Taking over the classroom of a lazy, pushy teacher

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Passion4PreK5, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Passion4PreK5

    Passion4PreK5 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2018

    Hi there! Here is a bit of background: I graduated in December 2017 and have been working at a school (where I student taught) as the permanent substitute since January. In April, I interviewed and was hired as the new bilingual teacher for the Fall. I will be taking over the classroom of one of the former teachers who will now be working for our school as a special ed resource teacher and will therefore not have a classroom anymore. This teacher has been working at this school and in this classroom for the last 9 years, so she has accumulated a lot of materials...and junk over time. I have been going in and trying to get things organized a bit but it has been really hard since the majority of her things are still in the classroom. Today, this teacher came in while I was working. Earlier that day I had cleared out about 5 shelves that had been full of board games and puzzles (many of which are too advanced for my students). When she came in she told me that she can't take all of these things with her, so I would have to find a place to store them. All of the cabinets in the classroom are also full of her things, and I know that she is not planning of clearing them out before she leaves. As a new teacher this is very frustrating. I want all of her things gone in order to make room for the things that I will actually be using. And it isn't like I can give away or throw out the things I don't want because this teacher will technically still be working at our school. So I know she is going to want to come in and take her stuff to use whenever she needs it. I'm left feeling stuck with an unorganized room full of junk with no space to put my own things. (I'd also like to add that this teacher can be very rude and she was making backhanded comments about what I had started to do to make space in the classroom. I'm also too nervous to talk to the principal about this because this teacher is kinda a kiss up and has a really close relationship with the principal.) What advice do you have? Please help!!
     
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  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2018

    “Glad we got to chat today, (insert name of teacher)! Unfortunately, though, I can’t store your things in my classroom. Let me know what we can do with the rest of your belongings.”

    Email her and cc admin.
     
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Beautiful. Short, sweet, and to the point.
     
  5. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Great answers so far. You are not responsible for storing her stuff. She needs to move it to her room or somewhere else. When we move rooms, we have to get all our stuff out.
     
  6. Passion4PreK5

    Passion4PreK5 Rookie

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    Thanks for the advice! I guess I'm just nervous about making her angry (because she gets angry easily and can be very rude). She will also still be working in the same building as me and this can make it very awkward. I will try and take your advice though!!
     
  7. Passion4PreK5

    Passion4PreK5 Rookie

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    She is basically telling me that I need to clean out everything for her. Not fair.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It isn't fair. I would say that if she continues to drag her feet on clearing out her stuff, you might have to do that for her even if you shouldn't have to. I think that this is a last resort, mainly because you don't want to get into a situation where she accuses you of losing or damaging her stuff. Even so, you do need access to your classroom, so if she won't clean it out, you might have to get some big boxes and pack up her stuff for her. Be prepared for that, I suppose. The email CCed to admin above is a great suggestion and will hopefully help you avoid the mess of having to pack it yourself.
     
  9. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    I've had this happen and that person will definitely take advantage of any passive behaviour on your part. Does she have a designated office or prep area for this year? If so, I would pack up her things in boxes and leave them there. If not, you could pack her things and leave them at the office, letting them know that you'd like to move your things in and these items aren't yours and you don't want anything to happen to them/you want them to be returned to the owner.
     
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  10. Passion4PreK5

    Passion4PreK5 Rookie

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    Thanks for the advice! She has so much stuff in the classroom that it's very overwhelming. I suppose it may be my only option though.
     
  11. RaiderFan87

    RaiderFan87 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2018

    Don't pack up her stuff until you hear back from admin. You should NOT have to box up her things!!!
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Are these items her own personal belongings (i.e. materials and supplies purchased with her own money) or are they school property? If they belong to the school, I can understand why they should stay in the classroom and you should be free to pitch/share with other colleagues what you don't want or need. If they are her own supplies, you'd think she would want them back! Since she's not packing up her things, I'd go with the email route, as suggested by @YoungTeacherGuy .
     
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  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    The only thing that I would add to YoungTeacherGuy's post would be to add a concrete "must be removed by date." If there is no "must be gone by date" specifically stated in the email, I will guarantee that there will be no action on the part of the teacher you want out unless there is a concrete date fully agreed upon by you and admin. No one likes to declutter, and I am sure that this teacher feels as if she is entitled to use your room, simply because she always has in the past. I might be inclined to move the process along once the email has been sent by asking where she would like the boxes of her material to be deposited, and is she OK with it not being in a locked room/area.
     
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  14. Passion4PreK5

    Passion4PreK5 Rookie

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    It’s a combination of both. One of the problems is that I can’t tell what is her’s and what is the district’s. Id rather not use her things because I would worry that something could get broken or lost.
     
  15. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Jul 17, 2018

    If she doesn't want things to get broken or lost then she should remove them from your classroom. It's not your responsibility to be responsible for things that aren't yours....
     
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  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    She is going to find something to be angry about if this is her default personality. If it isn't her stuff being packed up by you it might just be that she isn't in the bigger room anymore.

    Worry about yourself. E-mail her with the CC to admin and if there is no follow through do one last e-mail with a deadline also cc'd to admin which requests she removes her items. I might even indicate that items not removed will be assumed to be district items and used as such. But that might be going a bit too far.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Now that would be funny! I'm sure the office would love this.
     
  18. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    We're actually told to do this at my school.
     

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