How is your work environment with other colleagues?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MathGuy82, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Just curious, how is the work environment at your school among other teachers? Do you get along, are there those you avoid? I find there are generally good people to work with, even though I avoid a few. I find sometimes when I talk to a few of the staff I don't like I get very annoyed. Is anyone like this that likes to generally keep their distance from a few? On the other hand, is your teaching partners totally good or generally chaotic?
     
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  3. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    My work environment is toxic when I have to deal with toxic people. So I try to stay under their radar and out of their way. I'm not one for confrontation. I have a few toxic colleagues who are just poison. Every word out of their mouth is lies, they openly and without shame take credit for work you do, throw you under the bus at the first opportunity, make you walk on eggshells because you don't know if Jekyll or Hyde came to work that day. All part of the land mines I dodge everyday.
    I surround myself with colleagues who are like minded and just kind and positive. Otherwise I go crazy. So generally if I manage to dodge the day's land mines, and keep under the radar, my work day is generally quite positive. And I'm thankful it's only a handful of crappy people, not the majority.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I've worked at a school where the admin were so awful, my colleagues and I referred to the school as "North Korea". This was several years ago... I've also worked at a couple of schools where the drama between teachers was intense, and it was very cliquish. There was talking behind each other's backs, unwillingness to take responsibility, blaming others, and gossiping. A lot of this came from poor leadership from the admin. I mean, adults should know better, of course, but, as the leaders of the school, the admin should not be setting poor examples and should be nipping it in the bud instead. I'm now really thankful that I finally work at a school where most everyone is supportive of one another, respects each others, and helps each other out. We have a great climate, and it makes having to do this difficult job so much easier.
     
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  5. NewTeacher2016

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  6. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    As with anywhere, there is a group of "mean girl" teachers at my school. I will say though that the team of teachers I am working with is the best I have ever been with. We support each other and enjoy being around each other. I have been in bad environments, and this one is so nice.
     
  7. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I try to be the best person I can be and save my angst from dealing with toxic people for after school hours. I would say I basically have everyone's respect and support at this point. Even a few who enjoyed making me miserable when I first met them.
     
  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    We definitely get along within my team, and without doubt I get along extremely well with the rest of the school. One of the downsides is also the biggest strength -- they've taught for so long that they have things down extremely well, though are less willing to change, so occasionally I feel out alone in a boat.
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    All my experiences are in K-8 schools.

     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I really like the people at my school. Overall, we have a very good community. Naturally there are a few people I don't like as well as others, but that just seems natural. We are all different people with different personalities. I can work with any of them. There are quite a few that I am friends with outside of school as well.

    When I subbed, I worked in all of the schools in the district. Most people wanted to work in the elementary schools, but I found most of them (there were five) unwelcoming. The teachers were not very helpful to one another. The "star" school of the district was the worst. The teachers were terribly rude to one another, and subbing there was difficult because they were unwilling to help subs in the rooms of the teachers they didn't like.

    I preferred middle and high school. The high school teachers tended to associate with the people in their department. Otherwise, they didn't mingle much. I taught at the high school for two years. Everyone told me that the middle school was terrible, but I found that I really enjoyed it. The people were very friendly, and the teachers had the attitude that they were all in it together.

    I'm the second oldest in the building as far as seniority. I'm near the top in actual age, too. I don't know when that happened. :whistle:
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This. There are a few who are challenging to work with at times (I don't have time or patience for drama and "all about me" attitudes, but we are all able to work together respectfully and get the job done.
     
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  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I get along with almost everyone I work with. It helps that I'm the only one who can do certain things for them and fix certain problems, so if they're smart they won't be rude to me. ;) Really, though, I think that we have a good team at my school. Most teachers work well together because we share common goals for our students. I've seen some infighting within certain departments and grade levels, but that's rare and seems to stem from one or two severely disgruntled individuals.

    I work at a school that is pre-K through grade 12. Most of the teachers I work with are from the middle and high schools.
     
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  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Our staff is pretty big; we have about 50 teachers. So obviously, in such a large group there are lots of different personalities. I don't know that I would call anyone on our staff "toxic" and I can safely say we have no "mean girl clique," but there are teachers whose personalities just don't jive with mine.

    For example, I find extremely sensitive people difficult to get along with. I hate having to feel like I'm walking on eggshells with adults and having to have constant "talks" about how hurt they are by the most minuscule thing that they've blown way out of proportion. One of my teammates is like this, and here is an example of what I mean. The other day I was working with another teammate on transferring over a new IEP we'd just gotten. Our third teammate got training on our new computer system that we didn't get, and we couldn't figure something out. I sent that teammate a text that said something like, "____ and I are working on Johnny's IEP and need help. We're in my room if you're available." She came in practically in tears and immediately started whining about how it was rude to text her rather than coming to find her in person, it feels like everyone always just wants her to fix things, and how we should have asked for help rather than "demanding that she fix it." I try my best to get along with this person since we're teammates, but it's difficult at times!
     
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  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    My school is small and very wonderful. We are a K-8. We only have about 30 staff members. I came from a vaguely toxic building, so I guess I really appreciate how nice everyone is. That isn't to say people don't get annoyed with each other or have issues...but they are really open and talk to each other in ways we NEVER would have dreamed at my old school. Some of us regularly hang out on evenings and weekends. I feel really lucky.
     
