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Sharing of own resources / unfair work distribution

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by natalielonglegs, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. DocShew

    DocShew New commenter

    I work abroad and my school is part of a group. I produce most of my own resources to meet the needs of the mostly non-native speakers of English, and the requirements of the exams I prepare students for. Our department works very effectively as we readily share resources with each other. We really benefit from the fact that we play to our individual strengths and interests.

    When new schools in our group were set up, we were asked to share our schemes of work with them, which we did. A visiting teacher asked if he could have all the resources for all the schemes, 'Because, well why re-invent the wheel?' he said. My thought was, 'Because the wheel took thousands of hours to create.' Perhaps mean-spirited but I do object to what seemed to me to be a somewhat shiftless approach from a new Head of Department.

    Also, my experience is that having to create my own materials has given me much more in-depth understanding of the subject matter I need to deliver. I do use some stuff I find online and am aware I need to post some free resources on TES.... and hopefully even be able to sell some in the future.
    saluki likes this.
  2. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I post my resources free on TES.
    I will not pay for resources, nor will I ever sell mine.
    It's just wrong IMO.
    Pomza and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Thank you Lara, Deirds, Rott Weiler and anyone/everyone else...

    Thinking about Deirds point about her her friend and contract stipulations - a while back, the company my Dad works for decided it was going to issue new contracts and the new ones included a clause that basically all IPR belonged to the company (even if it was unrelated to your job e.g. you'd written a novel or something) - whether it was just extremely badly worded or deliberate I don't know, but there was much unhappiness and I think the company had to back down in the end. I guess there could be issues for lots of people in this area (e.g. if you are a computer programmer and do programming in your spare time) - not just a teaching issue.

    Just as a matter of interest, does anybody think there is a difference between 'plug-and-play' resources and ones that have been created for one particular class and set of circumstances? Particularly in maths, I'll sometimes write a set of questions to test/check assorted misconceptions/difficulties based on what happened the previous lesson and it's never really occurred to me that they would be of any use to anybody else (I probably wouldn't use them again as it would be quicker to just write a new set of questions rather than to try and work out the logic to adapt the things)

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I don't think its wrong, but I do think it's a bit sad. Especially because I think most people who buy resources are doing it because they don't have time to plan their own. Not after meetings, marking in 300 different colours of highlighter etc etc. I'm pretty damned sure I've never sold anything to a school, just other teachers.

    People do it because they don't earn enough, and many of us are looking for a way out of the classroom. If I could earn as much as I do now by writing resources, I'd take that and run.

    But sadly, of all the things schools spend money on (swimming pools for SLT, rainy day finds for MATS, high salaries for executive managers) we don't see anything like enough money spent on departmental resources. You know - the things the children learn from.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I was advised to get permission from the school before you write it.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    I'd agree. But we weren't treated like this young teacher-I don't know anyone who started teaching before 2000-or 2005 for that matter-who would have been treated like this.
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    As much as I can see where you are coming from, depriving others of resources is not the way. (I feel proud whenever I see my own ideas implemented!) Working in more of a niche educational environment like a prison the finance officers might be focusing more on number of prison officers needed etc and not realise the work you have put in. I would highlight the work you have put in at your next PM meeting.

    PS if they have fired you once without explanation before rehiring you, not sure I personally would wish to work for such an employer.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. Eflmeister

    Eflmeister Occasional commenter

    I’ve always shared anything I’ve made. In fact during my time as HoD before I abandoned the UK system, one of my first actions was to organise all the dept resources so we knew exactly what we had and kept advising everyone to check first before making the nth PowerPoint/worksheet/IWB page on whatever topic they were teaching. In my new role I have also encouraged this idea of sharing and everyone has benefited greatly. I don’t see why people wouldn’t do it to be honest.
  9. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Some people are petty and sufficiently deluded, enough to actually believe that their in photocopied worksheet of comic-sans word-problems, they have created something of great material and academic significance, which must be fiercely guarded...
  10. PersianCatLady

    PersianCatLady Occasional commenter

    I must admit O can sympathise with the OP.

    I have just finished my PGCE and although my first placement was amazing and I had access to loads of resources, my second was the opposite.

    When I arrived in January, things seemed to be cobbled together from horrendous out of date rubbish downloaded from websites that no longer exist and also factually incorrect in places.

    I thought this was bad enough but after February half-term, apart from one year group there was nothing at all. Not even a scheme of learning.

    I was told that this wasn't that unusual and I had been spoilt by my previous school. Not only did I have to create all of my own resources (I know "my", "my", "mine") but I also had no structure in terms of a SoL.

    I know that this may not be that hard for those of you who have been through their NQT year and beyond but please bear in mind that I was a trainee.
    Educ84Math likes this.
  11. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    This is where a decent HoD/mentor should be helping you out.
  12. PersianCatLady

    PersianCatLady Occasional commenter

    Thank you for saying that.
    Educ84Math likes this.
  13. Educ84Math

    Educ84Math New commenter

    If all the resources were electronically produced, make sure every page of every document has your name and date (or month if you can't remember the exact date, or year if you can't remember the exact month !) plastered on the header or footer. Convert the files to pdf and give them the pdf. Or just print off hard copies. That way, you're seen to be helping out, but your work is still acknowledged. I did this one time, but was asked to hand over the original word documents - I initially refused and got in trouble, but did so in the end. In hindsight, I should have adopted some of the more creative solutions suggested by some commenters here - in real life, files get destroyed, go missing, computer viruses hit etc. .:D
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Nice to see this old thread back again. But...

    What a lot of trouble to go to for absolutely zero gain. Fortunately, term has ended, so it is too late to worry about.
    border_walker likes this.
  15. Educ84Math

    Educ84Math New commenter

    It actually doesn't take much effort to do. Not sure about zero gain, unless you're thinking purely materialistically. The point is acknowledgement of the source/creator whilst keeping people happy.
  16. Educ84Math

    Educ84Math New commenter

    Unfortunately, this seems to be a common phenomenon - new, and especially young, staff are expected to go through the same difficulties etc. that more experienced staff had to endure. Not that I think that's right.

    Having been a mentor myself, I completely sympathise with new staff, as the job is getting tougher. I provide all new staff with all the resources I have on a pen-drive, along with all my lessons (that I have typed up) along with any worksheets and the like. That way, they can spend more time concentrating on other things like behaviour management, lesson structure, formative assessment strategies etc.

    As a new teacher, I spent so much time creating resources or looking for them online that I hardly had time to concentrate on other important things. It's astonishing and disgraceful - given the number of staff that go through a department and their experience - that in 2019 not every school has a bank of resources (non error-strewn), and a scheme of work for every course that is taught ready to be given to any new staff who enter the department. It would simplify the lives of new teachers. Teachers should be helping out their colleagues, ultimately for the benefit of the learners. Sharing resources ? Don't believe a word of it - dog eat dog world, I'm afraid. That's one of the reasons I quit. I'm still in education, but in college. And now my work-life is almost completely stress-free :)
  17. SparkMaths

    SparkMaths Occasional commenter

    Crazy isn't it?

    Don't forget the folder full of badly organised and labeled resources of random quality from every teacher that worked at the school over the last 10 years.
    Educ84Math likes this.
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It could take a while if there is a lot of stuff. I suppose there is a gain if having your name appearing every time a resource you created is used is important to you. For me, I would be happy if resources I created were used or developed by my former colleagues and my successors. I really would not want students distracted by seeing Mr P's name on them, whether it produced good or bad memories for them. Life is too short to worry about that sort of thing.
    border_walker likes this.

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