Over-Achieving Co-Worker

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by ilovekkids, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. ilovekkids

    ilovekkids Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Help! I am feeling totally overwhelmed! The other teacher at my grae level is a absolutely wonderful person AND a great teacher, but I find it difficult to work/plan with her because she is constantly bombarding me with all of her ideas - ALL AT ONCE! Every morning, there is some new idea, revelation, material, Power Point or something that she has worked on the night before. I know that this is a vital part of what we do as educators, but she takes things to an extreme(for me :)!

    Not only that, but things that should be simple or cut and dried become long, drawn out and/or over the top - bringing in 30 pumpkins for a pumpkin unit, for example; or having a weekly homework sheet that is a full page on the front and back because it is so wordy and involved and just HAS to be totally alligned with whatever it is that is going on in her classroom at the time.

    I must mention that she is always willing to share all of her "ideas" and materials with me. I am not a lazy or uninventive teacher by any means, I just feel like sometimes "it just doesn't take all of that" to accomplish what we need to accomplish.

    As well, I do not have the money and/or resources that she has, given the fact that I have a family and bills that have to be taken care of. She can blow 125.00 in one night ordering books and other materials and can spend her whole evening (and often does) preparing materials for school, while I am getting homework done, attending mid-week services at church, etc.

    Another issue is that she feels like she has to do and teach everything during the first quarter of school. It is the 5th week and she is talking about what sight words she's teaching, how her children are already "flying" with their letter and number writing, as well as their writing, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Everytime I talk with her, I feel like I am behind, even though in my heart, I know that I am doing what's best for my kids - working at a steady pace and establishing routines and expectations.

    I also get frustrated with the fact that she is seen as THE teacher to have on our level, much in part because of all of the "fluff" that accompanies her teaching (she IS a GREAT teacher). It would maybe appear that more is going on in her classroom than in mine because I do not choose to do a lot of the big projects that she does.

    I really like her and I would love to work closely with her, but I tend to avoid her because I cannot process all of the information (nor do I want to) that she is constantly firing off at me about her thoughts, plans and ideas. HELP!!!
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Ok, so I'm that teacher. And I'm going to say this-she probably is in awe of you. My most favorite teacher in the world is my old team teacher from MI. She is steady like a rock. I could come in and talk about taking the kids on a hot air balloon ride to demonstrate a scientific concept, and she would tell me to shut up and get back to my classroom. She embraced and supported the ideas that made sense, and she also brought me back down to where I needed to be, when I needed it. And I love her for it. I have no idea how she kept her head so clear, but I loved that she could go home to her family and turn off teaching for the night-I just couldn't, and it got difficult. I loved that she didn't spend every paycheck on book orders. Teachers who seem to go overboard in their rooms can't really help it-our ideas just pop pop pop all the time, and we feel like we're never doing enough. We crave other teachers who are calm and steady and minimalists. This is also why dh and I get along so well-I have tons of ideas and creativity and energy, and he likes things simple and thought out.

    Don't see her as a threat, although I don't think you do. See her as your perfect compliment. She will probably really welcome the peace and calm in your classroom-I use to often 'escape' to my teammate's room, and vice versa. It's good to have a partner in crime who is opposite of you!
     
  4. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I wonder about the emotional level of the kids in her space. If she's that overwhelming to you, she's probably even more overwhelming to the children, especially young children like the kindergartners.

    I'm sorry you feel so bombarded. Is there any way you can set a time once a week or so to meet with her to decrease the amount of bombardment she throws at you?
     
  5. ilovekkids

    ilovekkids Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2009

    We do try to meet formall at least once a week, but that does not stop all the impromtu "sharing".

    I think you are onto something, as far as the kids being over-whelmed, but I have always wondered about the parents. She is very much attuned to where her children are and what they need, and is constantly throwing things at the parents - especially the ones of the lower children, many( not all) of whom come from single homes.

    I have been a single parent and I know how burdened down one can feel (possibly) with all or most of the parenting being left to you, but to add to that with being asked to come for a conference every 3 weeks and being sent home detailed homework AND additional things that HAVE TO be done (games, flashcards, and on and on - AGAIN) every week with every new thought!

    I know that we want the children to learn, but i also think there is a limit for both the kids (we have a really long, busy school day) and possibly tired and already ehausted parents. I mean really, the odds are that if a parent was going to work with a child or knew HOW to work with their child ,(really work with them) that they would have been doing so up to this point. What are the odds that they are going to do the "required" stuff, not to mention all the "extras".
     
  6. newkteacherfl

    newkteacherfl Companion

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I am in the same situation as you!!! I feel your pain! My problem is that the other teacher's ideas aren't all that great. She prefers drill and practice, and tells me everyday that her kids are going to be on a third grade level by the end of the year, and that I need to get on my kids and get them going or they will not be ready for first grade. Sometimes I just want to yell "IT'S ONLY THE 5TH WEEK OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!" Wow, just typing that made me feel better :) She assumes that I am going to work with her on all of her theme projects, which involve the students coloring her hand-drawn pictures. That is not my style at all, and I have told her that several times. Have you tried asking her to email you her ideas so they aren't so overwhelming? Then you can read through them and email feedback? The bottom line is that if you are doing what is best for your students, don't let her get to you! You have your style, and she has hers. :thumb:
     
  7. the_guy

    the_guy Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Why not tell her in person all the things you just said here? Maybe tweak it a bit, emphasize how great she is, but also emphasize that your style is different.

