Team planning?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by giraffe326, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Those of you on a team, how many of you plan as a team?
    My grade level has always planned together (math and science at least) and done the exact same thing. I HATE it. Mostly because my ideas are ALWAYS shot down. Literally. 2 years ago (my first year), I followed them to a T and had a miserable year. Last year, I sort of followed along and when I didn't, I lied about it for the sake of avoiding an arguement.
    Well, this year we have a new math series and I am not going along with them. It is causing tension already and the kids don't start until Tuesday.

    Just wondering what you all do. I am going to venture out on a limb and assume most of you are not 100% together with your teammates down exactly what problems you will assign on which day.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've never taught like that, and I think I would hate it.

    The past 2 years, my friend and I kept pace with each other in the 2 preps we shared, but one or the other of us was frequently off by a page or two. It was more a case of "what are you doing today?" than "here's what you should do today." It was great-- we shared a lot of materials and ideas.

    But I would hate someone who isn't my chairman telling me how to teach my class.
     
  4. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2009

    We do team plan, but it's pretty flexible. I will be with a new team this year, however I don't see it changing too much. If anything it will become even more flexible.
    Our principal likes us to be on the same page as far as lessons and testing (for example: ideally all classes would take our reading test on the same day, or within a day of eachother)
    That's about the extent of it. To me, teaching is a very creative process. I wouldn't be at my best if I wasn't allowed to do my own thing.
    I say as long as you are meeting the needs of your students, and teaching the material that needs to be taught, do it the way that works best for your and your classroom.
     
  5. Blkjacq

    Blkjacq Companion

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    When I used to teach 3rd grade, we used to share ideas, but no one made everyone do the same thing. Sure, we ended up doing lots of the same things. But everyone did homework differently and tried other things in lessons too. No big deal. Why does everything has to be the same with all classes?
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    This was actually a bone of contention with my team these past 2 weeks. Certain members of the team want everyone doing the same thing at the same time, even though we have different kids (not to mention the general differences we also have GT and bilingual classes in the mix). We have a 3 week spread of objectives and my opinion is, if we all cover those objectives in the 3 weeks, then great, we're all teaching the same things. They want to sit and plan objective by objective (it takes forever) and do what they want to do.

    I usually do what you did-go along for the sake of peace, then do what I want to in my room. My team doesn't even want to have different Open House packets or we do Number of the Day-they all want to use exactly the same criteria, sorry, my kids generate their answers themselves-teachers do things differently, the kids are different, I just don't understand it. We have very strict PLC's this year, so we'll see if I can get away with it.
     
  7. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    We always share ideas but since we all have different teaching styles and philosophies we don't do every thing the same. I would get too frustrated! Hopefully you will make it through this year! You need to do what's best for you and your students! Good Luck!
     
  8. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I think the point of teaming is to share ideas and learn from each other, not to dictate to each other what to do. My team always got along and were pretty close to the same page most of the time, but when we were off it was no big deal.
     
  9. TeachinHicks

    TeachinHicks Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2009

    We are planning together this year, but we all try to do the same type of thing, but not exactly the same. We're all very different in our teaching styles. Our kids are very different. The beginning of the year we all are together but as it goes on we fall away from each other. We try to stay within a day or two of each other, but that doesn't always happen. We do with our Reading stay together like all testing on Fridays but other than that, the rest of the week the order we do things in is very different.

    My first year my P insisted that I plan with the other Math and Science teacher. She thought that we needed to be together, same everything. Well...let's just say that was my only year at that job, I can teach the exact same way as other people. I'm my own person and we all have different styles.

    Good Luck!!!
     
  10. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I love being able to bounce ideas off of other people, and see how to improve on what we are already doing. But, then again, when I KNOW I have a good idea, and no one listens or isn't being cooperative, then its hard. I think that team planning depends on the team and what the school is like. It can be a wonderful thing, but if the team doesn't have the same ideas about it, then its not worth the trouble.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    We plan together and do probably 90% of the same things, but there is no pressure to do something if you don't want to. For one thing, our different music and science lab times kind of prevent us from doing certain things. What we do is gather resources, meet and make a list of activities that we need things for, if you want it put a check under your name, if not put an X. No one asks if you did a certain thing and no one checks to see what you did.
     
