I can't work with her!!!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by VANewbie, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    I posted about a week ago about someone at my school who I dislike that I will have to work with next year. Kind of like an instructional assistant to give one on one attention to ESOL and special education students. She has worked with other teachers and I have hear horror stories. Then there are some teachers that she works with and they get along great but thats only because they are friends and the main teachers are so laid back that they do not care if the IA takes over.

    So next year I will have to work with this lady. I can't. She is just not easy to work with. Very controlling. Says smart comments. Is rude to the students.
    Shes does not hold herself in a professional manner unless she is in a meeting. But she is very rude.

    I just can't work with her. I am stressing over this already. Someone told me to to kill her with kindness...but this situation is not a kill them with kindness situation.

    I know I should sit down with her at the beginning and have a talk about boundaries but that will be so awkward for me. She gossips a lot and I would just rather not even talk to her period.
    She will not be in my room all day but I assume only for certain subjects. I'm not sure yet.

    Help! I know I can't think about this all summer but this just sucks.
     
  2.  
  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 17, 2010

    You have or haven't work with her before? Maybe, just maybe, she's not so bad? I hope that's the case. In any event, I do suggest you go ahead with the meeting...and to not enter the meeting so much with the goal to establish boundries, but just for the sake of effective collaboration.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,515
    Likes Received:
    1,425

    Jun 17, 2010

    You will be the teacher of record and it will be up to you to set the tone for the classroom. Deal with her professionally and make sure your expectations are clearly defined to her. You may need to feel like you are being a b**** to her, but she needs to get the message that the classroom will be run by you and in the way you see fit. Hopefully, like JustMe said, you may find that the stories are just that...horror stories and you may get along with her just fine. Whatever happens, don't let your positive attitude be swayed.
     
  5. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    This just scares me. Even just on a friendship vibe we don't get along. I have never worked with her but I have been around her and shes not friendly. Plus I know if/when I set these boundaries and let her know how I run things in my room she won't listen. it will probably make her do just the opposite. I just don't like her.

    No one in the building really does. This is just horrible. Plus she feels as though since I am first year I have less experience than her...who cares!!!!!!!

    I just know that when I do interact with her she makes me boil inside. I just can't live like this everyday next year.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,543
    Likes Received:
    1,067

    Jun 17, 2010

    Professionals should be able to work with anyone. You do not have to be friends. You do not have to be friendly. You do not have to like the person. You do your job in a professional manner. Whether the other person behaves that way or not isn't something you have any control over. You can only control yourself.
     
  7. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

     
  8. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    You guys are so right. It may not even be that bad. I just know how she is.
    I just have to not stress about it and take it day by day. Now I just need to figure out what my rules/ guidelines and boundaries are.
    When you are such a new teacher you want to try to do almost everything your way and by yourself. I want to learn and its hard giving up control to others who have to help within your class.

    Its also hard being new and just being introduced to the real workforce and careers so I need to learn how to work with difficult people.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,340
    Likes Received:
    1,473

    Jun 17, 2010

    You also never know how things will shape up. I had an uncomfortable co-teaching situation in my first year and was told I would be working with this teacher this year. I sucked it up and apologized for a thousand things she had decided I had done wrong and mentally braced myself. The day before school started, my teaching assignment was completely changed. I haven't had to even speak to my former co-teacher since then.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,884
    Likes Received:
    1,721

    Jun 17, 2010

    This is what we tell our students all of the time when and if they complain about a peer.
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,515
    Likes Received:
    1,425

    Jun 17, 2010

    let's see if some of us with more experience with a situation like yours can help you come up with acceptable rules/boundaries. Why don't you post some of your ideas and we can brainstorm together?
     
  12. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    Have that meeting at the beginning of the year. Tell her how valuable she is and how much of an addition she will be. Then tell her that you are a bit worried about having the kids respect you and so therefore you've thought of a couple of things that will help.

    1. "If I say something or give a direction that you don't agree with, tell me later or quietly without the kids knowing. I don't want them to even get close to thinking that I don't know what I'm doing."

    2. "If we see that a child is having trouble with something, and either one of us is busy with someone else, let's just catch each other's eye and then nod towards the kid without them knowing. That way it will feel like we're a team in here."

    Those are two examples of handling things that would bother me. I don't like being "corrected" by another teacher, and I don't like it at all when a kid is singled out by an adult for not understanding something.

    In both of these examples, you are manipulating the co-worker into doing what you want without her realizing it--hopefully. You made her think she's an ally. I don't know. Maybe that will work.
     
  13. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    I agree. I do not like being corrected by another teacher or made to feel as if I don't know what I'm doing. I basically want the kids to know to respect me as the teacher and not her. I do not want her to handle any discipline at all. She can do that only with the kids that she may deal with one on one. Its just going to be really hard with two teaching styles.

