How do I make my 'team' a TEAM?!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mrs100, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2008

    In my building, I am one of 4 second grade teachers. When I was hired two years ago, I was under the impression that we would be working as a team. It has never been the case though. One of the teachers is wonderful (she happened to be hired the same year as me!), but the other two are just so negative and do not want to collaborate whatsoever. It's gotten so frustrating. I have asked several times to have our grade level meet more than once a month (coincidentally, our district just did a survey and we are the ONLY grade level who only meets once a month. Embarassing) and they don't want to. Any suggestions on how I can get them to work with us? I'd love to share ideas, bounce ideas off each other, and just be more aware of what other second grades are doing in general. I really want to make this work!:help:
     
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  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Maybe this group is looking for a "leader."..... So mrs100 why don't you step up to the plate and lead......:):):) .........

    Take charge....:)

    Major...:)
     
  4. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2008

    I'd love to! I'm running into a few problems, though. One is that they have been teaching for several years and they don't want to change anything. Regardless of having new students, new curricula, new best practices, they don't want to change what they do. It's 'just what they've always done.' Also, one of them is extremely harsh and abrasive. She's not a nice person, and even said once that she's not here to make friends. How can I approach this without offending them and how can I communicate the benefits of teamwork?
     
  5. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Wow, with all that being said, I think the new teacher and yourself should just work together. Offer to include the others. A friend of mine works with teachers similar to the ones you're describing. They use the same lesson plans they created back in the 1980's, love dittos, and often implement "cutsy" projects instead of ones based on the standards.

    All in all, keep going your route, but make sure to offer to include them.
     
  6. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Can you get your principal involved? It's mandatory that we meet as a team once a week, on Wednesdays during our planning period. We have a team leader, and who takes that position is rotated every year. We have a recorder who takes notes and turns the notes in to the office every week.

    Without being a tattler, get the principal on your side and see if it can't become mandatory. It won't help with the sourpusses, but at least they'll see the two of you sharing ideas and they might try to "keep up".
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 20, 2008

    I tend to agree with corps on this one. You and the other "new" teacher meet to go over lesson plans, curriculum, etc. Offer to include the other 2, but don't be offended if they don't show up or want to be included.

    At my last school, it was mandatory that every grade level meet once a week to plan, go over assessments, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2008
  8. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Be careful trying to force or mandate change. If they are unwatered trees now you may end up with a serious case of dead wood. :)

    I was told if one wants to instigate change lead by example. Talk up what you are doing in the lunch room. Share at staff meetings. Hopefully when they see what great ideas and things you are doing they will come to you out of free will.
     
  9. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2008

    Most of the time I would agree fully that the one coworker who truly wants to be a team member and I should just work together. Two problems with that. One is that we have both taught 2nd for only two years. The other teachers have over 10 years experience. Logic would tell us that four brains is better than one. The other problem is that our district is just beginning to change over to a PLC. The whole purpose of a Professional Learning Community is that we change our mentality from "I have 21 students this year" to "I am responsible for all 2nd graders". I am the SOLE representative from our school on this one and I am the one who needs to initiate the changes. Baby steps will be my motto, but it's so ironic that my team is going to be the hardest to convert. Just like you all, I said to myself only a week ago, "Forget it! If they don't want to work with me, I'm not going to force them." But the PLC book we're reading is telling me not to do that. I owe it to the students to make this grade level more effective so that we can all do a better job and the kids get what they need. I'm really not a bossy person! I'm sure it's coming off that way, but I really have the interests of the kids at heart. Our grade level could be doing so much better of a job of getting to the kids individual needs if we just worked together!
     
  10. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jan 21, 2008

    Hi mrs100,

    I am a 2nd grade inclusion teacher who tries to work with the my team of 2nd grade teachers (6 of them). We have a grade chair who is in charge of relating messages to the principal regarding concerns as a grade level. Some of the teachers are reluctant to change and do not want anything from a few of us. If I find a great idea or concept, I copy for each teacher and put it in their mailbox and let them do what they want from there. It seems to work for some things and not others.

    I agree with the others in this post. I would work with the other teacher and just put what you find in their mailbox and see what they think or do in their classroom. You can't change everyone. Just take baby steps. Are there other teachers that you can bounce ideas off of, like 1st grade, BSI teacher?

    Good luck!!
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 21, 2008

    Working as a team will have to come from the top in your situation -- the principal. If the principal knows that you only meet once a month and is doing nothing about it then the other two teachers are not going to change. Plan with the other teacher until the principal wants to really implement "PLC" in the school.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    Jan 21, 2008

    Proud2Be hit the nail on the head. The principal should implement a policy that mandates weekly meetings. We have weekly meetings and our principal sometimes "sits in" on the meetings. It doesn't matter to us, because we do function as a team. It's really nice.
     
  13. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2008

    My principal is aware that the 2 of us really want to work together as more of a team, but hasn't done anything about it. Maybe I should work with her to implement this PLC thing and see if she is interested in mandating those meetings. Good idea! I hadn't thought of asking her about intervening.
     

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