    I doesn't sound like she is going to spontaneously mellow out and become the kind of collaborator you wished for. She needs to hear it from you.
     
  8. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I also know how you feel!! I have 4 other K teachers at my school. One of the teachers scares her kids into working and sends home notes to parents every night about what their child needs to work on- that is so overwhelming to me! She tells us all the time how wonderful her kids are doing, how it is so easy to test them because they work so quickly, etc.
    Another teacher totally does her own thing and does TONS of art projects and reads books that are not part of our reading series...yet when she does tests from our reading series (oral tests), her kids always pass with FLYING colors- she has not had anyone repeat in 2 years. (She also claims to be psychic, personally I think she is just psycho).
    I would just keep doing what you are doing- work at a slow and steady pace. If you know that you are doing what is best for your students, that makes you a wonderful teacher! I like the idea about having the other teacher email you ideas- maybe tell her it is easier for you to process so many thoughts if it is all on paper...and then read through it when you have time!
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Don't let her get to you. As long as you are up to date with the expected stuff for your class, then she shouldn't irritate you. Sometimes some of teachers, NOT ALL OF THEM, like to GLOAT and show off to a point where you just want to snap the crap out of them!:D (Oooops! Excuse me!) They will continue to ask you for your POV about all the GREAT things her kids are doing, or her new stuff on her board, or her such and such center, and what a parent said about her room, etc. It's GREAT to do stuff and go beyond what you are expected to do, BUT PLEASE do them quietly without trying to get the glory for it.:eek:
    Rebel1
     
  10. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I am only a second year teacher. I am always looking for new and fun ways to teach the same old objectives. When I came on as part of a team, they were using copies of things that had been copied and recopied over and over again and some were even cockeyed. We share, but usually I scrap alot of what they give me. I often share things that I find or create. Once in a while they use them. They'll ask, where did you get that? I remind them that I showed it to them a couple of weeks ago. I feel as if they don't want to change anything and I'm willing to go that extra step. I let my students have messy fun while learning. Today we made our names with playdoh after rolling it into "snakes" and laying it on their names that I had printed out. These teachers don't even use it because it's too messy. I believe that I am also ADD. My head is constantly swimming with ideas and I'm constantly looking for new things. I probably overwhelm them sometimes, but that's just the way I am. I don't consider myself an over-achiever. I like to think that I'm very creative and inventive! :D
     
  11. ilovekkids

    ilovekkids Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Thanks for all the comments! I don't think that my co-worker is looking for any glory (if she is, then she does a great job at faking humility::haha:).

    I do not have anything against being creative and inventive - I am always looking for and coming up with ideas myself, but I tend to just keep them to myself unless I am asked. This is not because I am selfish or secretive, but because I do alot of things based on my instinct as a teacher rather than on what "this book" or "that book" says or what this professor says or that one says; though I do read a lot and listen to what the "professionals" have to say.:) I also think that she DOES think that her ideas are better and more innovative than mine (in a humble way, of course:p) - and that's okay.

    My whole issue here is finding a way to work together and share without either of us feeling overwhelmed or like we are livng in the shadow of the other one. I think that we are both awesome teachers, but in our own unique ways. AGAIN, she jsut drives me crazy with her constant barage of thoughts EVERYDAY! This has been going on for a while now, so I may just need to "man up" and suck it up, and move on. It is what it is and it won't change, but I CAN change me and the way that I look at and respond to things.

    Thanks for entertaining my rant and offering such great advice, suggestions and support!
     
  12. ilovekkids

    ilovekkids Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Oh, I have to add, about the e-mail idea...Already happening! At night, on the weekends, while I'm at church...Same deal! I just roll my eyes (not an EVIL roll, mind you, but a "Oh, my! Here we go again" kind of way) and make a decison to read it or delete it.
     
  13. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I teach 3 year olds, and don't have a curriculum besides some basic skills. I'm the over-achieving teacher and used to share all my "wonderful" ideas with the other two teachers. I know it's too much, but I LOVE spending my free time and summers working on new ideas for my classroom. Anyway, I guess they complained to the director, so we were all told to do the same activities in the classroom. Well, that year I was miserable and I know the children didn't do as well as usual. I now do more again, but don't broadcast it. My director knows what I'm doing, but since the other teachers aren't complaining, she's happy. The kids have a lot of activities to choose among each day and are happy. And I am creative again and am happy.
     
  14. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    We were told that we all neeeded to be doing the same thing too. I have a problem with that in that I'm willing to provide new and exciting activities for my students whereas the other teachers just want to do the same old, same old. It isn't fair to the students nor the teacher! Not only do the gets get bored, but I do too! My mind is racing all the time about things I want to do.
     

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