    So besides this I am not sure of my rules/expectations for her. I just know that it will be a llllloooooonnnnnnnggggg year next year working with her. Hopefully things may change and I won't have to but I doubt it.
     
  14. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    Give her a chance; she may end up being your lifesaver and a best friend. Learning by yourself is inefficient and your kids deserve the best that you can.

    Please don't boil about it all summer. Big hug.
     
  15. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    I promise I'm going to try.
     
  16. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,543
    Likes Received:
    1,067

    Jun 17, 2010

    I've worked with a guy for several years, and he is a real @ss. I know it. Everyone on our wing knows it. Others in the building know it. People in the community know it. Heck, even HE knows it.

    But, that's not stopped us from being a great team. We're all there for the kids, and nobody could tell from watching us work that sometimes I'm snarling at him in my head.
     
  17. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2010

    Yea. I know things will not always be peachy and you don't have to be friends with people you work with but this is all so new to me. I have had a great experience this year being alone with no one in my class at all. I was proud I did it all alone.
    Its just hard.

    I'm so frustrated right now. Just with my kids-we still have four more days.
    Frustrated with co-workers, family life. I'm just really frustrated and upset today. I'm having a bad day.

    I may post a thread to get advice on my family issues.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,828
    Likes Received:
    143

    Jun 17, 2010

    Well, unless someone quits, you'll have to mk the best of it. Have a more optimistic mindset & stop dreading it. Like others said, it may not even be that bad. Sorry if it was said already, but is this lady younger or older. I assume on the younger side by the way she acts.

    Just pretend like you're meeting her for the first time & know nothing about her past...I know, easier said than done! Good luck!
     
  19. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jun 17, 2010

    I have worked with a similar person who was very difficult to work with.

    You might set guidelines for your expectations of the inclusion of the child. (the person I worked with worked at keeping the child dependent on her)

    You might be very clear about if she is unsure of your directions send the children to you.

    You might also make it clear you will not find it acceptable for her to give different directions than you do without checking with you first.

    You might state you will expect her if she notices misbehavior to let the children who is doing it to stop.

    If she is really undermining try and politely keep her busy away from you.
     
  20. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jun 18, 2010

    Soooo true! As teachers we are also being role models of how to interact with people we like (or don't like). A former PE teacher and I used to talk about working together and getting along with the kids. (We did a lot of group work in our classes and our students struggled with social skills). We used to use eachother as an example. I'd say even those Mrs. X and I don't get along we still have to learn to work togther etc... And she'd do the same about me. (We also used it as a lesson about how 2 people can be so opposite but get along). Maybe you could do some social skills lessons with your class and gain the para's cooperation that way. :hugs:
     
  21. novalyne

    novalyne Rookie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 18, 2010

    I would suggest rethinking your expectations about discipline. You are partners in the classroom, and while she should never undermine you (nor should you undermine her), I think she should be allowed, as an adult and a partner teacher, to react to situations in the classroom that come up. Allowing her only to interact with her inclusion students is unfairly limiting her, IMO. Our inclusion teachers work with all students in the classroom - we work really hard on not "advertising" the fact that they were there to work with special education students.

    You and she may not get along (although you may!), but you both are there for purpose of educating all the students. As long as you both have that mindset, hopefully you will have a successful partnerhsip.
     
  22. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    If you go the route of making sure the kids know she is not equal to you, be prepared then, for them not to respect her at all, including the one-on-one kids she has. This will be unfair to them all.They will then carry this lack of respect over to anything else she does with them, such as lunch duty.

    Kids should not be able to differentiate between the adults in the room - we should all be seen as teachers and given equal respect by the kids. This doesn't mean she runs your classroom, but in the kids' eyes, she should be your equal.
     
  23. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    I see everyones point. I guess I'm going to try not to worry about it this summer and just see how the year begins. Then if I need to set rules and guidelines I will.
    Thanks everyone.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 18, 2010

    I'm asking because I'm curious...

    The person the OP be working with is an instructional assistant. Should this instructional assistant still have equal "rights" to discipline? Well, heck, let me just be honest: I'm asking because we have an instructional assistant who simply shouldn't be handling some issues, whether that's because he hasn't received the same education and training or because he's just not skilled at what he does is up for debate. But his attempts to discipline students can get out of hand...

    I was an instructional assistant prior to teaching, so this sooo isn't an "I'm a certified teacher therefore superior to you" post...this is based on my experiences with one IA in particular. Opinions?
     
  25. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    I think it depends on the assistant and the teacher. If you trust the IA, let that person be the extra eyes and ears for you. If not, let him/her know that you would prefer to discipline, but never undermine each other in front of the students.

