Office Politics - a little venty, my apologies

Discussion in 'General Education' started by GreenApple, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. GreenApple

    GreenApple Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    How do you deal with them personally? I try to stay out of them but I get sucked in due to the others I work with. I feel like my job would be perfect if only people were treated equally or even based on merit opposed to "favorites" or "cliques" or whatever. Argh.
     
  2.  
  3. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    I really think it is part of the job. Not officially, of course. When a group of people work together there will naturally be clashes. I tend to be honest with all involved, listen, but don't necessarily speak. It is frustrating!
     
  4. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,642
    Likes Received:
    62

    Jul 17, 2009

    Smile, nod, go on your merry way. Doing anything else generally results in unfavorable consequences. The less ammunition you provide, the better off you will be.
     
  5. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    I am someone that wants to be friends with everyone, so when a few teachers got together and made their own clique, I was very hurt. The rest of us formed our own group-the underdogs. No matter what I do I will never be good enough for their clique so I just have to shut my door and teach!
     
  6. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    My motto is: Stay in your room, keep your head down.

    I feel like teaching is a lot like high school and there are just some people who thrive on drama and being in everyone's business. I'm just not like that and prefer to "stay in my room and keep my head down."
     
  7. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    Our school use to be upper grades vs. lower grades and two shall never mix. Then a few teachers left, a few moved to lower grades and for the past few years we have been mostly drama free. I am moving to a new grade level and not sure how I like a couple on the level. At least I get to stay close to my friends from other levels. It's just part of school. Find those who you can relate to and be friends.
     
  8. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    I LOVE this advice. I am using it more this year. Although at my grade level I am the only returning teacher so I may have to venture more to the teachers lounge than I would like.
    Our teachers lounge is not only the hot bed of office politics it is also the feeding ground for school gossip.:dizzy:
     
  9. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Jul 17, 2009

    I try to refuse to participate. Sometimes I can't help myself because I feel I need to set a record straight or stick up for someone being talked about. Mostly I try to stay out of the office and just do my job! It is hard, it takes effort to not be sucked in.

    If someone starts gossiping to me I will say "I don't feel comfortable talking about that."
     
  10. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 17, 2009

    okay - when I read threads like these, I wonder do these issues only occur in elementary buildings?? I have read threads about back-stabbing team teachers, tattle-telling teachers and so on. I know these things happen at in our elementary building, but in my building I can't ever remember this kind of stuff going on.

    So - do these kinds of things happened in your high school building???
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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

    Jul 17, 2009

    If so, I'm unaware of them.

    Sure, we all have a set of friends we're closer to than others-- there are close to 120 teachers in my school.

    But I would never feel uncomfortable joining others if none of my close friends were free the same time as I.
     
  12. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    66

    Jul 17, 2009

    INteacher... I don't think that it's limited to elementary schools, in fact, from what I've heard in my district, it's worse in high schools. I can't speak to that from experience, but coworkers who have taught high school have said so.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    I understand this way of thinking, but it just makes me sad. We are all professionals and should be able to benefit from each other's experience and ideas. I hate that drama gets in the way of doing what's best for kids.

    I know I will sound sexist, but I really think you will find more drama in Elementary because there are less men who work in elem. Girls just tend to be cattier and more talk behind each other's backs. My :2cents:.
     
  14. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jul 17, 2009

    We only had 10 faculty members last year, and with only one teacher per grade we all have to worry about doing our own thing. I am very thankful, though, that we have really had no issues between teachers in the two years I've been here (even with a couple new teachers last year), so that is one less thing I've had to worry about as a new teacher!
     
  15. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 17, 2009

    Could be. I never thought of that.
     
  16. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    Why would you assume this position voluntarily? Why are you the underdogs? Are you saying the others are better than you and your group?

    Why not take the stance that that clique is not good enough for you?

    Remember, there are no victims -- only volunteers.
     
  17. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 17, 2009

    No disrepect intended - but I just can't imagine teaching in a building where this would be my motto.
     
  18. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 17, 2009

    I'm at a small school and their definitely cliques. I know it, and I deal with my non-membership in one particular clique by smiling and being pleasant, no matter how rude they are to me. Its how I manage to make my way through the day, but being polite and kind no matter what.
     
  19. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,311
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    I try to kill everyone with kindness... I like to think I am at least on speaking terms with most of my building. There are some that make me hide in a clothes rack at Walmart... but most I love and feel like they are my family.
     
  20. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,161
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 17, 2009

    I am at an Elementary school and there are people who rub me the wrong way, so I am polite but try to avoid them. There isn't any back stabbing or rumors though.
     
  21. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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

    Jul 17, 2009

    For the most part, we all get along and are too busy to get into silliness with each other.

    However, there was one teacher last year that constantly caused trouble by being a two-faced, back-stabbing nonentity unworthy of my time.

    OK. I have issues with her. Glad she's been transferred to a new school.
     
  22. Susan82397

    Susan82397 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 18, 2009

    Definitely goes on at my school. The P used to be a teacher there, so those who were her buddies back then get whatever they want most of the time. I am one of those who usually gets along with everyone if possible. I hate conflict!
     
  23. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 18, 2009

    Not too many problems at my school. Some years are better than others. We can share educational ideas at meetings or PLC's, but often our lounge is not the place to be. I make a quick trip to check my mailbox, then head to my room. Can't get in too much trouble there.
     
