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Impossible Standards
Old 02-28-2019, 09:19 PM
 
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My grade level partner is an experienced and masterful teacher. We are primary grade teachers and she has great patience and passion for her kids and teaching. I don't knock her teaching one iota and any kid would be so lucky to have her. I'm a newer teacher and have my own, different style from her - which is fine, right? My class size is double hers and she has 3x the outside help as I do; she also has nearly all high flyers. I typically stay an hour or so after school. She typically stays 4,5 hours and this is no exaggeration. My frustration is that because we are grade level team mates, I am constantly compared to her by staff, helpers, and parents. I have a pair of siblings and some cousins and what wondrous fun (made possible by all the extra hands and hours) things go in her room, I get complaints if the same does not happen in mine. I love my kids and we have great things going on too! It's frustrating to be looked down on or treated as less than by others just because I will not stay until 9 p.m. every night, etc. All the power to her, but that isn't a standard I want to try to live up to.


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Wow!
Old 03-01-2019, 03:37 AM
 
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All the power to her, but that isn't a standard I want to try to live up to.
And you shouldn't have to!

You also shouldn't have double the class size she does. - How does that even happen?
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:23 AM
 
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I'm stuck on your class being twice as big as her class.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:24 AM
 
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Is her class so much smaller because she has all the behavior kids? I think it would be more fair all around to balance the classes.

That's tough, but you already know you don't want to "compete." And this...cling to this:
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I love my kids and we have great things going on too!
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:09 AM
 
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I think teachers are always going to be compared by parents. These great activities- are they being shared? Are you sharing great activities with her? Maybe you both need to do more coplanning together. A lot of the time with my teammates, if one of us plans a great activity, we just prep it for the whole team.


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Old 03-01-2019, 02:48 PM
 
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I feel like it's pretty balanced in terms of behaviors on both sides. The differences are she has more kids who started on or above grade level and I had only a handful with most of the class being low or below. She does have one young man with CB who is fully w/c bound. Perhaps that justifies it? There is some definite politics though as she has friends in high places. She does not share ideas and I won't lie, it is a bit irksome. Ideally I'd like us to be collaborative but planning just feels very competitive. She shares bare bones and then whips out all of these amazing ideas that she documents all over our grade level parent blog. I've shared some but eventually became discouraged. She is adored by admin and the community; again she is a marvelous teacher. It's just a difficult shadow to teach in. Thank you to everyone for listening.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:46 PM
 
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I was just talking about this in another thread, but I also have a teammate who works insane hours. I'm the primary sped teacher and she's intermediate. She stays until 6, goes home and eats dinner with her kids and goes to sleep with them, and then sets her alarm for 1 AM so she can work through the night until it's time to get the kids up for school. This is in addition to working her entire weekend as well. I, on the other hand, mostly stick to contract hours.

She gets TONS of praise and accolades from other teachers and admin. Any time we've had any sort of special award/recognition, she's gotten it. Other teachers are constantly nominating her for these things, talking about what a wonderful addition to the staff she's been, etc. This year she took a couple of kids in one of my grade levels (because my caseload was more than double hers) and it's hurtful to hear those teachers constantly talk about how she "just always goes above and beyond" and how lucky they are to work with her.

Like you said about your teammate, I agree that she's a wonderful teacher and her students are lucky to have her. But I hate that everyone encourages this workaholic behavior. It's not healthy and should absolutely NOT be expected from anyone! When I'm feeling sad about comparisons, I remind myself I wouldn't trade my life for hers for the world. She's literally sacrificed her entire life to get all of those accolades.

She's actually leaving at the end of this year (so I'll get to hear over and over again about how terrible it is that the "best sped teacher ever" is leaving ) and even though we haven't hired anyone, I'm already feeling sorry for whoever takes her place. They'll never live up to the expectations the other teachers now have for that position and will constantly hearing things like, "But last year Mrs. sped teacher did ____."
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:13 PM
 
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I'm a newer teacher and have my own, different style from her - which is fine, right?
Yes, absolutely!!


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My class size is double hers and she has 3x the outside help as I do; she also has nearly all high flyers.
There is something so wrong about this. How did this happen? How are at least the class sizes not the same?


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I typically stay an hour or so after school. She typically stays 4,5 hours and this is no exaggeration.
This will make you a better teacher and person in the long run! Stick to it!


