how to be kind but not too kind?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 17, 2014

    We have a new teacher in my school who is taking over my old position. I am moving to a similar, but different position within the school. This new teacher is great, but she's.....kind of driving me crazy. Not only did she come into my room this week (We had 2 PD days where we had some teacher-directed time to work in our rooms.) for HOURS to clean out my stuff before she officially takes over my room....but she's incessant with her questions.

    I can deal with the space intrusion...I think she's just really excited...but she wants me to help her plan everything and share everything. She has never had to plan for all 5 subjects before, so she keeps saying "How do you do this?" or "Can you show me this web site?"

    I am really afraid she's going to lean on me so much next year. Don't get me wrong....I am happy to be friendly and helpful....but some things she's just gonna have to try, you know? I learned most things from trying and failing and figuring it out. How do I tell her this nicely? :whistle: I am really not trying to be dismissive or cruel. Please help!
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 17, 2014

    "I can help you to a point, but I have a lot of new things to learn and work on as well. They hired you for a reason, and I'm sure you'll be fine. Ooo, I just remembered something I need to do for my new assignment! Talk with you later!"
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 17, 2014

    I agree with cat. Say something vague and then come up with a reason you need to leave. If she's stubborn, find a reason to leave the room. "Oh, I'm sorry, your timing is bad, look, the cat is on fire, I need to put him out.".
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 17, 2014

    Ooh, that's a tough one...yes, you want to be helpful, but at the same time it's frustrating to have a trailer! If it were me, I would say (politely) "let's plan an hour or two to go over all of this stuff, so I can get you up to speed, then I'll turn you loose and let you wade through. I've got a lot to learn also in my new job, so I'll get you on your feet then I'll have to back away a bit". She'll probably feel a little hurt, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2014

    :thumb: I like this.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 19, 2014

    I like that...direct! I left her a whole bunch of stuff. I am genuinely confident that she'll figure it out. She's just...doing a little too much for June. :lol:
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jun 20, 2014

    When people bother me at work and I don't want to talk to them, I tell them to email me their questions/concerns/issues and I'll get back to them ASAP.

    I prefer to have email conversations with colleagues because I can have them on my own time and an email is something they can refer to later. Also, it's proof that I told someone something when they don't follow through.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jun 20, 2014

    These people drive me crazy. They are always super excited to get the ball rolling for next school year and want to discuss plans for next year before I can even pack up my stuff from this year. They drive me insane.

    As long as I know I have a job next year, that's my only concern over the summer.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 20, 2014

    That's exactly how I feel about my new teammate, lol. I know she's just really excited and wants to be prepared. She came and spent an entire two days with me after her current school had already gotten out, and she's sent me tons of e-mails with questions. I guess I'd rather have someone who is a bit over enthusiastic over someone who is a complete slacker, so I haven't been too bothered by it. Next year we'll be teaching different grade levels, so I don't think there will be any pressure for us to do everything together or anything. When she was at school I printed off all the IEPs I had for students that I know will be hers, so she's happily studying those for the summer (on her own!). We're also starting a new instructional model next year, so I just told her that things would look completely different and I truly don't know any more than she does about what it will be like. That stopped a lot of the questions.
     
  11. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jun 20, 2014

    In a situation like yours, I would keep referring her to either the grade level chair and/or the reading and math specialists under the guise of "i don't want to give you any mis-information". That's part of their jobs, to support new teachers.

    when I was a new teacher I worked with the specialists a lot. The reading specialist even came in to do a demo lesson a few times and we used to meet and talk regularly.

    I would also give vague answers to this woman and hope she'll seek someone else more detailed because even though it's great to help people, you don't want this woman hanging off you and sucking away your resources, time and energy. It's gotta be give and take and she seems to have the potential to take, take, take.

