Ever dealt with a manipulative coworker?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BB0211, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. BB0211

    BB0211 Companion

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    Feb 20, 2008

    I'm a first-year teacher. There's another new teacher in my team and she tries to manipulate me to make me feel inferior and insecure. It's obvious. She says things like "you may not have a job in this grade next year," or makes back-handed compliments like "good luck with your observation, not that you'll need the luck." (almost to make me second guess myself)

    Anyone ever experience this? Boy, does it add some stress to the workplace. I just try to zone her out, but she is a challenge!
     
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  3. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Feb 21, 2008

    I have. It was during my first year of teaching. This teacher waited until our other team member (who was my mentor) was out sick and bombarded me in the morning before the kids came in. She pretty much told me that noone in the school thought that I was doing my job, that if it wanted a job next year that I needed to make some changes, that I didn't have control and all kinds of things. I, luckily, had computer in the morning and was able to drop the kids off and go to talk to the principal. She told me that the teacher was out of line. It wasn't her place to tell me any of that and that none of it was true. She told me that I knew that problems that we have and we (me and the principal) were working on them together. That as far as she's concerned I was going to have a job the following year. For the rest of the year I pretty much gritted my teeth and ignored that teacher, doing my own thing and trusting only my mentor (as far as asking grade level questions). My principal made sure to tell me when I did things well (and even pulled me into her office to tell me that during state tests I was the only one who put the stickers on right). I ended up having a bad year as far as the students go (they were a really tough group), but my state tests were very good and the principal was pleased with me.

    Pretty much the best advice that I can give, is that if you're worried, talk to your principal. It'll put your mind at ease if you know how he/she feels!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 21, 2008

    Could it be that she is just trying to keep you aware of the challenges of being a non-tenured teacher? You may not be in that grade next year-even for tenured teachers staff gets moved around based on where the needs are. And the good luck on your observation not that you'll need the luck sounds like she has confidence in you...I don't know- doesn't seem manipulative to me but it could be tone of voice, inflection, body language. Have you thought of tellilng this person that what she says makes you nervous sometimes?
     
  5. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Feb 21, 2008

    Do you respond when she says these things?

    I would put it back on her. Look her straight in the eye, ask "What do you mean by that?" and continue to stare without saying another word.
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 21, 2008

    Ignore her--I had a teacher tell me last year "You aren't who we wanted to work with, " then she turned and said "To bad, Mrs. X wasn't hired and we got her." I cried all night. Then I decided that I wasn't going to let her ruin my life. People only have the power to hurt you, if you give it to them. Don't give her the power. She is not worth it.
     
  7. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Feb 21, 2008

    It's amazing how negative and vicious adults can be. Seriously, there are adults out there who act just like the children I teach. It's ridiculous, especially since teachers are supposed to behave as collaborating professionals.
     
  8. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 21, 2008

    Some people just like to bust chops.... they are always butting in. The best thing to do is smile and say thanks. Keep on going. You don't owe anyone an answer except your principal. Keep it professioanl and no one can ever say a bad thing about you.
     
  9. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2008

    Some people just love to get a rise out of you. Just respond with "Umm ok thanks for sharing" or say absolutely nothing at all.
     
  10. blue-eyed mom

    blue-eyed mom Companion

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    Feb 23, 2008

    That's great advise. You'll never win by pulling yourself down to their level.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Feb 23, 2008

    My principal just told me this week "Elementary schools are high school all over again." No matter where I go. I, too, am a first year teacher, and honestly, would love it if everyone would just leave me alone! I am so sick of everyone's negativity. Uggh.

    I know it is hard to ignore. Do it if you can. Unfortunately, my mentor is most of my problem, so I can not ignore....
     
  12. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2008

    OH Giraffe,

    I too have dealt with a gossiping, problematic mentor. She absolutely got on my last nerve. After a while, it was difficult not to give her the cold shoulder but that's what I did. I always gave short answers and didn't expound much. I probably made her just as uncomfortable as she made me (that was my point). I know it's exhausting to play games like this.... but for some schools it's just the culture.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Feb 23, 2008

    Gossiping isn't the biggest problem. Negativity and rudeness is. And, I'm the type of person who hated high school and has had few female friends because I hate cattiness.
    Right now, I am in a silent war with them because they assigned a project and didn't share. Then asked me if I was going to assign a science project. Grrr... We speak, but I am trying to out do them (both my mentor and the other teacher in my grade level) in everything. My principal has noticed :) I got an e-mail yesterday about how she loved what she saw in my room and stuff. Plus, I we are doing a super cool math activity next week to display in the hall.
    LOL, I am highly competitive. Don't tick me off....
     
  14. blue-eyed mom

    blue-eyed mom Companion

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    Feb 23, 2008

     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 24, 2008

    :2up: Way to go! I would definitely include THAT lesson in my portfolio!
     

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