Coworker anger

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by horsegal, May 25, 2006.

  1. horsegal

    horsegal Guest

    May 25, 2006

    This last year my administration has asked that I take on a leadership role with my staff. This includes work as a facilitator and supervisor of a group of staff members. The work I have been asked to do is within my speciality, curriculum and instruction. Within my group is a group member who is working on her masters in administration and has a history of not being a team member. I wanted her in my group due to her excellent teaching strategies and my respect for her opinion, even though I knew she could be difficult. Our group had many discussions of respecting each other's opinions and even set up rules to follow to be mindful of our dealings with each other.

    A situation came up where she went over a staff member's head that belongs to my group to find out information to prove the staff member wrong. As the facilitator/supervisor the injured staff member came to me for help. The injured party was well aware of the perpetrator's reputation for retaliation when people dare stand up to her and refused to have a mediated meeting with her.
    Now forced to have a supervisory meeting with her, I plainly told her that there would be no more of that type of behavior. I told her that I respected her go get 'em attitude to get things "fixed", but she should have approached it differently with the staff member. I also told her that I wanted her as part of the group but she needed to stay within the boundaries established by the group for input. At the time, she agreed, though there was not an apology, just a statement that the other injured party perceived her help incorrectly.

    Needless to say, now she wants to have a meeting with me again so she can tell me all that I did wrong in meeting with her. She has said that I "deeply hurt her" and she has to get it off her chest. She has told others that she will "never forgive me for what I have done". She also says that I should not be able to be a supervisor to her, that only the principal of the school should be in that position. She also feels that I should not have been put in charge of a group-that she has the training to do it.

    My question is... do I sit quietly in the meeting and let her get everything off her chest? Is there anything that I should say or will it not do any good? I am thinking that asking her if the principal should mediate for us would be a good step in the meeting instead of letting it escalate more. I am not saying that everything I did was correct. I know that this was a learning experience for me too. I even told her that. I am thinking though that it would not have mattered if it had been me, the injured party or the principal, she would have taken this attitude.

    Any suggestions for the meeting would be appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
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  3. SweetMsNC

    SweetMsNC Rookie

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    May 25, 2006

    From this point, I honestly would have to say that you should get the principal involved. This sounds like it can become very ugly very quickly, and you seem like you want to avoid that. Remember that some people are just going to be rude and cynical regardless of what is said or done, obviously this person sounds like she is one of those people. If you decide to have this meeting with her again, just make sure that you have your principal or someone in there with you, that way your bases are covered. Good Luck!
     
  4. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    May 25, 2006

    Oh I am so sorry. She sounds like the type that would get upset no matter who was in charge. If it were me, I would have the principal sit in. I would probably not even ask her if it were okay. Or I might tell her I was sorry she was offended, but the point of your meeting with her was to discuss her offending the other teacher and not even listen to her gripe. Sounds like she is resentful that she did not get the position you are in and will try her best to knock you out of it and/or make you feel inadequate. Do you meet with the principal to discuss your groups plans/directions? Does the principal know how 'difficult' this person can be when she is not 'large and in charge'? Honestly, it sounds like nothing is going to change her mind, even if she gets it off of her chest-
     
  5. teachlove

    teachlove Rookie

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    May 25, 2006

    Wow, this is a difficult situation. I can be that "large and in charge person," so I know what that feels like too - yet, one can't be rude and we have to work together. I'd be inclined to listen to her vent. If it gets really bad, you could end the meeting and then have another with the principal. I'm curious as to why that person is so angry and not at peace.

    I know for me the bottom line is that I have a mismatch between my teaching style - communication style - available time (mother of three school age boys). It's frustrating. While I'd like to be working with the "idea/leaders" at school, I have all I can do to keep up with my three children and the responsive classroom style I believe in. Sometimes I become frustrated that there's not more flexibility in the job so that teachers can do some classroom work and some "idea/thinking - big picture" work during the work day - all the "big picture work" is on your own time. Anyways - that's something for me to figure out.

