my team mate is a complainer

Discussion in 'General Education' started by terptoteacher, May 27, 2010.

  1. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    May 27, 2010

    How do you deal with a constan complainer??? We have 6 members of our team. We have teachers with only about 3 years experience to a teacher with 25+. We do not have a designated team leader, but it seems that at times each of us will take the lead whenever necessary. This is MY perspective of our team. Our teacher with 25+ years experience was a former special ed teacher. She got her first gen ed classroom 4 years ago. Her strengths are in teaching low children to read. Her classroom management, organizational skills, and math, and art teaching skills are lacking a bit....she's not had the best reviews and she's admitted that she struggles in thsee areas.

    She has complained ALL year that her class is low and full of behavioral problems. She also NEVER knows what's going on. We all get the same emails and sit at the same meetings, but she's always asking what we're doing and complaining that she doesn't know what's going on. It's gotten to the point that the minute she opens her mouth, I tune her out because I'm so tired of hearing her complain.

    Well, today we were discussing placement for next year and we were all stating our ideas. She started complaining about her class again and how the admin didn't take her seriously about how rotten her class was and so most of us tuned her out, but she added some information about placement to the end of her rant and when no one responded, she started crying and saying that there is a hierarchy within the team and she is at the bottom and she's had 25 years of experience and none of us listen to her.

    She's made comments to me in the past about how she's just not perky like me, not pretty like me and not the sunshine of the school....She complains that when I ask the admin for something I get it, but when she asks, she is ignored so it must be because I'm perky. I think her comments to me are hurtful. I don't want to be a grumpy complainer and I'm not going to change so that she can feel better about herself.

    Any suggestions on what I should do? Should I ignore it, confront her, or what??
     
  2.  
  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,892
    Likes Received:
    169

    May 28, 2010

    Woah, crying after 25 yrs? I'm surprised she hasn't developed a tougher skin way by now. I say you do the best you can to work w/ this person, but if you don't want to go out of your way to communicate w/ her, then don't. Just stay professional during the times you have to.

    Or if you feel like you want to be the one to maybe show kindness & maybe, just maybe she'll change, then try it. Does everyone on the staff alienate her? Does she have any friends at work? I'd say maybe invite her to lunch, but I'm sure she'll complain & really get it all off her chest. Just do the best you can.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 28, 2010

    I'm sorry-- for both of you.

    Would a heart to heart work? Perhaps telling her that you think the reason you get what you ask for is because you think carefully before asking, and only ask for what you really really need? (So you're addressing the complaining issue, without calling it that.) I think that what she calls "perky" is how you describe someone who smiles and doesn't complain. So, in that context, she's right-- you're perky and get what you need because you go about it in a professional manner.

    I'm not sure that it's about a tough skin-- I'm a cryer when things go really wrong and probably always will be. It sounds to me as though there's more going on here.

    I think she needs some kindness and understanding.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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

    May 28, 2010

    For whatever reason, your teacher is overwhelmed. She is stressed. She's not getting the validation or support she is seeking. She is at a loss. Sometimes when people are at a loss, they flail around a bit. This is what it sounds like to me.

    It is quite possible, for reasons, that your team gives out subtle and not so subtle cues that they don't really like to work with her. Feeling that even a little bit is a blow to one's dignity. Here you have a 25 year teacher who is struggling, who does need support and who is being somewhat rejected. It's not going to get any better until she gets support, validation and feels dignified and respected.

    There is a teacher I respect a lot that has become this way this year. Because we are friends, I know her history better. I understand where she is coming from. She has had a tough year. Yet I can see why others tune her out because she is a broken record. Part of that is because she hasn't been validated or supported adequately and things haven't been resolved.

    Her feelings have a history that likely predates itself before the time you've spent with her.
     
  6. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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

    May 28, 2010

    It sounds like you are at a loss of what to do with her so being empathetic may be a great start. Consider the changes she has gone through in the past few years and her inability to really fit in with a team.

    The best thing for the kids would be to have a well-functioning team of teachers who can collaborate to improve their instructional program.

