I feel trapped, like a puppet on a string

Discussion in 'General Education' started by giantslayer, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. giantslayer

    giantslayer New Member

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Hi.

    I have removed this post for personal reasons.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
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  3. educator

    educator Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Assert yourself, in front of the children if necessary.

    When she makes decisions, remind her that it's your decision to make. When she tells you to do something, well, you get the picture.

    She can only take over if you allow it to happen.
     
  4. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I can relate to your feelings of losing control over things. I am technically the librarian and computer teacher at my school. I had an assistant who was supposed to help me but pretty much took over the library position. It sort of irked me at first but got really annoying and I didn't know what to do about it. I got lucky and she took a different position at school, so I didn't have to confront her. Last summer when a new person was hired to help me, I was determined to let her know right away that she was there to help me and I would be making the major decisions about things. We had a great year together. I stuck to my guns and it worked.

    My suggestion to you would be to let this teacher know in a friendly way that you would love her help but that you are in charge of the musical and will be making the final decisions. I can imagine how hard this will be. If you don't talk to her, you will have to resign yourself to the fact that things will continue down the same path. Which will be harder to live with? Of course, if you feel that your job might be in jeopardy you have to factor that in as well.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
     
  5. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2008

    I did not read the other posts, but I would just make sure that "Jane" understands that you have your idea of what you want and she is there to help YOUR idea come to life. You don't have to be rude at all....just approach it like--"this is what I am thinking I want to do..."
     
  6. giantslayer

    giantslayer New Member

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Thank you Educator and Sundrop

    Clearly the problem is with me not Jane. I need to bravely set the parameters and boundaries in place as you say by reminding her that I am the final decision maker in this situation, I am the one in charge- she is there to support and back up me up.I can see that if I don’t make a stand now it will continue to be what it was like 2 years ago. This is my chance to establish full control.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 10, 2008

    Actually, the problem resides mostly with jane, however, you play a very important supporting role. You NEED to stand your ground. So what if she takes you to the admins. Never do anything less than professional and record all of your conversations if you must, but you MUST NOT let her take over again. If she tries, you need to tell her that you appriciate her suggestions, and you'll take them into consideration, however, you are the final decision maker and will let her know what you decide at such and such a time. Sound like a broken record if you have to, but do not give in. Jane's behavior is bullying, plain and simple.
     
  8. educator

    educator Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2008

    mmswm,

    I agree with your posts most of the time, but this time I believe we take different routes. This approach sounds like something you would explain to your 6 year old students to keep the one being bullied from clocking the bully.

    This promotes a victim attitude, and hopefully very few of us are victims. People will treat you the way that you expect them to treat you. There are natural leaders, and there are followers. Not everything boils down to a bully/victim situation. If you allow another person to take advantage of you or push you around, I guarantee it will happen!

    Jane is probably just a take charge person who needs to be put in her place. Giantslayer has probably been trained to be politically correct and overly polite. Giantslayer is an adult and doesn't have to play nice, take crap or otherwise adapt to someone else's plan for him/her.

    I don't mean to come across too strong here, but I see so many teachers who have lost the ability or will to stand up for themselves. We spend all of our time building the self-esteem of students, but very little time is devoted to maintaining our own self esteem.
     
  9. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Yes, you need to stand up for yourself. She might not even realize she is doing this! Some people just take over because they think their way is the best, and don't see that they are being control freaks.

    I will repeat what has helped me so much to deal with difficult people. Practice the exact phrases you might use in different situations, so you will be ready. Do you want to be straight forward, or do you want to handle it with humor? "Hey, Jane, haha, I appreciate the suggestion, but remember, I am doing the music/choir and you are supervising the acting. Now get over there - those kids need HELP!!"

    It is difficult for those of us who are laid back to deal with these controlling people! But, you will feel so great once you take the lead, state your needs, and are firm in your decisions. If you think it all through carefully, you will be able to handle it without getting angry or confrontational, just stating things in a calm and matter-of-fact way. The more you use your tools for standing up for yourself, the stronger you will become! You will start being able to recognize difficult people right away and deal with them early on, before they create problems and stress for you. Go for it!! You might tell her in a friendly or humorous way that you are glad she is there, you appreciate her strengths and think she will do a great job with the acting, and, "we are very different in our teaching styles - I am very comfortable with the way I conduct the choir and expect you to work with the actors and support my leadership of the choir."
     
