gossiping coworkers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by futureteach24, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    Jun 3, 2013

    What are your thoughts about gossip at work? It's a big turnoff for me and the first sign I can't trust a person. I've basically been accused of keeping my coworkers at arms length by my principal. However, these were the same people that told him I wasn't interacting with them at the beginning of the school year and the same people that told him about my class management issues . He told me he is expecting me to interact more with them next year because there are "good teachers" at the school. Also he said the other teachers feelings were basically they wouldn't help me with becoming a better teacher because I kept them at arm's length and they had their on classes. And the only person I really talked to is my mentor. My mentor told other teachers when I was put in an action plan for class management under the "guise" she was helping me. I was deeply hurt and will never forget that. She is in my dept
    so I continued as usual. They gossip about my class management issues. How should I proceed next year?
     
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  3. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I don't work as a teacher yet, but the way I see it is there are some co-workers you will find have a lot to say about other people. If I am bringing up an incident that happened to someone else, I try to keep to the facts of what happened and not repeatedly talk about what kind of person they are and why I don't like them.

    That creates a bias to someone who hasn't met them yet and interferes with them forming their own opinion about them.

    If someone tells you a bunch of bad things about someone you haven't met, try to overlook them until you notice them yourself.
     
  4. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Jun 3, 2013

    I remember being in a similar situation years ago in my high school ski team. I didn't enjoy socializing with the other students because they were very gossipy and mean to other students, including me behind my back. I still came to practice and gave my 100 percent, so it never occurred to me that it could be an issue.

    The coach decided to give my parents a call and tell them I wasn't "participating." When my parent asked for clarification, he told them that I was antisocial. My parents told me about it and I felt awkward in every practice after that. He ended up not using me for races anymore (even though I was one of the better skiers), and had some of the assistant coaches force me to run extra laps for not "participating." (The "participating" students didn't run their laps at all - they behind the bleachers and the coach looked the other way.)

    To my great shame I ended up quitting that year (my senior year, btw). I couldn't handle the petty politics of it all and I was angered that the coach made a student that frequently bullied my little brother a team captain. It terrifies me to think that my work environment might become this way, because I have never felt comfortable about talking ill about someone behind his or her back. Several teachers have already tried this with me and I'm only a sub!!

    I noticed some schools were more professional about this sort of thing. Maybe it's time to think about moving schools?
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 3, 2013

    Are you tenured yet? Or are you still probationary? To me, this makes a huge difference in how you interact with these particular colleagues.
     
  6. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    non tenured

    I'm not tenured.
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I avoid gossip like the plague. I will eat with my students or even by myself before putting up with it. Luckily we have a good staff and leader and gossip hasn't been a problem this past year. I know what you are talking about because some years it has been horrible.
     
  8. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jun 3, 2013

    Honestly, whenever I have had co-workers in the past get gossipy about me behind my back--I confront them, I will point blank put on my bit.. panties and call them out. Thankfully, I haven't had an issue with this as a new teacher, but my previous job at a bank--oh, boy, was it an issue. I would specifically state, "Tell me just what exactly your problem with me is because I want to know why I am such a popular topic with you people. I don't give a crap about you which is why your name never rolls off of my tongue, so please tell me why you are sooooo concerned with me? It's because I'm cute and your not, isn't it?" Just kidding with the last bit. I know you really cannot interact with these people like this, but at a regular ol' job that's how I handled it. In teaching, I would confront them and ask them specifically how THEY think I should handle my classroom management issues and ask specifically what they think you should improve upon." It puts them on the spot, and most of the time they will be too embarrassed to critique you--so the next time they run their mouth to the principal, you can say, I asked them specifically how I can improve and they said there was nothing wrong with my style. Or, on the flip side, they may give you helpful suggestions.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2013

    Crabs in a basket...don't let them pull you down.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 3, 2013

    If your boss is telling you that it's important to establish a relationship with these folks, then that's what you need to do. Be pleasant and polite, make small talk, participate in department functions (potlucks, happy hours, whatever), and smile--a lot. You shouldn't have to and it stinks that you're being mandated to do so, but you're going to have to do it anyway since it matters to your boss.

    Also, and I realize that this is going to sound harsh, fix your classroom management problems. Classroom management problems could impact whether you will have a job in the future.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 4, 2013

    :thumb:

    I'm sure there are some good teachers at your school. You may just have to find them. They may be a silent minority. Find a few good teachers to follow around and learn from, and hopefully that will appease your admin. Stay away from the negative ones, and definitely learn the smile and nod technique. It's great for some of the parents AND negative teachers.

    I try to stay out of gossiping about other teachers. Nothing good can come from harboring negative thoughts about someone you will have to work with anyway. I've been doing my best to stay out of gossiping about students, however, sometimes I too feel the need to vent about some of them or just get it out my system when they or a parent do something outrageous. Eventually with time, I assume I'll cease to be surprised about most of their actions.
     

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