    In the meantime, bottom line is we have to work together with each other with respect and care. No one wins if we're rude and disrespectful. You could tell this person why you chose her and listen to her frustration and then ask her if she'd like to stay on the committee even though it means following the process and respecting all view points/actions or if she thinks another role would suit her better. Good luck - you sound like a very thoughtful teacher.
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 25, 2006

    You were doing the right thing. You were given a position to be in charge and she was told the "rules" of the group. She chose not to abide by them, therefore you had to speak with her. It really doesn't matter (in my opinion) whether or not she was "deeply hurt". She deeply hurt another member of the team. Is her hurt more important? I don't think so.
    As others have stated she sounds a little offended that you have the position. If I were you , I would have the principal around as an extra set of ears and just to protect yourself.

    Good luck resolving this!
     
  7. Thespis

    Thespis Rookie

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    May 25, 2006

    I can't really tell from this, but it sounds like the "injured" party is over-reacting. If your group was planning or acting on incorrect information, what's wrong with somebody finding the correct information? IMO, it sounds like they're both being childish and focusing on themselves instead of the success of the project. You, as the leader got sucked in.
    "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown."
    Good luck.
     
  8. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 26, 2006

    There is something wrong when they try to find out the information to get the other person in trouble.

    I think you should ask the principal to sit in on the meeting as well.
     
  9. Thespis

    Thespis Rookie

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    May 26, 2006

    Where does the OP say that it was done to get the other person in trouble?
     
  10. horsegal

    horsegal Guest

    May 26, 2006

    Thanks for the points of view! I agree that asking for an extra set of ears at the meeting seems like a good idea. It is obvious that she does not feel that I handled the situation well and perhaps having my principal there will help me make sure I don't make the situation worse. I do believe that she should be able to vent her feelings and I am prepared for that.

    This was a great learning experience for me! I am prepared for next time there is a conflict with group members.

    Thanks and I'll keep reading!
     
  11. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 26, 2006

    With the principal there, she might not be as harsh with you. Let us know how it goes.
     
  12. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    May 26, 2006

    I agree to include the principal. She sounds like a rotten egg in the basket. After all the principal picked you, because he thought you were the best for the job and you are acting as his assistant.

    I'm editing my message. I agree with Upsadaisy. She gave you a great answer. She isn't worth worring about.
     
  13. OldEnglish

    OldEnglish Rookie

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    May 27, 2006

    I agree with Thespis, but perhaps we don't have all the information. I don't understand why the "injured party" would be an injured party at all if contributing erroneous information. It sounds like she was trying to blow smoke across her own gaffe by attacking the on-the-ball staff member, instead of gracefully apologizing for her mistake. And then you fell for her smoke signals by berating the staff member... with the mistakee as a gleeful witness! Unless your rules stated, "Never correct any other member's mistakes, even if you have verified your facts beforehand," I think you might have got suckered by the 'injured party'. However, now that you are stuck in the middle of 'Tit' and 'Tat' ...you should definitely have a supervisor present at any future meetings, because it will be your word against hers. Since 'staff member' has already stated that she feels you should not be supervising her, you can say that you felt that the actual supervisor should be in charge of the meeting.
    Old English
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 27, 2006

    I have a somewhat different take on it. I think she sounds like a troublemaker, someone who gets off on the drama. I would want to end the situation right where it is, tell her you don't think anything productive will come of another meeting, that you are sorry if she was offended, but that you stand by your message. Then drop it. It sounds like you handled it well the first time.
     
  15. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    May 27, 2006

    horsegal, I am curious as to how the teacher who went out of her way to prove someone wrong presented her finding to the group. Was she rude about it? Put the other teacher down? Did she say she had done some research out of curiosity and came across this information? OR Did she just confront the one teacher who had found the information and want to correct her-if this is the case how did she let her know she had found the information? If she was rude about it or arrogant then the first meeting was called for and you do not need to have another one unless you have a witness.
     

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