Colleague etiquette--small vent.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 12, 2009

    So I have this laptop cart in my classroom. A teacher from a different department asked me if he could borrow it this week to use with his students. Being the helpful person that I am, I said sure. He said he'd pick it up about 10 minutes before the end of first period. 10 minutes before the end of first period is 9:05.

    My students were using the laptops in first period. I told them that at 9 AM they'd have to power down and return the laptops to the cart so that they'd be ready to go when this other teacher came to get it.

    The other teacher showed up at 8:50, 15 minutes before he said he was going to and nearly 30 minutes before the end of the period. I told my students to go ahead and save their work, power down, and put the laptops away.

    Not even one minute later, this other teacher literally yelled/shouted at my kids to hurry up and put the laptops back, that now isn't a time for playing games. He basically hounded them until every one of the laptops was put away--he kept on shouting and telling them to put the things away. He was not kidding around.

    WTF? :mad:

    My students were working on their school work (not playing games), as they had been directed to do by their teacher (me) until 9 AM. It takes a little bit of time to save and power down properly, probably a minute or so. I could physically see that all my students were saving and powering down when they were asked to do so. I did not appreciate this other teacher coming in early and shouting at my kids for being slow and acting as though they were being intentionally defiant and non-compliant.

    I didn't know how to respond when this whole thing happened. I pretty much just gave my students an apologetic smile and asked them to speed it up as best as they could. These students are juniors and I've had them for three years. They are good kids who follow the rules and do what they are asked to do. They are not accustomed to getting shouted at. :(

    I didn't want to call this teacher out on his (what I felt was) inappropriate behavior and attitude towards my students in front of my students, because I think that would have been unprofessional. I'm not sure what I should have done.

    Ugh.
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oct 12, 2009

    I'd want to strangle a teacher if he did this in my classroom with my students.
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 12, 2009

    Argh. My biggest pet peeve. Yelling at my students in front of me. I think I would have asked him to step in the hallway, and gave him the what-for. Does this teacher have any kind of power/control over you? Can he make things hard for you? If yes, I would have probably done it with tact, but if not, I would have let him have it.
     
  5. PaperbackWriter

    PaperbackWriter Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2009



    I think KC hit the nail on the head. If he has power over you just tread lightly....


    But I must say, what a jerk! Next time tell him to take a hike when he tries to borrow
     
  6. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2009

    Sometime in the next few days I would talk to him privately. I would start with that you believe there was a miscommunication about when he would pick up the laptops. Explain what you understood the agreement to be. Then tell him that next time if he feels students in your class are not following your directions to talk to you about it, and you will redirect your students. If he is unable to follow that professional courtesy the next time, you will or have a student from your class deliver the laptops to him. I would also say to him that we all get impatient and feel the time crunch sometimes and as an adult you understand this, but the students do not and when would he like to come explain his actions to your students and apologize for them. Remind him how important it is for all adults to model for students how to handle all situations even the ones that may be we did not handle in the best way.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 12, 2009

    Fuzed, that is a beautiful, composed, adult answer! Love it! Do that, Cassie...

    But, in my head, I would be thinking...

    You pompous, arrogant, jerkface. How dare you come into my organized, productive, relaxing environment and bring your heathenistic, overzealous attitude. My time is equally if not MORE important than yours, and you're lucky I'm LETTING you borrow equipment from me. Heck, you're even more lucky I'm allowing you to share breathing space with me, you caveman. Fortunately for you, my kids are a cut above and understand that if it walks like a jerk, and talks like a jerk, it is a jerk-and they will remember. And the next time you want an iota of respect from them, or me for that matter, you can forget it. I will act in a civil manner, and I will treat your position with respect, but as for you, I'd like to go all Billy Blanks on yo' ass. Be afraid, caveman. Be afraid.

    And the whole time, I would look like this:

    :rolleyes: with the sweetest smile on my face!
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Oct 13, 2009

    Great advice from all, but if he ever asked to borrow it again, I'd plaster my face with a look of sincere regret and say, "Oh, sorry, that's just not going to work for me." :p
     
  9. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I think it's important to model for students how to behave when confronted with unreasonable, inappropriate behavior. Allowing such behavior to continue unchecked sends a message to the students that they must grin and bear inappropriate behavior without speaking up.

