what should I talk to my team about? (meet and greet today)

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Em_Catz, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I'm meeting up with my team for the first time today. I'm the team leader and not sure what we should discuss. It's an informal setting (we're having coffee) away from school.

    Obviously we'll chat about summer and introduce ourselves, but should I bring up any school stuff?

    I was thinking to just mention very little school stuff or just answer questions if they have them.

    Several years ago when I was new and met up for lunch with my team, they pretty much just chatted about non school stuff(which is fine), gossiped about other teachers and gave me the inside scoop on who to trust and not trust. I don't want to do the last 2 things.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Are you new to the school and the team leader?
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I think this meeting might be more social so the new team members can get to know everyone. Have fun!
     
  5. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I see how that could've been confusing. I'm the team leader and not new to the school. Two of our team members are new to the school, 1 taught on my team last year (under the old leader), and the last team member is new to our grade level, but has been at our school for three years.
     
  6. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Who initiated the meeting?
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I have been thinking about my first meeting, too. I think I will keep it light and just getting to know eachother since we will have two new teachers, too. You have probably had the meeting by now. How did it go? Any tips?
     
  8. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That sounds good. I haven't actually had the meeting yet, it's in about an hour. But I'll be sure to post back here and let you know how it went and if I have any tips or what did and didn't work. I don't know why I feel a little nervous. I already know two of the girls and the other two, while we've never met in person we've talked over email several times and they seem really nice and like they'll be hardworkers. Still, I have butterflies.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I know that feeling! I am feeling the same way. More because I hope it doesn´t feel awkward with the other two who have been on my team. This will be the first year I am leading the team so it makes me a little nervous. My colleague told me she had a dream that I was making the team go to too many meetings. I hope she had this dream because she knows I don´t hate meetings like many others do, not because she has misgivings about me leading the team. Well, good luck and have fun! I´m excited for you and have butterflies in my stomach too now (odd...I guess it´s because it´s making me think about the fact that soon I will be in your shoes!).
     
  10. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Last year I was the team chair over 7 second grade teachers. We did a meet and greet at a coffee shop and it was a lot of fun.

    I did some cheesy ice-breakers at first. I know it sounds silly but it really broke any tension! We told each other about our families, where we grew up, etc.

    I realize your meeting will be finished by the time you read this but I hope it went well!
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I´m excited to hear how it went. Let us know when you get a chance! :)
     
  12. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Hey! Sorry for the delay! My meeting went pretty well. I was surprised that we actually ended up talking a lot about school. Mainly funny stories about the kids, or the difficulty of especially challenging students. We did some talking about our personal lives, but not a ton. It was a little awkward at times, like we would kind of run out of things to say, so I'd try to think of something or someone else might say, "Soooo....uh, how's your summer been?"

    I enjoyed it. I am a little leery of one of my teammates, she is eager, but also seems that she might try to step on my toes.

    For instance, I was light-heartedly griping a little about having to attend weekly Team Leader meetings after school and she immediately goes, "I'll go to the meetings for you! Or we can switch off! Let's make a schedule." :eek:
     
  13. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Interesting! Is she one of the team members who is new to the school?
     
  14. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nope, she's not new to the school.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sounds like it went great, then! Well, that´s a definite red flag...almost like she´s trying slip into the position, or be a runner up if it becomes open. What days do you have your team leader meetings? Ours are on Mondays.

    I go back next week (not until Thursday, though)! I´ll meet the new teachers, so that will be nice. The others will return on the 12th.
     
  16. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :rolleyes: tell me about it. hopefully she was just being helpful. we'll see...

    let me know how your meeting with the newbies goes!

    Last year it was kind of weird. Week 1 and 3 were Mondays, Week 2 and 4 were Fridays. Personally I'd rather meet on Monday so it's over for the week. Staying after school on Friday stinks!
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    If she gets insistent, give her Fridays! :whistle:
     
  18. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Why is it a red flag that someone else is motivated and willing to step up?

    Honestly, sounds like you are front loading an issue for later in the year. You are starting to anticipate and strategize for drama.
     
  19. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :lol: Good idea! If I ever need someone to cover for me (like later in the year) I'll be sure to do that.

    Honestly, sounds like you are equating her being "motivated and willing to step up" with me being "irresponsible" and "taking unnecessary risks".