    When i first started teaching, i leaned heavily on my team (to be fair I had very little formal training in education. I did a certification program for 4 months in which I spent 3 months in a classroom of other teachers-in-training, and only 1 month in an actual classroom with students. And that experience wasn't realistic...there were 10 kids, 1 main teacher and a second seasoned teacher who had transferred from another state. I did no planning, never led the class, and pretty much acted as an aide.

    So being thrown into the classroom was a sink or swim situation. I learned to swim and so will this woman. It's a must in our profession. A little tough love goes a long way. I recall not understanding how to read and apply a curriculum. So i kept going to my grade level chair several times a day asking questions.

    Finally she got fed up and said "you need to take this home and make sense of it yourself. I can't teach it all too you." My feelings were hurt, but i took it home and learned it and i felt such a sense of pride. I also realized she wasn't being mean, but teaching me how to be independent and think for myself.
     
  12. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Jun 20, 2014

    I am so glad you started this post! I have a new person coming to my grade level this fall. She has been teaching for over fifteen years. She is moving up two grade levels and staying in the same building.

    She acts like she has never taught before. She has repeatedly made comments about how she doesn't know the curriculum. Her favorite thing is to talk about how she has little ones at home and really doesn't have time to learn the curriculum! She keeps saying she will just be my shadow! God help me!!!:dizzy::banghead:

    When she heads my way I can just feel myself start to shut down. I wish I was a turtle, so I could just stick my body in my shell until she goes away!

    Thank you to those of you that have posted. I guess I need to start practicing my lines since I doubt I will be changing into a turtle before August.:(
     
  13. bewlove

    bewlove Companion

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    Jun 21, 2014

    That must be frustrating! As a new teacher, though, I feel I can relate with her a bit. Is this a new teacher? Or has she taught before?

    Maybe just give her some good info/resources and then turn her loose. I like some of the reasons that others have said. She is probably just really excited!

    Unfortunately, I think I'm one of those people who is really excited in June, haha! But in my defense, it's my first year and I feel like I'm unprepared because I have literally nothing. So I am eager to get started, too.
     
  14. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 21, 2014

    I definitely remember that! (I am a fairly new teacher, myself!) This is not her first year. However, I get the impression that she's always done poorly planned inclusion teaching and that she was always just a glorified aide. She's never really had to plan several periods of lessons. Now she is doing self-contained SPED and responsible for Everything. She doesn't really have any resources.

    Lucky for her, I have acquired too much Stuff. :lol: It will be nice to move to my new room and leave a whole bunch of things behind. :whistle:
     
  15. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2014

    Some of the responses in this thread bother me a bit, sorry. I'm sure new teachers are a bit of a burden, but do you remember how overwhelming it is to start your career? Even if a person has taught before, each school has its own unique protocols and procedures. Even moving to a new grade level at a school where one has taught for years can be a very big transition. I just finished up my second year in my school and I ask my coworker questions all the time. I don't know how I would have gotten through the last two years if she had blown me off as it seems that some of the replies are suggesting. I remember my principal gave me the number of another teacher to ask questions to over the summer before I started. She didn't return my call and when I finally got her on the phone, she had a "You'll figure it out" attitude. It made me so stressed out that there was no one to ask anything to.

    Now, you sound like a very nice person and I'm sure you want to be helpful. It's just that she's coming on too strong at this point. I would suggest cutting her a little slack and helping her out as much as you can without taking on more than you're comfortable with. If it's she's still too much for you going forward, I would be honest with her and tell her how much you want to help, but you're very busy so could you and she make it quick and if she still needs more help, maybe you two could talk later.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jun 21, 2014

    Why would your P give out your co-workers number? Did your P even ask the co-worker first? If my P gave some random co-worker my phone number, especially without asking me first, I wouldn't be too happy when they called me asking me for help. Not happy at all. If I wanted my co-worker to have my number, I would give it to them personally.

    Anyway, I don't mind being helpful, but some "new" teachers want everything to be perfect. These people not only stress themselves out, they stress everyone else out trying to get everything right. Even worse, some of these people can't take a hint (unless you're straight up rude to them) and don't know when to back down.
     

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