  10. giantslayer

    giantslayer New Member

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Thank you so much so far for all the suggestions and advice offered here so far ...it is so much appreciated. I am glad to have found this forum.
     
  11. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2008

    There's a difference between Jane being assertive and take-charge, and verbal harassment. If she puts you down or overrides you in front of your students, you should put that in writing and give it to the principal. I had to do this with a colleague last year who clearly did not understand that no one comes into my room full of students and berates me, or undermines me in any way. It has taken me a loooong time and several talks with my business-savy husband to gain courage in the workplace. Find a strong, kind, un-bias teacher at the school to help you in this, if you need to.
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 11, 2008

    And, of course, taking comments out of context completely blows their meaning. This is not a "take charge" attitude. This is a controller. The op has described a spoiled brat who whines and cries when she doesn't get her way. This is what the op described happening when she DID try to stand her ground. My complete quote is that the problem lies mostly with jane, however, the op plays a strong supporting role. Then I went on to give my advise on how I would stand my ground without falling victim to to the op's whining and crying (as she has a history of doing.) In other words, I said pretty much exactly what you did about what the op should do...so what do we dissagree on?
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Actually I think it is easy for someone who is used to controlling or being in control of a situation to view someone who is laid back as someone who doesn't mind, isn't a decisive decision maker and needs help with that or isn't really doing their job well enough with enough control and needs help with that. Sometimes these people actually get peeved because they WANT someone to help take control and other times they are used to getting their way. It's really hard to judge without knowing the people involved and their history in general.

    Also keep in mind that technically you both are professionally equals. It's not the same as say the teacher and teacher aide where there are clear boundaries.

    BEFORE you accept her help you need to be clear. You could express your VISION for the year, some accomplishments you enjoyed about last year and then ask what she hopes to contribute/her role. Clarify that you do clearly need the help but you need to make sure you are on the same page. Emphasize her strengths to offset the blow of the fact that you need things to operate differently this time. I say all this but sometimes a person can't help being who they are no matter what pep talk you had initially. Keep that in mind.
     
  14. educator

    educator Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2008

    I'm sorry mmswm. I re-read you posts, and I obviously read something into it that wasn't there. My first impression was that the post placed the blame with Jane, and my reaction was that the op had the responsibility to put Jane in her place.

    I'll read a little more slowly next time. :sorry:
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Tis okay. I didn't think you'd advocate unprofessional behavior. We all occasionally read something too fast and react accordingly. I've done it more than my fair share of times.
     
  16. educator

    educator Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2008

    Comes from reading with a bandage over the eye.

    I contacted pink-eye from one of my little ones, and my eye was full of ointment and covered to keep the light out. :blush:
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    ewwww, pink eye. That stinks.
     
  18. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jun 20, 2008

    giantslayer - anything new on this situation? When does this all begin?
     
  19. DRBenjamin

    DRBenjamin Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I have a different perspective to offer. I am a recovering control freak. I used to like to take things over and to be in control. Part of me actually believed that if I controlled everything and everything turned out perfectly than people would like and respect me more. I was smoking crack. One of my good friends had a "talk" with me--she basically told me that I was a controlling witch who needed to back off. She told me how other people dreaded it when I got involved because I was such a know it all, bossy, controlling, demanding. Not an attractive picture. Yes, I'm still demanding, but I'm working on it. What she's really looking for is self-affirmation and attention. My advice? Stand up to her. Be very direct and to the point. Then, give her something that she can be in charge of--something that you could really care less about. Then, she'll be so busy with that she'll hopefully leave you alone. Don't let her continue to bully you. Trust me. It could be the best thing anyone ever does for her. I apologize on her behalf. We don't always see what a PITA we are.
     
  20. giantslayer

    giantslayer New Member

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions and comments. I do so appreciate what you have said. I'll get back to you about what is happening now.
     

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