Category Archives: Colleagues

Collaboration & Teams

Negative Nancy is back at it again.

Today we had a great session of scale-building and assigning standards to specific classes when Nancy decided it was time to rant. She doesn’t like commonality, doesn’t want to assess on her own time, and doesn’t want to follow others but wants to lead everyone. The problem with leaders like Nancy is that they frequently find no one behind them when they are blazing trails. Of course, blazing trails can be a good thing as long as a scorched earth policy isn’t implemented.

However, on a much more positive note, I got to work with another group of teachers who jumped into the work today with gusto. Loved it! Everyone was active, all gave input, each person got involved in the debate, and we came to consensus without any difficulty. We should have filmed the session!

OK happy face_full

Classroom Preparations & Negative Nancy

My classroom is feeling more complete. Since I enjoy doing some get-to-know-you activities to begin the year where students tell about themselves, I set up my room to illustrate my interests as well as the obligatory “what I did over the summer” share-out. If I expect my students to reveal who they are, I have to do the same.

I am starting to feel the excitement of the coming school year!

I work with numerous amazing people who are as interestingly varied as they are talented, including one phenomenal teacher who also may be one of the most negative people I have ever met. For her, the world is getting worse and worse by the day, and education is about to fall off a cliff because things have changed in the past few years, especially in the new testing culture that has developed. While I would agree that we test kids too often and use state tests too readily when making decisions, I also feel that the profession is improving overall. Teachers are better trained and more advanced in research than ever.

However, Negative Nancy, while hiding her pessimism from the students (who love her and should love her because she is a master teacher who adores kids), feels free to express her exasperation with her colleagues. Because of this and her highly critical comments towards other teachers, she is not a popular co-worker during collaboration. She revealed this again today with heavy sighs, cross looks, and subtly critical comments during our planning and sharing time.

I wonder sometimes why she doesn’t try to get a different position in education. She seems unhappy all of the time and hides this from her students, and this disconsolate behavior appears to hang around her like a cloud. It must be frustrating to feel this way most of the time, and I think  if I felt that way so often I would have to find another line of work. It’s probably much easier to say than do, but I worry about Negative Nancy from time to time.