    However, keep in mind that if your IA sees something you don't and has to ignore it, those kids will see what all they can get away with.
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 18, 2010

    Thanks...just adding that I actually don't work with this instructional assistant and I'm not scheduled to next year, but I witness his disciplinary efforts in the hall. :)
     
  27. ecl

    ecl Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    I disagree. The teacher has to be the leader in the classroom. The aide is a support person who follows the teacher's lead. Students can absolutely differentiate and understand these different roles.

    The person in question seems to be an aggressive person, and sometimes the best way to handle such a person is to be assertive and firm right at the start.

    You can certainly be professional and assertive at the same time. You are fully in charge of your class, and can have every expectation that your aide will follow your lead.
     
  28. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    I have had several instructional assistants in my room over the years. Here's what works for me... The kids know I'm the teacher. But they also know that they need to listen to the asst. I try to make it clear that it won't work for them to play us against each other. I will support the asst. and I expect the asst. to support me. When those two things happen, it can be a great partnership, in my experience!
     
  29. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 18, 2010

    I had an aide that is quite abrasive with the kids (though she loves them dearly). I started explaining why I did things a certain way, the developmental process and gently coaching by modeling with her right there. Eventually she started doing it my way without me having to be confrontational about it. Once in a while she will get onto them in her style and now it is for more appropriate times instead of because they aren't getting the concepts.
     
  30. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    Get a manual for parapros from your district that defines her duties. use that to establish your expectations. Enjoy your summer.
     
  31. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2010

    You have never worked with her, but you "know" if/when you set boundaries, she won't listen and will probably do the opposite?

    If you have never worked with her, how do you "know" she will react this way? :confused:

    95% of the things we worry about never occur, but preconceived perceptions can affect relationships. Perhaps if you shift your focus to "I "know" this person and I can work together on a professional level, despite any personality differences", then that might be what happens instead.

    You don't like her. I think this is the core issue.

    In your OP, you admitted she does have a number of friends in the school, so obviously some of them do like her. You claim she only works well with those that are her friends, then perhaps you could try becoming one of those friends. It will make your work with her go much smoother.

    Abraham Lincoln used to do this and was once asked "Why do you make friends with your enemies when you would rather destroy them?" He answered "When I make them my friend, do I not destroy them as an enemy?"

    She feels you have less experience than she because it is your first year teaching. She's right. Unless this is her first year as well, she does have more experience. That doesn't mean she is any better in the classroom, but it does mean she has gained experience that could be a valuable resource in your room.

    What exactly does she do to make you boil inside? You mentioned she makes smart comments and is sometimes rude to the children. Can you give some examples of how she has been rude or what kind of smart comments she has made to you?

    I understand your anxiety about working with her, but you've admitted she likely will only be in your room part of the day. And, quite frankly, you are projecting anger at her for things she hasn't even done yet, but that you "know" she will do when she comes in your room.

    I understand how hard it can be to work with difficult coworkers. I've been in that situation more than once myself. Twice, I had workers that lied to the boss behind my back trying to get me fired and another employee was just an absolute a$$ to my face every day. I finally learned to just ignore them and I stayed on the job long after all 3 of them were gone. The boss recognized who the real troublemakers were and the situations took care of themselves.
     
  32. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 19, 2010

    Cerek- reading your post has seriously made me feel a lot better. Your right I do have a lot of holes in my story that do not make sense. Its my anxiety getting to me.
    Like I said I promise next year I will try my hardest to start and finish the year.
     
  33. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 22, 2010

    Ok I know I said I would try. I know I said I wouldn't worry about it over the summer. I know I said I would try!! I know I said I would TRY!

    It can't be too bad. Some people work with horrible aides all day long. Some people work in horrible schools with horrible P. Some people may even have horrible students. How do you do it?
    I know you need to remain professional but I don't think I can handle it. Just in the past two days this person has been saying the smartest comments to me. Its almost like she thinks I am just this new little girl who she can run all over...and in a way she is VERY intimidating. She has even started asking me how my teaching style and behavior management plan will change next year once she starts working with me!

    Huh! I was not planning on changing anything. If there are problems I can't go to the P because they are really close.

    I will try. It can't be that bad. I can get through this.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 22, 2010

    How did you respond when she asked what modifcations you would be making to your teaching style and behavior management approach? Has she been in your classroom to observe in the past?
     
  35. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 22, 2010

    Well she had this big meeting with the P/ AP/students previous teachers etc about whose class they wanted to put the students in that she would be working with. She chose mine over my other 3 teammates. So obviously she sees something in my teaching style that she values over the others.
    Could it be she feels she can work with me better or she can run over me better? Who knows.

    I just responded with my teaching style and behavior system I have now. She responded by saying I'm going to have to change somethings to accommodate better.

