Bad-mouthing Teachers to Students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mrs. Toby, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Mrs. Toby

    Mrs. Toby Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2010

    We began our state testing today, this is our second big test of the year. Our testing students are assigned to us alphabetically and I have a different group of students than I did the for the first bit of testing.

    Long story short, I had to have a student removed from the first round of testing earlier in the semester for making noises and talking during the test. Before we began this morning I had a student tell me that one of the teachers here told them that I don't have the same testing group because I couldn't control a particular student during the first round of testing.

    He had no reason to say this to me and I have a strong feeling that he was being truthful. This particular teacher hasn't been herself lately and has been acting a little strange.

    Do I confront the other teacher? I feel a comment like this is really undermining my authority as a teacher.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 6, 2010

    I'd probably leave it alone, but that's because I don't think I'd want to deal with the fallout. My school is wonderful, but it's really politicky....People remember stuff like getting called out for their own bad decisions and can make life unpleasant for the rest of us. For me personally it's not worth the battle, but it might be to you to say something.

    I'm sorry that another teacher would do that. I think that it's totally unacceptable. It reminds me of an incident that happened at my school a couple of months ago.

    We have a staff chat thing on our school email. Usually we post funny pictures, tell jokes, tease each other back and forth, and post ads for things for sale. It's almost always really harmless and fun. Every now and then it gets political, though, and we have a handful of teachers who LOVE to argue about politics (and happen to be extremely towards either end of the spectrum). I stay FAR FAR FAR away from those discussions.

    Anyway, one day they were talking about President Obama and one teacher made a joke about how some stack of old Obama calendars would make excellent bedding for his hamster cage or something like that. I (as an Obama fan) wasn't offended at all by what he (definitely NOT an Obama fan) said. It was clearly a joke.

    Another teacher posted on the forum that this teacher needed to keep his racist comments to himself (she highlighted the word 'racist' in red and made it into like 24-pt font) and said something like, "And remember that it was YOU who taught US to read." I really don't know where the second part of her comment came from at all. The tone of her post was very angry. At that point a bunch of people jumped into the forum and said, whoa whoa whoa simmer down. The original teacher apologized that his joke was misconstrued and everything seemed to calm down.

    Later that day a student walked past the teacher's room and said something about how "that guy is the one who is all racist". The only people who have access to that forum are teachers, so it stands to reason that someone told students about this situation, which I think was totally out of line. I think that both teachers ended up getting an administrative warning as a result of all this mess. It was ugly. I stay out of that stuff and keep my mouth shut--at least at school! :)
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 6, 2010

    Wow! That was a super long post! I'm sorry for that. Sometimes (most of the time) I get too wordy.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2010

    It is extremely unprofessional for a teacher to make those types of comments about a peer to the students or their parents. If a student or parent ever has a problem with the teacher in question, you can bet the comment made by their peer will be brought into play.
     
  6. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2010

    I would never confront someone on something I didn't witness them doing. You have no "proof" and it could blow up in your face. The other teacher could turn around and say any other teacher or the student you have removed said the comment. However, now know how this teacher feels about you and know to distance yourself from them.
     
  7. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Apr 6, 2010

    I wouldn't touch this with a 10-foot pole!Kids love to get attention from other teachers. Also, they want to see how you will react to it. I'm sure my students complain to other teachers about me.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 6, 2010

    I agree with Newbie; it's hearsay.

    Ignore the whole thing.
     
  9. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 6, 2010

    During my ST time, I once made an off-hand comment about a student in front of another teacher. It wasn't anything bad or outrageous but a few days later, the mom complained about a different incident with her child and the comment *I* made was brought up. The only person who heard that comment was the other teacher - there was nobody else around at the time. I was very disappointed to learn my comment had been relayed to the mom somehow.
     
  10. MistsOfSpring

    MistsOfSpring Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2010

    I'd probably ask the other teacher about the comment, but I'd approach it in a way that was seeking clarification rather than accusing. Keep in mind that kids can twist innocent comments very easily, so even if something was said, it might not have been what the child told you. It could be something as simple as the kid asking why the testing groups were changed and the other teacher said "There were a few problems last time and things have been rearranged to try to solve them" perhaps not even meaning anything related to you, but the kid thinks "hmmm...the only problem I know about was that kid who had to be kicked out. They must have changed things because that teacher couldn't control him."

    The advantage of asking (as opposed to either ignoring or accusing) is that you present yourself as open to dialogue while also letting the other person know that you aren't going to just sit back and ignore unprofessional comments IF in fact that's what has happened here. Whether or not there is a resolution, a reasonable explanation, an excuse or an apology, you'll have stood up for yourself but you'll have done it gently so you don't step on any toes while you do it.
     
  11. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Apr 6, 2010

    Was it an actual classroom teacher, or a teacher's aide. I've found the aids will talk about anything and everything to anyone, including pointing out which second and third grade boys already make it clear from their mannerisms that they are gay
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Apr 6, 2010

    OMG Toak, my Americorps person does that!
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Actual classroom teacher. :(
     
  14. Mrs. Toby

    Mrs. Toby Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2010

    I had a second student make a comment to me this afternoon about the testing groups being changed. This student said that the teacher told the students that I didn't want them as my testing group. I teach 7th grade and this teacher seems to be in competition to be the most liked teacher in the hallway.

    I don't want to confront her directly and I'm considering talking to my P. I've had a REALLY bad year personally and at work and I don't want to take any chances by ticking of another teacher.
     

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