  24. TeachCA

    TeachCA Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2009

    I do as EiffelTower does. Close my door, stay in my room and keep my head down. Though there are times I've been known to open my big mouth and many times I regretted it. I'm a "fixer" and when I see something broken I want to fix it. But I'm learning to shutup and let things go. Focus on my kids and parents. And most of all .... Stay out of the Teacher's Lounge!!!
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 19, 2009

    My MS was like being back in MS - backstabbing, gossip, rumors, and out-right lies. I escaped all of it by virtue of being the tech person. Somehow, that's worse - knowing people are just being nice to you because they think you'll fix their computer faster.
     
  26. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2009

    It really stinks when there are issues within your own grade level..:( It's extremely sad and discouraging!!
     
  27. taryn_liz

    taryn_liz Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 19, 2009

    Wow...as a first year teacher you guys make me so excited to meet my coworkers. But seriously, I know the school I'm teaching at is all politics. And actually, after I found out I got the job, one of the teacher's stopped me in a parking lot and welcomed me, and then informed me that the principal is her cousin. I was like geez, what a welcome to school!
     
  28. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    66

    Jul 19, 2009

    Taryn, I have to say there are MANY schools that aren't like that. So many schools actually have an environment in which teachers work co-operatively! Don't base your opinion of schools in general on these comments. It's natural to want to vent about things when they're going wrong, but it's much less likely to comment on all the positives... it's just not as fun :)

    Trust me, I've had the pleasure in the past two years, I've been lucky to be in a wonderful school.
     
  29. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,765
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 19, 2009

    Taryn - my school is great :) I eat everyday in the lounge where we do not talk about students, other teachers or any other mean gossipy things. We laugh with each other; we depend on each other and really care about each other. Like I said before, I can't imagine teaching in a building where you just stayed in your own room because of the behavior of collegues and didn't enjoy the company of others during lunch.
     
  30. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 19, 2009

    I'm not immune from the politics. My school has a crew that seems to think they run the school. I try to be nice, but they basically treat me like crap. To the point where other teachers have complained to the administration about their treatment of me. If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does. However, I just do my best (though a teacher accused me of mistreating my students in a meeting with our administration, fortunately my admin knows the truth and squashed that, pointing out that I could file a complaint over that) and smile and am nice. Its all you can do if the domineering clique at your school treats you like crap...

    And when you have tenure? Transfer your ass out!
     
  31. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Jul 20, 2009

    I do think women generally tend to be more gossipy than men. Sorry! Men will generally just say what they feel like to another man's face without worrying what will happen next, plus, they don't seem to be so high on the drama scale as some of us women. :lol:

    What I see happen is that teachers get together and "vent," maybe about a child or parent, and then it goes too far and turns into gossip and tearing down. Boosts the daily negativity factor. ick.

    Also, sometimes there are people in positions of "knowing" things they shouldn't, and they use it as power, or there are simply people who have no clue what "confidential" means and thrive on gossip. sheesh.

    At my school, there are some teachers who I know will always help me if I need advice, are very careful in what they say. There are also some teachers who I could NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS go to because they have an attitude of superiority. I actually had a teacher ask me "What DID you teach these kids last year, they are so far behind!" And this was one of the smartest classes I had ever had. again, sheesh. Other teachers, I know they only want to be negative, or if I make a comment, about anything, they turn it around to something in their life or some great accomplishment they have made with their kids, etc. So I have learned to stay away from the negative, and be very careful who I trust. I have had some years where I have just had to close my door, do my job, and leave at the end of the day, rather than socialize in any way, because it was all very phony. We also had some nut cases over the years, and for sure I learned to try to stay as far away as possible from them!

    The last school I taught at, it seemed everyone was so busy, and the staff so small, we never got to eat lunch together or sit down for a minute with anyone. Kept a lot of the gossip at bay.
     
  32. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jul 20, 2009

    I tried to be friendLY with everyone--- but I don't expect to be friends with everyone. I do try to stay out of gossiping and getting into my private life, though I do have a very good friend at work and others I feel comfortable sharing my life with. I try to eat lunch in the cafeteria to get to know other staff I don't really interact with, but honestly I prefer staying in my room during that time to rest and get some more work done.
     
  33. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    11

    Jul 20, 2009

    I try to be friendly to everyone, but stay out of the gossip that might happen. I don't necessarily think it is any different than any other profession or work place. But, yes, I hear what others are saying.
     
  34. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 20, 2009

    This is exactly what I try to do...take care of my students, their folks and do my job. I try and stay away from the office and mingling much with personnel/coworkers.

    My students are my priority. Granted, I do have to "interact" so much with personnel/coworkers, but I do my best to keep it minimal.
     
  35. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 22, 2009

    High school definately has this too. Teachers are hand picked for awesome timetables or promotions based on being someone's favorite. Then they act like they are better than everyone else and that they somehow deserve this treatement (like "well if everyone else just worked as hard as I did, they could become a principal at 30 too"). The problem I see is conformity. People hire people, promote people and play favourites with people who are like them. So schools remain pretty conservative institutions where true dialogue is quashed and those in charge don't see it because they think everyone agrees with them (because those who agree with them are those they surround themselves with). So the advice to ignore and teach is a good one. I'm not saying don't work with anyone just try to find people who want to work with you on a project rather than people who want to work with you because they think it will advance their career.

    rant over.
     
  36. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 22, 2009


    Oh I love this advice, Canadian Gal. I do this myself, and feel that by modeling this behavior, it helps all parties involved. In fact, I try to go out of my way to be extra kind and caring to people who are grouchy or not welcoming to me. I find that by giving them good eye contact, smiling and being pleasant, these particular people eventually warm up to me.

    It always makes my day when someone who previously wouldn't give me the time of day or look at me, gives me a smile or eye contact after I make the effort to reach out to them.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ready2learn,
  2. jjoyce,
  3. Backroads
Total: 301 (members: 4, guests: 277, robots: 20)
test