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  16. NewTeacher2016

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  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We have about 150 teachers at my school. :laughing:
     
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  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    People like this are exhausting. I once worked with someone who was exactly like you described. She once got upset with me because she picked up my copies from the copy room (which was a very nice thing to do), and when she handed them to me, I said "thank you". Like, that is verbatim the reason she told me she was upset with me, and she said it in front of two other people who can corroborate! I stood there dumbfounded, which is not a state of being in which I normally exist. I mean, how do you even respond to something like that? To this day I still don't know what exactly she would have preferred I say or do.
     
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  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Perhaps kiss her feet, give her flowers, or make a school-wide announcement about how great she is? (At least, that's what my colleague like this would expect).
     
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  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Admin's perspective: I've only been an administrator at two sites. Both sites have had a couple of high maintenance teachers. Other than that, everyone has been easy to work with.
     
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  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    It isn't usually as bad in large schools when you can minimize being around those you don't like, but all work environments usually have a mix of personalities and opinions. If you ever find an environment where everything is fantastic, it is like winning the lottery. As to being annoyed by others, that has a lot to do with what you allow yourself to be annoyed by. People are responsible for how they handle others comments and actions. They can be annoyed, angry, or just let it roll off their backs.
     
  22. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  23. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Today I literally sat behind someone as they pointed out things in a curriculum they didn't like to another teacher knowing I was sitting directly behind them (I was basically responsible for the curriculum). Last year both teachers gave me a hard time but toward the spring I won the teacher over that was being shown the curriculum. She just kind of nodded as the complainer pointed at the paper which I appreciated. I don't need or expect anyone to fight my battles for me but by not participating it isolates the problem. In the moment I admit I was a little hurt but you have to realize you can't change people. All you can do is your best so you can be proud of your work. If you let others drag you down you are letting yourself be down. I'm not going to do that this year.
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    In general, I work with decent people. I don't get along with people who don't do their jobs. They don't like being called out on it. The worst teacher we had is gone so that's good!
     
  25. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I don't have a co-irker in the bunch at this point. The one teacher who frustrated me last year has become a fierce ally, and the new hires are fitting in well. My principal told me that he looks at both professional qualifications and personality balance when he hires. It's serving the entire school well.
     
  26. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I am really lucky to be at a site where -- at least from my perspective -- people are generally cordial and have a good, professional working relationship. We aren't the most social bunch and don't hang out all the time -- even at lunch, most people are in their rooms for the most part. That works for me, though, since I really need that "off" time during the day. I would rather have lunch in my room than deal with a weird staff lounge culture and the cliques that go with it -- I taught one year at a school like that and was miserable! I think, like as for most things, it's all about finding the right fit for you.
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    We are starting to get those types of co-workers who always tend to make meetings go longer because they never stop talking. They are nice people but are starting to get a bad name for themselves. Eventually, nobody is going to want to be their friends LOL
     
  28. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    I'm in my second year at a K-5 urban school and I love the staff at this school. The school is 1 of 7 elementary schools in the city, but it's the smallest. Each grade level only has two teachers and of the 12 of us I feel like I can approach anybody and have a good conversation. I feel very supported with the staff here. I know there is one grade level team the other grades don't care for as much and there are a couple veteran teachers I would never want to cross, but I do everything I can not to be a bother as the newer teacher anyway. It's my grade level partner who gives me the most stress, but for separate reasons; she's still a very caring coworker.
    But I have also worked in those elementary schools that are filled with mean girls. My last school was gigantic and many of those teachers I would go months without seeing. But there was a group of teachers related to the mayor who formed a strong clique and were portrayed as the star teachers of the district. The things they did were cute, but didn't foster learning or growth, and they could be very malicious to other teachers. It was more a competition they were making than a supportive environment. And I feel like they stole some of the spotlight from the kids. For example, they made their teacher performance at the winter concert their main event- not the kids who were singing. I'm glad I left and was able to experience a truly supportive school environment.
     
  29. NewTeacher2016

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  30. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Our staff is on the smallish side and it gets smaller each year as our district struggles financially. Over each year that I have been at the school, things get worse and worse. We have also had several principals who all seem to radically change the school without knowing what they were doing. These principals have shown a lot of favoritism that promoted some incompetent people and alienated others. Most of the older teachers have retired and a few of the "leaders" have been beaten down to stumps. New blood courses through the school mired with silliness and alternative seating and a much more causal attitude.

    I try to navigate through this as I love my job, school, and our students, but I don't like how some very good student/teachers are treated. We have a lot of disgruntled people who just want to do their jobs and go home. We also have those who want to climb the ladder by standing on the backs of others. It seems like we have several groups emerging the principal's pets, the disgruntled and mad, the happy to have a job camp, and the what is going on gang. I flit between the groups and tend to avoid the four or five most hostile staff members. I know that the best policy is to lay low and keep quiet to avoid getting dinged. From time to time, I can't help myself and say something or (gasp!) have an idea. That could be dangerous. We have a lot of people who are going through the motions and want to shut their doors to the chaos outside of them. In spite of the divisions though, we can still laugh about some things. Not together as a staff that much, but in little pockets. I guess it is a pretty sad state of affairs. I don't know what can be done to repair the rifts as the favoritism, competition, and "cliqueishness" is almost endemic. I try to be nice to everyone and do my job. Some people seem to actually do almost no work. Some are working themselves into a heart attack. Others have nothing to say and have the thousand yard stare. A few have lost their grasp on reality and are avoided like the plaque. Oh my, maybe it is time for a transfer? Anyone have any openings?
     

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