Year: 1997-1998
Month: November
Leader: Group E

Situation/Case Study:

We were having our team meeting and the gifted and talented specialist was in attendance. We were talking about math. Two us had to leave at the agreed meeting end because we were going to visit another colleague who was on bed rest for her pregnancy. We needed to go, but two other members wanted to stay. When we left we felt the meeting was done. Two team members stayed with the specialist and made an agreement to commonly group our math students once a week. The two of us felt we needed to meet as an entire team to make this decision. We felt we had been left out. Our team meeting on this topic has not reconvened. The gifted and talented teacher seems to be forcing the teaming for math. Three of us are strongly against this approach and we want to be self contained. I only have one gifted student. Our team has worked well in the past. There is no resolution to this problem after several weeks. One person doesn't even want to talk about the issue. One of the team members is a long-term sub.

I see feelings of frustration, irritation, anger, and blame. A teacher in this situation may feel frustrated, powerless, angry, and not willing to compromise because other team members are not open to differing suggestions/viewpoints. A teacher might feel betrayed by your team members because they made a decision that affects the entire team without waiting for your input. It seems like they did this intentionally because they may have guessed you wouldn't agree and also because they aren't willing to compromise and be open to your view. A teacher in such a position might feel betrayed and frustrated because colleagues were not collaborating or respecting each other's views. Now they are hesitant to trust the other team members in regards to future planning. A teacher in such an event might feel frustrated, obligated, betrayed because the other members of the team didn't respect her/his wishes and desire to continue the discussion later. No resolution was achieved and there needs to be to form a cohesive teaching team. A teacher in such an event might feel angry and betrayed because the other team members went behind your back and they're not willing to resolve the situation. I think the situation has gone beyond the issue of clustering/grouping kids. It’s become personal or a power issue. A teacher in this event might feel discounted, frustrated, conflicted because of not resuming the meeting as agreed upon. It is like not being heard, or not validated for your own opinion. The two teachers who had to leave and asked that the meeting be postponed and then found out it wasn’t must be feeling very angry, frustrated, non-valued, and not respected. A teacher in this situation might feel betrayed and angry that a decision was made by 2/5 members that affects the whole team. A teacher in this situation would feel betrayed by a team that in the past had been supportive and cohesive. And would feel uncomfortable in confronting colleagues on what is going to happen next.

Theories behind practice:
Teaming. Professional Communication. Gifted/Talented Grouping. Self Contained Classrooms. Conflict Resolution. Professional Trust. Collaboration. Teaching Styles.

Impact on others:

The group talked about when you let someone else teach, are they up to your standards? Is our knowledge serving us well? Have we been well prepared to work in teams? One of the teachers has been at it for 30 years, a couple for just three years. You have to appreciate everybody's style of teaching and realize there is more than one right way to do things. Who is working to advocate for what is best for the kids, not just what the teacher likes best? The group agreed the solution to this case was in finding a way to get the team back together and talk this issue out. The individual agreed she would make the attempt to do this.