1. What has been your one biggest struggle this school year?
If I'm going to be honest- and of course I should be- my biggest struggle this year has been sitting through my twice a week Collaborative Learning Team meeting. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for collaboration and have been since I first stepped in the classroom years ago. It was August of 1993 when I entered my 5th grade classroom for the first time. As soon as I took in everything the room had to offer I walked next door to introduce myself to Catherine, the other 5th grade teacher. From that point on we spent just about every lunch period together discussing our different educational approaches as we took time to refuel for the afternoon. As a new teacher I knew Catherine had a lot to offer from her years of teaching experience. My ideas were not discounted. Catherine was happy to listen to and implement ideas I brought to the table. We spent about 6 years teaching together- never relying on past successes, but always looking at each new group of students and adjusting our teaching as needed.
Nobody told us to meet. We did not take notes on our meetings. We just met and got down to business.
This year my CLT is required to meet twice a week for 45 minutes. We are asked to come up with meeting norms and submit notes on what is discussed at our meeting. As an IB school we have been told that we must align our teaching so each 6th grade English teacher is teaching the same thing, or at least giving the same formative and summative assessments.
There are 3 English teachers in the group- two of us see pretty much eye to eye and the other seems to (my perspective only of course) disagree with just about every idea that is brought to the table.
I feel like I get along with people pretty well. I'm not into confrontation so I'm willing to do my best to work with others-but in this case I am stumped. Just about every Tuesday and Friday I leave work feeling frustrated and worn down as I wonder if it's time to move on to something else. Mostly I leave thinking about how much I miss those lunches with Catherine.