How to say no

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2019

    This past school year I did loads of stuff that is wholly not my job. Some of these tasks should be taken care of by our administrators and some should be completed by a collaboration of multiple teachers. We got a new admin team and had many (more than 50%) new teachers on staff last year, and I offered to help with some things, but then I somehow became the "person who organizes things" and I'm worried it is now the status quo. It was an entirely way too stressful year and I need to focus on keeping my own stuff taken care of, rather than arranging school field trips and school events. What's the best way to back off from these tasks going forward, especially in the eyes of admin? No one else at my school is stepping up to do these things that are yearly events, and I can't plan everything.

    I've recommended committees to admin but overall, I don't think admin cares about burnout or equal division of work, so it doesn't matter to my P that everything is being planned by only a few people. Obviously the "just say no" approach is the most direct but I don't want to be labeled as noncooperative.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Just politely decline when asked and say, “I’m getting behind in things that I have to do and so I cannot commit to anything else, unfortunately. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, but I am wearing too many hats and starting to be stretched too thin. I can help out here and there, but not continually.”
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    In addition to the above, I would also point out how these additional duties are impacting the instruction in your classroom. Any good administrator will acknowledge and accept that your classroom should be your priority. If you keep the focus of your conversation on how this is impacting students (rather than you), they'll have a hard time keeping the pressure on you.
     
  5. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Trust me, I know the feeling. And these people think I want to go out and eat/drink with them? Hahahahahahaha........
     
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  6. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    It goes from simply helping out to "I'm the only one who can do anything".
     
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  7. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    It gets to a point where other people start volunteering your services.
     
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  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    If you give them an inch, they take a mile.
     
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  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jun 17, 2019

    Ask admin if there is an opening for a strictly organizational position that matches or exceeds your current salary. This gives you the opportunity to describe all that you have been doing, and then describe how that impacts what your job description calls for. Who knows - there might be a position for people who are good at organization in a big way, perhaps with a bigger salary. Might be worth a try.
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Involuntary volunteerism!
     
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  11. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Seriously, you fix one computer, then all of a sudden, you're the go-to technology fix-it-all on campus. Got a printer to start printing again? "Hey, can you......."? No, go read the manual. No one wants to pay for all these extra services. "Hey, go ask ............... to fix it". :mad:
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This is the point it hit by the end of the year!
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I actually did mention this to my principal, but it does not seem to be something the school has the slightest bit of interest in.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 17, 2019

    When you say no, you do not need to offer any explanation.

    Once you start offering reasons, people start trying to help find ways you can work around the issue, assuming yo7 would do it if it weren’t for that obstacle.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Never give them a proble to solve
     
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  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Thank you. This is solid advice. This is definitely something that happens.
     
  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Whatever you do, don’t let them know that you can draw, sing, play the piano, type a letter and use the computer efficiently. Your name will be out there before you know it.

    I wouldn’t even sit at the secretary’s desk when she wants to go to the bathroom. Call a lunch or playground aide over! I’m serious ....when they know you can and will do something they’ll expect you to do it all the time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  18. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Fill out a payroll voucher for a stipend amount, and see what admin says
     
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  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Oh isn't this the truth. People at my school found out that I speak Spanish and it was a never ending line of requests. Let me be clear- I took Spanish in HS and for a couple of years in college. I understand a decent amount and can read it, but my speaking skills are pretty horrible. And I don't understand that much if parents don't do the "talk like your talking to a white person thing" and slow down and enunciate. I definitely still get an interpreter for my IEP meetings and conferences.

    One time this child had a major head injury and they wanted me to call the mom to come. It seemed like a big emergency so I did it- even though all I was able to say is that there was an accident and she needed to come to the school. Then the school health para started calling my room nonstop with ridiculous requests- could I call so and so's mom and tell her that his eye is twitching, and ask if he's had seizures before? First of all, that's too advanced for me, and second of all, I'm busy, you know, teaching. Thankfully our phones showed who was calling so I was able to just screen her calls.

    The secretary was also bothering me non-stop and I really had to put my foot down with her. I'd do it if it was something like back to school night where I had to be there but didn't a classroom, but not in the middle of the school day. Thankfully this year we got a couple of paras who are actually bilingual!
     
  20. Mami1Maestra2

    Mami1Maestra2 Rookie

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    Check out "Teacher Habits" blog. Good stuff!!
    And no committees!
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 29, 2019

    "I'm flattered that you thought of me for that position, but unfortunately I have a lot on my plate right now. I don't think I'd be able to do _________ justice right now so I have to say no. But thanks for thinking of me."

    Reword this as needed to make it yours. This should become your new go-to response for when you are asked to do too much. It begins and ends on positive notes while also making it clear that you can't do the thing that is being asked. It also leaves you in a good light so that the person asking doesn't walk away thinking less of you. If you know someone else that would be good at the job, feel free to refer them.
     
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