    When the teacher came in before the designated time, I would have commented on this fact and explained that we were not ready, and would not be ready until the designated time, at which time I would have all of the laptops ready for him. Then any hostilities he might want to spill would be targeted at me, and not the students.

    It is a question of assertiveness. If we allow bullies to step all over us in front of students, we show them that we as powerful adults can do nothing to stop them. That is far from the truth. There is nothing unprofessional about speaking up when confronted with inappropriate and disrespectful behavior.
     
  10. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I don't think I would even classify this as a small vent. I would have been irate. I think I would have told him "We aren't done with the computers yet. Please come back around 9:05 and we will have them ready for you." I don't think he would ever get them again.
     
  11. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I would have politely told him that my students were wrapping up their projects and that the cart would be ready at 9:05.
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I agree to approach him privately and address the issue.

    I think I would have smiled at him and said, "Oh, you are a bit early. I'll get the kids to wrap up their work and I'll send the cart down to your classroom in the next few minutes." Big smile and turn away from him and say, "Class, we need to close up a little earlier than I had told you. Go ahead and save your work please. Who would be willing to take the cart down to Mr. X's room in a few minutes? Thank you. Be sure to save!" Smile.

    Turn back to Mr. X. He should be gone. If he isn't, repeat, "Don't worry about it - my kids are pretty flexible. I'll have the cart brought down in just a few minutes." Smile. Then keep talking to the class, saying, "Thanks everyone for being flexible. We will be moving on to another part of the assignment . . .blahblahblah" Mainly keep smiling and addressing your students.

    But do go to him. He undermined your authority in your classroom. He was rude to your great students. I would approach him with something like, "Hey what was going on the other day when you arrived early for the laptops?" Maybe something weird was going on that made him behave so badly. Is he always rude????

    Very weird and I certainly would not have the laptops available for him to borrow again.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2009

    Why don't you approach that teacher now, after the fact, and tell him that your understanding was that he would come for the laptops at 9:05, that you appreciate that he only had a few minutes in which to pick up the laptops and in the future a clear timeline of exactly when he needs to borrow materials would make the transition much smoother on all ends...
     
  14. Bloom

    Bloom Companion

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I agree with mollydoll....I definitely would have chimed in when he was yelling and frustrated and politely announced that despite their original directions, they need to shut down early. He should not have yelled at your students and the students should understand that they were not at fault for his miscommunication.
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 13, 2009

    What an ass!

    The moment he showed up at the door & before having a chance to be mean to to my students, I would have said in a kind of joking way, "Woah, you came too early! Please come back at the time we agreed on, which is 15 more min."

    Who knows, maybe he's like some people who set their watches 10 min fast so they're never late. BUT for him to be that way w/ your students is atrocious!
     
  16. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I agree with kcjo! On both accounts!
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 13, 2009

    How was this handled today, Cassie?
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2009

    He wasn't here today! ARG!! I was all prepared to have a little chit-chat with him (thanks, guys, for giving me some good ideas on how to do that). I guess I'll deliver it tomorrow instead.
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 13, 2009

    I was thinking maybe he had a run in with a parent or had a jerk of a student waiting in the classroom and was rushed to get back to class. Most teachers would not behave so rudely. Although I have worked with another teacher in the past who would walk into my room to borrow something and be rude to my students and correct them in front of me. Excuse me?

    It was because she ran her class like a Nazi and I am pretty laid back. If a kid is tossing blocks into a companion's tote in order to clean up, they are both happy, nobody is getting hurt, they are both gentle, I smile and watch them and congratulate each "score," while she would snap at them, "We do not throw materials in the classroom. That is dangerous and someone could get hurt. We do not abuse our materials!" In my classroom in front of me!

    sheesh.

    I guess we all need to practice some assertive phrases that allow jerk teachers to "save face" and still protect our kids.

    But I do hope you go to this teacher and just ask, "What was happening the other day? You seemed out of sorts." Then just see what he has to say for himself.
     
  20. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    Oct 14, 2009

    This would have been my response as well.
     
  21. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Oct 14, 2009

    this is a great thread. I know I always need a push to be more assertive. It is great to have some of these lines for situations like this. I understand you being upset- that is terrible. As a non-assertive person I would probably approach him and say something like, "wow- what happened yesterday? What was the rush?" Good luck! I hope it goes well and he apologizes!
     

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