    This is not a seasoned teacher who has even a day under their belt in this grade level (which I stated earlier). This is not someone I have worked with professionally. So I don't feel comfortable or confident in having them represent me or our team yet.

    To me, that's reasonable. If you don't think so, then we'll have to agree to disagree because nothing you say will ever make me think otherwise.

    Additionally, these are TEAM LEADER meetings with the P, VP and our instructional specialist. I doubt it would go over well if I explained to them, "Hey! I'm only going to come twice a month because my teammate is motivated and willing to step up. That's cool right?" :rolleyes:
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 1, 2014

    But maybe she took your "light hearted griping" as "I don't really want to go anyway"...you're the leader, perhaps she was trying to feel out your dedication...just sayin'...
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Hopefully it won't be an issue but I think you're right to keep it in the back of your mind. I would just say, "Well, I can't let someone step in for me at these meetings but if something else comes up I will have you work on it". Some people are just pushy like that and don't really mean to try and take over. Some definitely like to step on toes and make a "name" for themselves.
     
  22. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Hmm, I actually didn't think of it that way. That's a lot less "stepping on toe-ish" and more, "Just trying to help out".

    I guess I'm a little leery/suspicious because two years ago we had another "eager" team mate who completely stepped on the team leader's toes.

    Our old TL was kind of laid back, so at first she was happy to let the teammate take on some of her responsibilities.

    Then I guess the other teammate started resenting the TL because she felt that she could do as good a job, if not better than the TL. So she began acting as if she was TL and it caused a rift on our team. It got pretty ugly between them.

    I don't want to be in a situation like that, so I'm being cautious. But I won't let my caution make me crush her enthusiasm.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I didn't take Pashtun's comment to mean anything negative about you at all. I think the question is valid. Why is someone indicating they are willing to step up after you made a comment about not wanting to go to the meeting a negative thing? You are reading something into that question that I don't think was there.

    The comment about drama might also be valid. Sometimes the "light hearted griping" as another stated it does seem to others as an open door to participate in the same type of commenting which may end up being drama within the team later. If it is ok for you to complain about job duties and responsibilities, how well will it go over when the team mates do the same thing. Will you be ok if they are talking among themselves about responsibilities you put on their plate as their leader? Will you consider it team drama or perfectly ok because you do it too with responsibilities others have put on your plate.
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Do you get paid extra for being a TL? I would not feel right about having other people do things that I was being paid for.
     
  25. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :yeahthat: Exactly! It's not like I'm sitting here plotting against her, I'm just taking note. And yup, I do get paid extra money for being TL. Another reason why it's not cool to have her take over something I am specifically supposed to do as part of my job title.
     
  26. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Its not even really about letting the other person do things. It is viewing it as aggressive, a red flag, someone is after my job, when it could really be geniune interest.
     
  27. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I totally agree. I'm glad you didn't take my comment in a bad way, I didn't mean it to be, but sometimes it's hard to hear.

    In my current job, I have had to transition from being an employee, to being several people's boss. Let me say this - IT IS HARD. Anytime you have to supervise someone, you are under critique. Probably more so than just an employee-look at it this way, when you are just a regular teacher, you have your supervisor critiquing your actions. As a TL, you have several "peers" doing the critiquing.

    I cannot iterate this enough-set the tone, set it positive, and set it IMMEDIATELY. I have made the mistake of being too light-hearted with an employee, and I paid for it until she left. She took my casual attitude and joking as the status quo, and acted as such. I lost ground as a supervisor. We were "friends" rather than me being someone who was her superior.

    ETA: I am not on some power trip. I don't need to be "the boss", but the fact is that someone has to be in charge. Someone has to be the serious voice who keeps things moving. When you become friends, it is exponentially harder to do that.

    So my advice to you is-be cautious. Communicate-not just with your words, but actions, emails, interactions-that you take your role seriously and you are ready to actually LEAD the TEAM.
     
  28. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Ok, THAT'S what I needed to hear. Thank you for phrasing it the way you did. I feel like you (and most of the others on this thread) are truly trying to be helpful as opposed to trying to find a flaw in something I've said/done and point it out. Thank you for that. :thumb:

    I've really taken what you've said to heart and I feel like I need to pull it back a little and go into Mrs. Catz TL mode as opposed to "Em Catz teammate" mode. It's difficult because our old TL felt like one of us, but was still respected as a leader.

