A Letter to My Grade Level

To my first grade team,

I am very sad that we are together on a team. We have so much potential, yet we fail to use it for the benefit of good. I'm sad that there is so much animosity between people that we can't work for the good of the kids, but rather we are so busy making sure we keep an eye on what the others are doing.

We are supposed to be adults. We are supposed to be setting a good example for the kids to see. I don't think our job is to ignore people, but rather work together. I may be mistaken, since I have been there for 3 years now and I don't see the whole team working together.

I am sorry that some of you feel that we were "the chosen ones". If you remember, they shut our school down and we had to move. We had no home anymore. We had to go our separate ways and join new teams when the teams we were on were good and worked. I'm sorry that we caused you so many problems and questioned the other principal on his actions. After all, you are always checking to make sure you get "what's fair", and that's all we wanted, too!

We have been a grade level for 3 years, but we are not a team. We can't be bothered to act professional and show up at grade level meetings. We can't share our ideas for fear that someone may actually use a good idea another has. I'm not trying to out do anyone, I am trying to be the best I can be as a teacher for my kids. I am tired of my things and would like to see new ideas, but I have realized that is too much to ask for. We can't share together because some people don't want to share with others. We can't be bothered to share our testing data for fear of not looking the best. We all need help in places where others are better. I'd like some new math ideas, but no one again, is willing to share. I'd like to see your daily schedule to see how you do things, but I know that is too much to ask for.

We are all supposed to be professionals. We don't have to like each other, but we are supposed to be respectful of each other and treat each other with respect. It's what we ask our students to do, but then we are above it ourselves. I don't care what happened last year, or the year before or 3 years ago when I wasn't here. I worry about what's happening now. I worry about how our kids are doing when they go to other classes and are supposed to be learning in there for the focus time. I worry because we can't be bothered to share what it is we are working on. It's not a secret! I can ask the kids and they will tell me. I want to know what you, as the professional are doing! I want to sit in a meeting and be given the same respect I feel I give to people. Am I perfect? Heck no! But I try to make sure I am respectful to each person on my team. I try to make sure I do the little things, like make eye contact when you talk. I try to listen rather than doodle on my notepad. I try to think of how I can work with your children when I have them, rather than complain that there are so many. I plan for the kids like they are my own. I want to make sure they are getting something out of each day. I'm not a miracle worker, but it would be easier if we all worked together.

We are a grade level of 5, but we are a team of 1's. Yes, some of us are closer to each other than others, but it's the way it has been. 2 of us came together from the other school after having worked together for 10 years! We work well together and wouldn't give it up. We aren't out to get anyone, regardless of what some think, but we are working together. We feel we are the only ones who will work together and we already have shared all we have! Sometimes there are 3 of us, but really, it's just 2 and 1 who eats lunch with us and shares some ideas. We dont' sit at lunch and plot or plan or collaborate. Sometimes things come up, but that is the nature of the job. We are trying to get away with meeting without people. It's just what happens. We aren't plotting to plan at lunch, cause honestly, there ain't nothing to plan at lunch! We are doing different things! Get over it!

3 years ago when I went to the school, I went in with a very good, positive attitude. I was excited for a new start, not that I really wanted it, but I wanted to make sure I gave it my all. I tried to reach out to everyone and wanted to be a team, but in the end, I got crapped on. I was told that we were chosen to be there. Yeah, well someone had to take us. We had to teach somewhere. We jumped in with both feet and watched others not have to participate as we did. We jumped in and were accused of plotting. We jumped in and got crapped on. It wasn't fun. It was a hard year. I went home every night and cried. I went home and wondered what I did. I lost respect for the principal and the people I worked along side, but not with. We have never worked "with" each other, but just in the same grade level.

I think it's sad that our grade level is the way it is. I can't even call us a team. We aren't a team. We are a bunch of I's doing what we want, regardless of what needs to be done. Oh, yeah, we can play a pretty game when people come and visit, but really, we are just doing a dog and pony show. I'm sure the kids don't know or care what's going on, but they will get smarter and realize it later. I have never had a grade level team work super together. And I want that. And I know it will never happen where I am. It can't. There is too much drama and too much history. It won't happen until people leave. It's the only way it can happen. And until then, we will continue to be a bunch of I's, with a WE thrown in there, trying to teach our kids! Sad.


  1. Oh, I am so sad to read this :( I feel you though. That is exactly how I felt at Former School (although we didn't have so many people in each grade level). It got to the point that I did what I knew was right for my kids because otherwise, I'd be sacrificing their good education because of someone else. It pisses me off when 2-3 people can't stop thinking about themselves long enough to think of the impact their unprofessional behavior has on the children.

  2. It's been this way for 3 years, but this year is the worst. And our new principal is having to put up with so much crap from them. She's even trying to change our collaboration day to a day that she is always there. Ridiculous that we have to be babysat by the principal. I'm hoping there is paperwork in the process to get the one teacher moved. Or fired. Either one would be a blessing at this point!