Learn from her, but don't compare yourself to her. Continue loving your kids and doing what is best for both you and them. It's hard not to get down when you feel others see you as less, but keep focused on the fact that you also have great things going on.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:54 PM
 
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I'm having a hard time with 'It's a difficult shadow to teach in'. Shame on her. If you have a teammate, you should be a team player. It would be a different story if you had been given a chance, and didn't pull your weight. But, you sound like you are more than willing to do this! I am almost twenty years older than my teaching partner, and I've been teaching with her since her first year. We work great together. If she is that great and masterful, she should be sharing her knowledge with you to help out. . I'm sure you could share your younger and new ideas with her. This is what my teaching partner and I do. Aaaargh. I'm very fired up now for you! Hang in there!
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Unfair class roster
Old 03-01-2019, 08:32 PM
 
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My family, friends, and even some staff have been surprised at the seemingly unfair class roster. This is where I say politics and her high places friends comes into play. The chair of our school board is her best friend. Admin loves and adores her. I struggled with some resentment and mistrust of admin over the "unfairness" of it all. However, that negativity didn't serve any good purpose. By Thanksgiving I just decided to accept it and focus on me and my kids and us improving. On the plus side, I was given some major challenges and I learned to work through them. I believe the experience has made me a better teacher and colleague; I'm hyper aware now of being sure to be helpful and open with my best ideas and resources as to not make anyone else feel as I do. Again, thank you to everyone for empathizing.


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Old 03-02-2019, 04:55 AM
 
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I'm sorry your partner is not as collaborative as you'd like. With that being said, then just live in your own lane, so to speak. Focus on your class only. No comparing, no expecting her to share, etc. Just do your own great things and yes it is crazy that she is there till that late at night!!! Is she truly working that whole time?? Nuts and no way ever would I do that.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:58 AM
 
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Maybe the child in the wheelchair is why the class size is small. I know my teammates were a little upset the year I had a child in a wheelchair that I was capped at a lower number than them. But honestly, when you have a small classroom, you need to make every area accessible to that child. So smaller roster = fewer desks = more movement. However, the fact that these lists are so unbalanced and why was never explained by admin really bothers me. It's also not ok that all her kids are on or above in the SMALLER class. That year, since I had the smaller class, I offered to take all the students new to the country, a kid that had ED, a few LD kids, etc. I figured they could receive more individualized attention that way- ugh, this is making me heated! Lol

Have you ever talked to her about how to plan better together? I multitask really well on a lot of things, but planning, not so much. I get my best ideas when I'm alone. My teammates know they'll get emails from me at night, or on weekends- they know I don't expect a response right then, that I do it just so I don't forget since I have a terrible memory.

I do have a team at my school that has a similar planning dynamic- the veteran teacher feels that the first year teacher just wants her lessons handed to her, after she has spent all this time and energy planning. I can see both sides. Just continue sharing with her, and hopefully she'll eventually follow suit
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:41 AM
 
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You said that your partner is experienced, but you didn't say how long you have been teaching , so I was just curious.

Have you been through the process of your school assigning classes before?

I just ask because different schools have different ways they put students into classes.

We try to balance classes as much as we can, but sometimes there are certain situations that arise and classes are not balanced:

* We had started the year with 2 5th grade classes. They had a lot of move ins and both classes reached 30 kids. We hired a new teacher and split some kids. The classes are now, 20, 20, and 14. The new teacher only has 14 because we had to put her in a small space. This happened when I was in 5th grade as well (different school), we split my class and there were 12 of us that went to a new teacher.

* We have had to put most of the students with 504's and IEP's into one class before due to staffing issues and in class support. We did not have the staff numbers to be able to split btw. all the classes.

* We have a girl with Epidermolysis Bullosa. Her skin is very fragile. She has to be in a smaller class with less active students. If she is bumped into or even gets brushed up against, it could be extremely harmful and painful for her.

Also, we don't take "parent requests" but often we will try to work things in if we can or if we agree (separating some kids, teacher style, etc). I tend to get a lot of the eccentric kids because I work well with them.

I think it is normal to compare ourselves to others, but do your own thing. Focus on you and your class.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:24 AM
 
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This is my first year in a classroom full time. I subbed for half the year all over the place prior to this placement. In really do not know how my Prince decides who he will put where. I feel like he was impressed with my subbing work and that is why I got this spot when it opened up. You make a good point about needing space.
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