    Besides that she has just been really smart with me the past two days. Just real sly comments when we are around other people. I am trying my best to talk to her more and get on her good side but it seems the more friendly I become the more she feels like she is getting to know me and can handle me in a certain way.
    When before we did not speak and she did not know how to even act with me.
    Am I even explaining myself well? Probably not but this is more like a vent for me. I know this situation seems so small but put your self in the shoes of a young first year teacher who has never had to deal with this. Everything is new and hard for me.
     
  36. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 22, 2010

    Newbie, one of the best ways to show your competence as a professional educator is how you handle personalities that are in conflict with your own. That may be with parents, students, or coworkers.

    This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your talents and your ability to handle any situation wonderfully.

    Also, if she is close with the P (or even if she's not, actually), then I caution you to let anyone at your site know that you have issues with her. Vent at home to your family, friends, etc., or go for a job, to the gym, whatever you need to release the frustration but do not join in on this at school.

    You will eventually learn the dynamics of the school and the relationships within the school. You may love it there, or you may eventually choose to move on. Regardless, however, you will need excellent references and a reputation that assists you with any future career goals you may have.
     
  37. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 22, 2010

    What is the teaching style and behavior management approach you shared with her?
     
  38. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 22, 2010

    Tiffany I made the mistake of venting to some people at my school about her. Nothing big/nothing to the extent that I have on here. Just small stuff. I will never do it again. It hasn't bitten me in the butt yet and if it does I know that the things I said to others I can say to almost anyone.

    JustMe-I just told her that my teaching style is very structured but laid back at the same time. I am very consistent and have proven to have excellent classroom management skills. I told her that I support a lot of team work activities. As for behavior I listed my behavior systems. The ones that worked and the ones that did not work. It was a short convo. We were in a faculty meeting/luncheon when she asked me these things today. It was really out of the blue. Then after we talked to walked away from me and starting talking to her friends.
    It made me feel like she went right over to talk about me.
    Who knows.
    The luncheon was not an appropriate place for this convo.
     
  39. cmw

    cmw Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jun 22, 2010

    I do not think it is a small situation. You are very concerned and will have to work with this person every day for 180 plus days. Also if this person doesn't like you or your styles clash, you run the risk of her going to the principal or bad mouthing you. One thing that may help you is to listen to her suggestions. Just like when we deal with upset parents. You can use phrases like, "I see your point," "I'll see if I can try that." When she makes snide remarks I would either totally ignore them or use it as an opportunity to invite her into a discussion (that may catch her off guard). For example if she is saying something to someone else within your earshot like "I don't know why she is doing it that way, Joey would learn better..." You can be like "Oh, Ms. XX it sound like you have something you think will work with Joey. Can we sit down and talk about it." That will stop her and her comment in its tracks and it shows the people she is talking to you are willing to listen. It will make you look professional. I know it is hard to do, especially when someone is being critical, but you need to be able to sanely make it through the year.
    Good luck! :hugs:
     
  40. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 22, 2010

    I think you are explaining yourself well enough, Newbie, and it does give us a better picture of what you are actually dealing with.

    From what you've said in your last two posts, it does sound more like she thinks you are the one she can intimidate the most and get her way in the classroom.

    To be perfectly honest, my first response to her question "What changes do you plan to make to accommodate me?" would have been "None. I am the lead teacher and you are the aide, therefore, your methodology will have to adjust to mine. My chosen style is a combination of education, research, personality and experience with the children and it is effective. I'm certain we can each learn from the other and I look forward to you assisting in my class, but I will be taking the lead role." Then smile very sweetly at her. :)

    Exactly what kind of "accommodations" does she expect you to make? Are these special needs children? Does your style include differentiation for them already?

    Some people have a tendency to challenge new teachers (or employees)...especially if they feel they have an established relationship with the boss/supervisor that will let them get away with being catty. We're all nervous when we go into a new work environment and some established employees will naturally try to take advantage and play on your uncertainty. It's a form of bullying and, as with any bully, you sometimes have to stand your ground and let them know they aren't going to intimidate you or push you around.

    If you go that route, be prepared for a power struggle. She will definitely be running to the P or AP and reporting anything she can think of to make you look bad (whether it's real or not). So make sure you CYA Thoroughly document EVERY action you take with her kids and EVERY interaction you have with her in and out of the classroom. Experienced or not, the bottom line is that YOU are the teacher and she is the aide. The sooner she understands that relationship, the better the two of you will be able to work together. You may eventually reach a point where you work well together, but you can expect some rough waters before you get there.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 22, 2010

    Let me also say that I don't think this is "no big deal". It's your career, I'm assuming your passion, and several months of your life. Know that we will help however possible!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Missy,
  2. Dev Garg
Total: 301 (members: 3, guests: 281, robots: 17)
test