    Maybe dropping her a card letting her know that you heard her loud and clear and that you apologize that she feels that way (not that you caused it, just that she feels that way).

    Then, make sure her ideas are valued. You will have to make extra effort here because it may be that you really don't care for her ideas (that's okay....but if you attempt to learn from her, then she will attempt to learn from you as well).

    Finally, remember that by successfully working with her personality, you will make a reputation for yourself built on the ability to be a team player and a professional at all times. Your admin will notice this, I can assure you.

    We learn the most from these difficult situations, difficult personalities. If everyone was nice all the time, we wouldn't learn much at all. :D
     
  7. Irma

    Irma Companion

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 28, 2010

    Unfortunately, there will always be teachers like your team mate. In my experience, it's a "type" of teacher- we have them at our school and they range in age from 24 to 60. Do the best you can- take the higher road and lead by example. Surround yourself with positive people and focus on teaching.
     
  8. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    May 28, 2010

    Thank you for your insight...sometimes when you're too close to a situation, you can't see everything.

    I think I will get her a card to let her know that I understand how she feels...and to let her know that we value her input..

    I know she is going through a lot...and part of me gets fed up with that too....she is the type that seems to be happiest when drama happens....but regardless, she's under stress and I should be more understanding.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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

    May 28, 2010

    P.S. Perky is something you should wear like a badge of honor. Do not consider it an insult at all. It's a trait most people WISH they had. Consider yourself a lucky gal and be proud of it.

    Often people who seem happiest when drama happens are people who aren't sure how to have good deep engaging conversations with people around them without falling on the crutch of an easy drama story. The easiest way to get out of that one is to be the one leading good deep meaningful discussions with the person that are positive and really listen to what they have to say and encourage this often.

    Tiffany said it best. Learning how to work with everyone, including those that are hard to work with earns you a professional reputation that will get you noticed and will go a long way in helping you develop people skills needed on so many levels of this job. (*cough* I need some of this advice sometimes too.)

    I also like what Tiffany said about people not listening unless they are listened to. If the person doesn't feel respected or listened to, they often will not listen to others until they feel that themselves. It's important. It may not be something you can completely provide, but you can ask yourself if you are contributing to it.
     
  10. Nate

    Nate Companion

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 28, 2010

    You can't do anything to improve her disposition, but you can let her know that it's insulting to suggest that you're getting special treatment. It's miserable being stuck working with a sad-sack type--focus your efforts with those colleagues who still love the work.
     
  11. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 28, 2010

    Lots of good advice given, and it sounds like you are exactly the special person needed to ease the situation. You are definitely a class act...but terptoteacher, don't forget that you are entitled to your feelings, as well, and you shouldn't have to apologize for them. We all need validation. How wonderful of you to choose the high road. You will be glad you did, even if she continues to make things difficult, please find comfort (and pride) in that you did the right thing. ::angel:
     
  12. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,610
    Likes Received:
    52

    May 28, 2010

    Thanks for this thread! I have a team member who thrives on drama. Complains lots and asks for advice but doesn't take advice. Maybe there's more that we could do to help.
     
  13. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 28, 2010

    Some are meant to be the lead dog... some are up front close to the lead dog... some are in the middle of of the pack, and some run close to the sled. I think this person very close to the sled.....

    That's life.....

    Soooooooo, be the lead dog......:):)
     
  14. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 28, 2010

    Your words reminds me of the Big Dogs T-shirt which says that if you're not the lead dog, the view doesn't change! LOL
     
  15. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    May 28, 2010

    yeah, lead dog....

    sometimes it gets hard listening to, "gee, it must be rough to be the most popular teacher" and "man, I ask for an FBA and I get nothing, you didn't even ask for one and you got it."
     
  16. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 28, 2010

    Jack, I've lived by those words all my life.......:lol::lol:
     
  17. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 28, 2010

    If you're really good....... you can expect those questions/comments....:):)

    Don't let anyone hold you back.......:hugs:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. catnfiddle,
  2. sairam
Total: 338 (members: 4, guests: 303, robots: 31)
test