Smiling Backstabbing Coworkers

How do you fight it?

Thanks to the concepts of PLC, Professional Learning Communities, I’ve been working closely with my fellow English teachers to decide on our common curriculum and common tests and common everything.  A lot of great things have come out of it.  However, the main reason I’ve often avoided this sort of thing is that it’s hard to get along with groups of professionals for long periods of time.  Especially, if there is no clearly established hierarchy.

Recently, we all came to a decision about something we would all do in our classrooms.  We had created a simple five question, multiple choice test.  We wanted to give the test and compare the results, partly to see what the common knowledge base of our students is, but also to evaluate the validity of the questions.  We discovered that some of us had already taught the material, some were just about to, and others weren’t sure when they would cover it.  So, after some debate, we agreed that we would all give the test right away and then use it as a pretest for some, an immediate test for others, and a post test for the ones who had taught it some time ago.  We would then compare the scores.

To our faces, all of the teachers agreed.  As soon as we left, a couple went directly to our principal to beg and complain that they shouldn’t have to give a test over material they hadn’t covered yet.  Despite the fact that it was over a unit they had never taught before.  Never mind the fact that they had never given the test before and didn’t really want to give it anyway.  And, of course, the fact that the test would take literally minutes to give and correct shouldn’t come in to play.

For me, it comes down to agreeing to my face and then backpedaling as soon as we are out of our meeting.  Really makes me feel warm and fuzzy about teamwork.  I wonder why I used to just shut the door and teach in my room…

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.


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