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 13, 2017

    Rest assured, not all schools are run this way. I worked at a school like that once. Luckily, we were able to convince the admin that not all children learned the same way and not every lesson works for every child. They finally allowed us to teach the same concept, but our way. Especially because my class was the SPED group and another teacher had the gifted students.

    I would suggest that you do your due diligence as you look for another school. Investigate the websites for the school and district. See if you can talk with teachers already at the school.

    Good luck looking for a more amenable position.
     
    Loomistrout likes this.
  5. Eric

    Eric New Member

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    Apr 13, 2017

    So it's not required by state. Is it required by certain school districts? I really want to get away from it. I also hate those data meetings, as I feel they put us new teachers under fire for low scores.
     
  6. Eric

    Eric New Member

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    Apr 13, 2017

    I see. I guess I should try to talk with teachers at the schools that I am interested in working for. I ever thought about doing that. How would I go about doing that?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Apr 14, 2017

    It'll be hard to escape data meetings!
     
  8. Eric

    Eric New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017

    That stinks. I feel like we're treating kids like products. I strongly dislike those data meetings, especially when your class does the worst on a test. :(
     
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  9. Caramac48

    Caramac48 Rookie

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    May 11, 2017

    I promise you not all schools are this way. We have collaborative planning at my school once a week and it is all about sharing ideas and resources, but admin expects us to be teaching the same standards differently. Last year, however, I did a long term sub. Different school, but they used the same collaborative planning style meeting idea, and it was executed like the school your currently at. I hated it and it was demoralizing.

    If you can, I would see if you can find a school that are doing collaborative planning like my current school. In the end kids learn different and if every class is supposed to be exactly same per administration that would be my cue to bow out and find a new school at the end of year.
     
  10. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    May 11, 2017

    We collaborate lots in our school. We have to teach the same curriculum standards but how we teach it is up to us. We do share similar resources and if someone does something fantastic and it works, we share it with the others. So we get the best out of everybody. It really depends on the culture of the school and mindset of collaborative teams.

    Having to teach the same vanilla lessons as everyone is a pretty lousy situation especially for a new and enthusiastic teacher. But change can be hard for teachers and admin who have an ingrained culture. And to put things perspective, it's not the worse thing that could happen as a teacher.

    You are lucky to be in a position to resign and find a new job that is a better fit. Do your research, go to networking events and try to find teachers who are really happy in their workplace and get their feedback.
     
  11. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    May 11, 2017

    Just a thought... if you teach upper elementary they sometimes switch classes. That means there might only be one teacher teaching that subject. That means you'd be using your lesson plans.

    That's what we do! We do have data meetings but I create my own subject lessons since I'm the only one teaching the subject at this grade level.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 11, 2017

    That's how it has been at every school I have taught at. We all do our own things, but often share lesson and assignment ideas. I'll often make an extra copy of things and hand them to the other grade 7 teacher and she'll do the same.
     

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