How to keep my mouth shut

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by clynns, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. clynns

    clynns Companion

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    Jul 28, 2009

    I am a third year teacher and one of my goals for the year is to keep my mouth closed a bit more. I am very open to sharing my ideas and how I feel about things. I am rather vocal and find it hard to keep my thoughts to myself. I don't do it with the intentions to say too much or hurt any feelings. I try to make sure what I say is fair and well thought through. I kind of want to lay low this year and not say what I think as much. I don't typically need an outlet because I don't mind saying what I think. Have any of you been in a situation like this? I won't let anyone walk all over me but what's the best way to make sure to say things at the appropriate time? Thanks for any advice!
     
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  3. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Always phrase things positively. Always. Always use "I" statements like, "I like it when you....."

    Most importantly, don't offer advice unless it's asked for, unless you're at a meeting, and make sure any communication you have with someone that deals with that person's behavior, etc, make sure it's in a private space where no one can overhear.

    My Mom always used to say that we have one mouth and two ears for a reason. :) Listen twice as much as you speak.
     
  4. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I think it is wise to stay in your room, don't get caught up in the woman drama that seems to always go on at school, and focus on your class.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I agree-I sometimes find it hard to not voice my opinion. I decided not to be involved in the hallway meetings that occur frequently before and after school. In fact, after school, I just shut my door and do my own thing.
     
  6. 101dalmatian

    101dalmatian Companion

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    Jul 28, 2009

    clynns

    I am also the same way. It's very hard for me to bite my tongue but this past year I just made sure I left school by a specific time (about 20-30 min after our contracted time) to keep from the drama and from opening my mouth on things I shouldn't say. If there was a huge issue instead of saying something right then and there I just nodded my head to let the other person I know I was listening but addressed them later in the day or the next day to give me more time to think about my response and cool off at times.

    It's very hard to change who we are, and at times I did still open my mouth when I shouldn't of.
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I think you have given some good advise. I also suggest writing a journal. It is hard to internalize all those things you want to say. If you journal it you have an outlet for those emotions and it may give you the time and perspective to know which situations are worth reacting to and which aren't and give you time to decide how to deal with them. Over my life I have internalized way too much and had physical ailments because of it. Jouraling and a good walk will help.
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    My school is getting a new principal this year and I have told some of my co-workers that I will be laying low for the first few months. Our last principal was inexperienced and pretty well ruined the reputation of our school by standing by and watching inappropriate things happen. She hated me b/c I would make requests for her to follow through on her rules.... She would make a rule one day and have us explain it to the students but by the next day, no one will follow it and she wouldn't say anything.... I'm not sure what she said to the new principal but I hope the other teachers will speak up and voice their concerns...
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    After reading the Complaint thread, I have set a goal for myself too. I am trying not to say anything bad about anyone. So, I guess that includes gossip. It certainly includes keeping my mouth shut. It is hard.
     
  10. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jul 29, 2009

    Think about smiling and laughing twice as much as you did last year.

    Make it your goal to be the person on campus who spreads cheer, smiles are contagious.

    Be the person on campus who listens the most.

    If you're truly listening to someone you can't talk too much.
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I had a great time with the teachers and teacher assistants at my school last year, the problem was the principal and the team leaders (who were hired to help manage all of the assistants we had) always assumed that we were gossiping about them:huh:. If the principal told a teacher something we got in trouble for talking about it to another teacher b/c it was gossiping -- even if it were about consequences a student got for behaviors (we are a behavior site school):blush:. We weren't allowed to ask each other questions b/c we should go to her first, if she heard "parts" of conversations she wouldn't ask for clarification, we would just get in trouble and then she would tell us that she didn't feel that she needed to apologize b/c she heard what she heard:whistle:. I felt like a kid being sent to the principal's office whenever she wanted to talk to me b/c I knew I was going to be accused of something and we learned not to try to explain ourselves b/c then we were accused of being defensive. I'm just going to shut my door for the first few months of school until I figure out my new principal.
     