    I would never hear the P gripe about stuff, even though I'm sure things that happen at our school gets on her nerves. In fact the only times I've heard her complain were behind closed doors when it was just us in her office. And even then it wasn't super detailed.
     
  29. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The most important lesson I learned as a team leader was when and how to delegate. It sounds like you have an excellent collaborator who can take some work off your plate. Hoping the way I'm seeing it is the way it works out.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Sorry I don't state things the way you like to hear them or have pre-conceived notions about intent of others such as me and some other posters. I may not always word things well, but it is rare that I pick on someone just to pick. Sorry if it seems that I find more things with your comments than others.
     
  31. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Me too! Hope for the best first before planning or expecting the worse, right? :)
     
  32. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Just be very careful what you say and how you say it. Don't be afraid to say "I'll have to think about that and I'll get back to you" to buy time. It's really really easy to "gripe" because in your mind you are relating on your team's level, but what you are really doing is undercutting any decisions that you may have to make later on.

    I'm sure I sound like it's about going into battle, it's not that...more setting the right tone so everyone can be successful and on the same page.
     
  33. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    kcjo, That is good advice for any position for any employee, professional or not, in any job. What we say at work matters to the tone and culture of the workplace.
     
  34. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That's really good advice and incredibly helpful. I appreciate that you understand that I'm new at this and am not seeking out issues. I just want to be prepared.

    Not griping is going to be difficult because I had a different kind of relationship with my former team leader and she griped and acted like one of us all the time. HOWEVER, to be fair, she knew she was actively trying to transfer to another school, plus she had been team leader about 3 years before I arrived.

    AND she'd been working with the ladies on the team for several years. So she knew she could trust us. I don't have that luxury. These are all new people (except 1) and I am a new team leader. All eyes, including the admin and the team, are going to be on me.

    I'm not "one of the team" anymore. I'm the leader, so I have to act like it and avoid the griping.

    I feel sorry that you don't realize your criticism wasn't presented in a way that was constructive to me. I feel even sorrier that your response to that was to post a sarcastic apology. I feel most sorry that you don't realize that HOW you say things is as important as WHAT you say.

    It's okay though. God created a wide variety of people and their personalities for a reason. ;)

    I feel I got what I needed from this thread which was a lot of great, useful information that will assist me in the upcoming school year.

    Thanks everyone and have a great rest of the weekend!
     
  35. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Do you realize that your comment doesn't make sense? You feel sorry I don't know, then blame me for knowing, then feel sorry for me because I don't know.

    Funny, this whole thread was about the last quoted sentence. You said something, griping, not knowing the ramifications or a leader griping to co-workers about duties. You could have easily stated your gripe, what ever that real gripe was, in a manner that would have been positive to your leadership position. Yet, you griped not knowing about the consequences of how and what you said. Now you chastise me. I find that amusing. I know this is blunt. I doubt you will take it well. However, it is true.

    BTW, I didn't miss where you accepted my apology then deleted that later and added this comment. I really wish I had multi-quoted your acceptance of my apology like was initially going to.

    It is also very funny you are participating in the same thing you are accusing me of doing. :lol:
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    It is a red flag because it is odd that a new teacher is trying to jump into the shoes of the team leader. I would find it odd if someone on my team volunteered to go to meetings that I never stated I wasn´t attending. Last year our team leader had to miss a meeting and asked for a volunteer on the team to fill in. That´s understandable. However, asking to go to some of the meetings when the OP never requested someone to do so is odd. If it were me and I wasn´t trying to slither into her position and genuinely wanted to help, I would probably just say something like, ¨Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.¨
     
  37. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    But the OP did make negative comments referring to the weekly meetings. I don't find it odd at all that a new teacher may offer to do work that others have hinted at not wanting to do or are not really enthused about. In fact, I find it more likely that newer teachers are the most helpful and willing. Again, as the OP said you should
    I think you should hope for the best, that she was genuinely just offering help before planning that she is "trying to slither into her position".
     
  38. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, everyone perceives things differently and I definitely perceive her comment as odd. However, I respect your perception that it was normal. :)
     
  39. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Agreed, we can respect our our different perceptions of the situation.
     
  40. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Absolutely! :)
     
  41. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I do have to ask....

    What should a team members say to a team leader (who is getting paid extra) that complains that she has to go to her team leader meetings even though she is getting paid? Not sure what the proper response should be.
     
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