  12. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    I've been on all kinds of teams. The first team I was on, I loved them...until it came to planning. Then I was in the same boat as you...all my ideas shot down and "No, we can't do that. We'd all have to do that or the parents would be talking." That kinda ticked me off. Then the next team I was on, 1 person and I were close because the other 2 members shut us out and never shared anything. My current team, we are in for year #2 now, and I love them. We fit together so well. I honestly think we get along the best overall of any team in the school.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Here is what math planning has been like the last 2 years:
    Alright- we will do lesson 1.1 on Monday. Hmmm... Practice page or problems out of the book. I don't like #18 in the practice book. OK- lets assign #1-27 from lesson 1.1.
    Tuesday. We will do lesson 1.2. PB or book? Umm- ooh- I like #4 in the PB. OK- lets assign PB pg 2.
    :banghead:
    When I have stomped off and vented to my P on occassion (very rare- maybe twice in 2 years- if anything it comes up when we are talking about an observation), she has admitted that we don't acually plan together! We share NO ideas- we pick assignments together. We all teach it our own way, but we are typically teaching the same thing on the same day.
    The BIGGEST problem is that we are teaching 6th and 7th grade topics (in 5th) and they refuse to skip them! I get this lecture on how we have the best scores in the county AND how the 6th grade teachers love kids from our school because they can already do 6th grade math. They can sort of do it- just like they can sort of do 5th grade math.
    We got a new series this year and I sat down over the summer and mapped out the entire year. I got lectures about how we plan together and our P likes it that way (honestly, I don't think the P cares because she knows we don't really plan together!)
    On Friday, only 2 of us were there. I shared my plans for math for the first chapter- 5 lessons beginning on the first day (Tuesday) with a test the following Tuesday. I chose not to spend a whole day reviewing before the test because it is place value. The other teacher agreed and wrote it in her plan book.
    Today, I get a text saying they planned math today and their test is on Thursday. They are not starting math the first day of school and they are doing a review. So, I need to change my plans. I AM NOT DOING IT!!!! We will probably go round tomorrow, but I don't care. I am always one of the first teachers there and typically the first one there on my team. I plan on cornering my P first thing just to tell her I am not following them and to warn her that they will probably be in her office pouting. I am teamed with 2 very outspoken and opinionated people and I am very anticonfrontational- which results in me keeping my mouth shut and essentially writing 2 sets of plans- a fake one with them and the ones I do on my own. Not doing it this year :)
     
  14. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I don't think you should change your plans. Last year i decided to try something different and my team agreed that in theory it sounded good but they weren't sure if they wanted to do it. I tested it out and it worked great. i think the team is on board for a little variation this year.

    To me, planning with your team is time spent collaborating about lessons, successes, and failures. We try to assess around the same time so that we can look at our data to determine if changes need to be made, not to make sure that I do PB page 63 #s 2-26 even. Good Lord that is not what that time should be spent doing.
     
  15. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2009

    We divide up the subjects and share our plans for "our" subject. Anyone is free to change what they want. It saves time for when life is hectic, but it is not binding.
     
  16. kacieann

    kacieann Companion

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    I tried dividing subject plans with my co-teacher last year and it simply did not work. I had no idea what she is talking about and I really believe she used my plans to have something to turn in. We are not sharing lesson plans this year, but we do share ideas. I know it takes more time, but I feel much better prepared.
     
  17. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    As long as you can justify your lessons, sequencing and assessments, and as long as your students are just as successful (or more), than I wouldn't worry about what these other teachers are doing. They are not your bosses. You are only accountable to your prince.

    However, I wouldn't flaunt that. Go in to the meetings, listen, contribute when you can, and do what you need to do to meet the needs of your students.