  12. Starista

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    My school has gone under a tremendous turn over in the past year. New principal, new vice principal, and MANY grade moves for us teachers!

    My goal, very much, is to stay quiet and just "go with the flow." I am unsure if it's because most of our staff are female ~ but there was a great deal of gossip, cattiness, and over all "bad attitudes" last year.

    I firmly believe that if you let negative energy influence you, it can bring you down.

    Like the other wonderful advice, I suggest you stay in your classroom and smile, smile, smile! :) It's not super easy, but it will make life much easier.

    I know that I tend to show up at work much earlier than most teachers, mostly to avoid the early morning "rants" and "drama" that some may cause. After school, I neaten up my classroom, put any work in my bag, and scoot out! :) I try to be available for my team at specials and lunchtime and plan, this year, to keep things extremely positive!

    Hope this helped!
     
  13. flyingmickey

    flyingmickey Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2009

    Post a reminder on your desk that will help you keep on track. A quote maybe.

    I often speak before I think when I'm in a comfortable situation so I have to be very careful as well.
     
  14. kacieann

    kacieann Companion

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    I mostly stay in my own classroom. I think some people take this as not being friendly, but I have too much work to complete to talk with colleagues. I do tend to speak my mind in faculty meetings and committee meetings. I always try to do this without pointing a finger, but keeping the children first.
     
  15. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I am always that teacher that talks too much in staff meetings. However, it's because I am excited about teaching and improving things for our students. I try to keep it quiet sometimes though...or tell people to kick me if I say too much. Gossip isn't really an issue for me.
     
  16. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I personally think that I talk about my observations and then ask others for clarification, but my principal thinks of it as gossiping. For example when I see a staff looking visually upset and I ask what is wrong, I'm told that I'm participating in gossip because I wasn't directly involved in why they were upset :confused:. It is gotten to the point where we are afraid to say anything during a staff meeting for fear that it will be thought of as a complaint or just none of our business...
     
  17. jenejoy

    jenejoy Companion

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    Oh boy, have I been there! Last year especially was hard for me. I was semi-new to a grade level and was asked to be grade level chair. By semi-new I mean that I had worked with this team before as the intervention specialist and then went to being full time with them. Now typically I wouldn't have ever accepted the role except that for personal reasons nobody else could commit and I had worked with the team professionally the prior year so I thought it might be ok. WRONG!!! We were on such different wave lengths as to what was best for kids. New changes and challenges that I was willing and ready to accept for poopooed by 2 strong members of the team and the rest followed. When I would try to turn the negativity around to something positive, they all turned on me. After my principal asked me to get them on board with the rest of the school, I asked in confidence how to best handle the situation (we are very good friends and she knows their personalities better) so that I could grow and learn as a leader. Later when my principal threatened to write them up for those same things that they refused to do, they all turned on me as if it had by my idea and now they were in trouble because of it....I HATED last year and if I had been a new teacher I would have so resigned this year, economy and all!!! I am looking forward to being on a new team this year, one that actually wants to work as a team. But I have to admit my self-confidence has taken a beating over the last year, so I find myself in the same position as many of you. I am going in slow and steady, I wait and see if anyone really wants my ideas and opinions for a few months before I start opening up much. I'm not suffering through another year like that again!!!
     
  18. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    I am more of a listener-I found you can't get in trouble that way. My husband loves to talk and talk and I actually have to tell him to stop talking. Silence is golden. I have a teammate who is also a big talker and everyone teases her about it. But she is the one we always go to when we need someone to do a speech or talk to a group of parents-she can talk forever and the rest of us don't have to do anything!
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Some good suggestions for us all!

    I know several teachers come in way early and the unwritten rule is that if the door is shut, the person does not want to be interruted.

    One thing I practiced - when someone would start gossiping or being negative, I would just excuse myself. Try to be aware of the talking and practice being a listener. Set a goal for yourself to only make a certain amount of comments at a meeting, etc.
     

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