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laydj2020 laydj2020 is offline
 
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Is 100% enough?
Old 10-17-2020, 07:44 AM
 
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I was recently reading reviews about a local middle school in my area. All the positive reviews stated things about the teachers and principal going "above and beyond" or "doing whatever it takes".


On the surface that sounds great, but it made me wonder what do people say about teachers who give just 100%? I am an "above and beyond" teacher to a degree (I do have my limits, esp. with this virtual teaching business). Most of the families I serve are pleased with the job I do. But what they don't see is the time, energy, and (sometimes) money I expend to do a good job. They don't see the hours that I take from my own personal life to do what I do. What if I cut back on my time, energy, and money to only focus on the bare essentials? What if I didn't buy supplies to make that special resource that helps the students learn better? What if I didn't spend hours researching and reading to find a way to help that one student? Would they be so pleased? Does it really take giving 120% to be a "good" teacher?


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AnonSPEDteach AnonSPEDteach is offline
 
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Expectation
Old 10-17-2020, 08:16 AM
 
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I do believe that more than 100% is simply expected by society. I do believe that you can be a great teacher giving 100%. Even 90%! In my experience, those teachers have the best mental health and donít let their jobs ruin their personal lives. I havenít figured out yet how to be one of those teachers.

Giving 120% has made me lose my mind and my sense of self. Iím going to therapy now up address the mental health decline Iíve had throughout my years of teaching.

It is totally absurd the way society expects nothing less than superhuman performance from us. It is disrespectful to be quite honest.
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Gogogo Gogogo is offline
 
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Interesting question
Old 10-17-2020, 10:18 AM
 
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It took me a while to think through and identify teachers that didn’t go beyond 100 percent. Over the past 15 years at my school I can think of 4 teachers that worked bell-to-bell, didn’t volunteer for extra duties, and didn’t really do “extras” for the kids. They firmly saw their teacher position as important, but it was just a job. If they weren’t getting paid extra or reimbursed it was not going to be added to their plate.

Of the 4, I would say 3 were beloved by their students and families — they were masters at developing relationships and making the kids feel special, I would bet those families would say those teachers went above and beyond.

Academically, however, I know those classes consistently would finish the year lower than than the others. Basic effort, yields basic results. Those “extras” that other teachers do seem to pay off in the end.
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:25 PM
 
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I see the same things Gogo does. We have a couple teachers who consistently come in late, leave early and do barely enough to get by. Their classes frequently watch movies, play games, have extra free time, or do art projects when our classes have a dedicated art time with another teacher. The members of the community think these teachers are great. Sure they are. Their children love these grades because standards are low and they have a lot of fun. I am not on the favorite list, in fact I am on the opposite of that list. I get these kids after 2 years of fun and games and now they do not have the background knowledge or the stamina for 4th grade curriculum. I become the big, bad, mean teacher because I have expectations and assign work that I expect to be done, and done well. Parents don't see or understand that their children often come into my class with reading and math scores below grade level and leave at the end of the school year above grade level. This happens because I bust my hump and spend as much time during the day working with and teaching kids. All my correcting, prep, research, planning, organizing, creating, etc. happens on my own time before or after school or on weekends. All parents see is how much their kids miss the fun parties and games from the other teachers.
And yes, I do have monthly behavior parties and other fun activities in my classroom. They just are not all day long or a fun event every day. It is frustrating.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:14 PM
 
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I don't think that giving 120% makes anyone a better teacher. In fact, I think sometimes it does the opposite because it creates a teacher that is burned out. I know plenty of teachers that make boundaries for themselves and for their families and they are wonderful. I also know many who give 120% and are... just fine.

You can give 100% and work bell to bell. You can go above and beyond and still have personal boundaries and protect your family/personal time. I don't see going above and beyond or not as putting in more or less time. Often less is more, and those that know how to work smarter, not harder, have the same results as those who put in countless hours.


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Old 10-17-2020, 06:40 PM
 
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100% is not for those teachers who consistently come late and give kids busy work or just play games, imo. They are more like 50%.
You can give 100% without being a martyr to your job, imo.
I agree, the teachers that I know who stay in school and work hours beyond either get burned out, or have trouble balancing work/home life.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:55 PM
 
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I give 100%. However, some days that's 200% and other days it's 25%. When you divide it by instructional days (I give -100% on workshops), it averages to 100. Are my score the highest? No. I can't teach a child English in 180 days. I can't fix something if a parent wants to play the denial game. I can't teach a child that changes schools/districts more than their clothes. I can't teach a child who comes to school when they can. I can't teach children who come late or sleep in class. This is not my fault and I shouldn't have to be made to feel so because you (the universal you) do. I'm not a mom and don't want the job. Honestly, at some point, you have to teach accountability and resiliency. Which I don't think one does when they want to do the work of the teacher and the students.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:39 PM
 
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I agree with sbkangas and starr. I've worked with many teachers who spend a ton of hours doing stuff that is "nice" but unnecessary, and really has no impact on student achievement. Spending hours decorating their classrooms, for example, especially those that constantly change the decorations or redo their rooms for each season.

I used to have a teammate who worked 80 hours a week. Among other unnecessary things, she would spend at least an hour after school each day carefully rewriting anchor charts she'd made with students in class with slow/perfect handwriting, multiple colors, little drawings added, etc. She also put tons and tons and tons of details into all of her paperwork that really no one asked for or cared about. In fact, it really had the opposite effect- no one would read it because it was too much. And she was so burned out and absolutely hated the job. Every time I talked to her, she'd bring up ways she was trying to look for other jobs/get out of the field.

I also work with some teams that are just extremely inefficient. Collaboration is good, but some people have to talk every little thing to death instead of just doing it. At one of our PD days I got stuck planning with the 1st grade team for our new ELA curriculum. They got NOTHING done because they just kept going back and forth about minuscule details.

I work mostly contract hours and I would wager that my plans are more detailed/thought out than most teachers. I plan 7 unique lessons a day and am sort of OCD about having everything super prepped and ready to go, with a google slideshow for each lesson including visuals, etc. Every minute is direct instruction and not just having kids work on something, taking a test, etc. This is on top of all of my IEP paperwork/testing/meetings, which I also get compliments on. I've always been able to read/write/process extremely quickly. Some people are just more efficient. I also am getting work done at any free moment- I use all of my planning time, much of my lunch time, before/after school contract time, etc. If I'm sitting waiting for a meeting/PD to start, I get something done on my computer. I work with so many teachers who complain they can't focus and get work done at work. They are wasting so much time!

Any time I've started a new position/new school I've worked a ton in the beginning, because it takes a bit to get up and running and figure out how to be efficient. But after that, not so much. At my previous school I was a classroom teacher and worked similar hours as well.
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I get it...
Old 10-19-2020, 06:16 PM
 
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I was the 3rd grade teacher after a ridiculous 2nd grade year of "everyone gets As for breathing!" and "You are the best human beings ever to walk the Earth!" and those kids were a mess. Their parents couldn't figure out why suddenly their children were struggling in school because last year they did so well!! And the kids couldn't figure out why they had to expend any energy making themselves better, kinder, or smarter, because they were just so glitter-fabulous already! It was EXHAUSTING. Trying to knock kids off a pedestal and get them to see reality without hurting their self-esteem was rough. Explaining that no, your kid can't have an A in Reading because he's only reading 4 words per minute in the 3rd grade was rough.

I know not all "popular" teachers are like this, but there are some doozies out there who make life REALLY difficult for those of us carrying on the following year.
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