    I can't stand teachers or administrators that insist on everyone teaching the same thing the same way every day. Haven't they ever heard of differentiated instruction? It's really a violation of IEPs to do that.
     
  18. Jen in NCal

    Jen in NCal Rookie

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    We have pacing guides that are determined by the grade level. ELA is pretty set in stone, but math gets updated throughout the year as we see where our students are. We are all within a page or two of each other in each subject. But how we teach each subject is totally up to us.
     
  19. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    We have pacing guides, too, but none of us use them and my P does not push it. She never followed them as a teacher, either. We have the best test scores in the county (and I had the best scores on the grade level last year).
    I am simply of the opinion that I already mapped out math this year and I am going in that direction. If they want to follow, wonderful- if not, oh well.

    As for not following the pacing guide, it is set up really poorly. They have multiplication 3rd Q but measurement 1st. :confused: I teach the first several chapters in order because it makes sense (basic skills!) and then skip around based on vacations and the fact that measurement should be last because they forget it and I have to start all over if I teach it before that. NC requires them to convert beween customary and metris :eek:)
     
  20. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    My Math team and I plan common assessments and we have the same evaluation grid, but how we teach the material is completely up to us. I would hate that!
     
  21. MsX

    MsX Companion

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    Aug 24, 2009

    I plan with my team (it's just one other person), but we are very similar is styles. Also, we DO vary from each other when necessary. For example, she might say, "my kids need more practice with X" and I"ll say "oh, mine were ok with that. Maybe I'll spend a day doing Y, so you and your kids can practice X more." It works out - but if your teammates think you must do everything identically, then I can see where the problem arises.

    I went to the Writing Instituate at teachers college this summer, and they actually brought up a really good point - it was related to writing, but really it applies to all things teaching. They suggest when teaching a writing unit that both teacher should be on the same unit, BUT they should NOT necessarily teach the same lessons each day. This is because each group of kids is different, and what each group of students needs will not be identical. Yes, there will be days where you may teach the same mini-lesson, but you're not differentiating if it's always identical. Perhaps you could let your teammates know this thinking (in a polite way of course), that your concerned by doing EVERYTHING the same, that you're not really meeting the needs of your students, so this year you may vary from them a little in an effort to do what your kids need to learn the most. It's a thought anyway...
     
  22. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 24, 2009

    We have weekly meetings, but we don't do any actual planning. Once and a while we'll ask each other where we are in the math curriculum or something, but we don't teach the exact same lessons. I would hate that, too!

    We do come up with common assessments and intervention ideas, but that's about it.
     
  23. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    In my previous job, we planned everything together. Then again, our district pretty expected every grade in every elementary school (over 40) to be on the same page each day so a student could have a smooth transition if they changed schools within the district.
     
  24. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    We're departmentalized this year, so no, we don't plan that closely together. What we do is talk about what each of us are teaching and try to incorporate and reinforce it in the other subjects.

    Example; Teacher A is teaching about the Civil War in Social Studies. Reading teacher pulls a story and reads a novel about the Civil War, Math teacher does a graph about casualties in certain battles, Writing teacher (me) has the kids write a soldier's journal entry
     
  25. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2009

    We are going to plan together. The last three years my team planned seperately, and this year I'm in a new grade level and with a new team. We actually sat down today and planned out the first 3 days of school.

    So far, it was been general planning. I don't think they'll be obsessive about us teaching the exact same lesson on the exact same day - just as long as we aren't more than a couple days or a week apart. And so far, I feel like we've all compromised on some planning or some lessons for the classroom, so I'm hoping it continues that way.

    Our principal is really into team planning and collaboration this year, especially with our new staff and the years we've had previously at our school. At one of our meetings this year, our principal said "It is ok if you do some things differently than the rest of your team once in a while. Not everyone agrees all the time. But if you, or someone on your team, is constantly doing something different...then it becomes a problem." (She meant huge differences, such as teaching different science concepts in the same grade - not what specific wording we use when teaching calendar and that type of thing.)
     

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