Personality issues?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by newbie23, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2009

    How do you handle veteran teachers that clearly don't think you were the best choice?

    In my first few weeks I've had teachers constantly mention that they miss the teacher I replaced (she relocated) but that they're sure, "I'll get used to you."

    I've also heard, "Are you friends with the supt? Oh you're not? We all thought that's how you got the job."

    and

    "So if you've never taught this grade, how were you the most obvious choice?"

    I want to tell them... Go talk to the hiring committee, no I don't know the supt that you all hate, and come visit my classroom and watch me teach.

    It is just very frustrating when you know you're not liked. Yet, I try to be compassionate to everyone. Each day I try to thank the custodian, secretary, aides, etc. Even substitutes to let them know that I am APPRECIATIVE. It seems that that's something that the other teachers might not be.

    I had been eating lunch with the other teachers (there's only 1 group) but it was really ruining my mood to hear them complain and talk about everyone so I'm going to try to work and eat in my room during lunch.

    I just hate all of the negativity.
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 29, 2009

    Ya some schools are just like that. That's the one thing that shocked me about teaching--- how everybody can be in everybody else's business.

    I know your lunch group may sound negative, but I would recommend continuing to sit with them. I loved sitting by myself in my quiet classroom, but I saw how it looked bad to other teachers. When I decided to sit with the teachers after months of not doing so, one teacher said "Oh you're finally sitting with us again!" (jokingly) but it made me realize it was observed by the teachers. You don't want them to think negative things about you (which I know is very unfair of them to do) so continue to sit with them and try to add a little sunshine when you can. Teachers are expected to build close connections together and this just a part of that role. Plus you might actually learn about important information by sitting in the group (I did).

    If teachers are still unsure why you were hired, then give them the opportunity to see why you're a shining star. One way I did this was by putting in a lot of creativity and effort into my bulletin boards. Seems strange, I know, but I out did the majority of other bulletin boards in my school and I got many compliments from teachers. If you did something similar, you would of course be showing off the talents and knowledge of your students, but at the same time the teachers would see how awesome you are. You might even want to offer to do a bulletin board or two else where in the school, such as a main hall, where students, parents, and admins will see it. Don't brown nose, of course, but get your students' work out there to be seen.
     
  4. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Aug 29, 2009

    I agree with BioAngel, I would continue to sit with the group at lunch- maybe even a few days a week if you can't take it everyday.
    Also, remember that the teachers might be bent-out-of shape about the other teacher relocating- and they might be taking it out on you. It is always hard to step in and "replace" someone-just keep being the great teacher that you are and they will see soon enough!! Don't take their comments to heart; and if you can, respond by saying something positive-
    "...how were you the obvious choice?" -flash a big smile and say "I guess my shining personality must have won them over".... As long as you don't show that they are bothering you, they will leave you alone soon enough. Good luck!!
     
  5. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Aug 29, 2009

    :eek: How unprofessional! I wouldn't even bother answering those questions if I were you.
     
  6. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Aug 30, 2009

    I agree. Keep sitting with them and discount their negativity. They will eventually come around. It would reflect in a not so positive light on you if you eat lunch by yourself. Change is difficult for people. And any new change is bound to make them feel uncomfortable. They are afraid that you will do such a good job that they will look dull in comparison. This is just silly. Teachers should help one another and be cheerleaders for each other. But that does not always happen and sadly it is the student that suffers because of it.
     
  7. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 30, 2009

    I agree on the lunch issue. Isolating yourself, while more peaceful, would only make them band together against you more. It sounds to me like this is nothing personal: they just don't like having their clique interrupted. After a while, they will get used to you and probably turn their attention to a livelier target.

    Don't give them what they want by letting them marginalize you. Just be nice and do your best to led the petty comments slide right off you.
     
  8. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Aug 30, 2009

    newbie23, possible replies.......

    "I'll get used to you."

    "That's good... Most likely you will be working for me someday."



    "Are you friends with the supt? Oh you're not? We all thought that's how you got the job."

    "Well yes I am.... Do you have a problem with the supt?"

    "So if you've never taught this grade, how were you the most obvious choice?"

    "Good question... I guess it's because of my close relationship to the supt. Does the supt's decision bother you?"


    Good luck to you. Don't let the social misfits get to you.

    Major.......:):):)
     
  9. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Aug 30, 2009

    I'm dealing with the same kind of judgement even though I heard before I got the job that I was a great teacher and that I deserved the job (I got a teaching job in the school where I was a para). I'm not sure why teachers feel like they have to test the waters like this. It's totally un-necessary in the world of a new teacher! We are stressed out enough as it is!
     
  10. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2009

    It sounds like they're upset over the last teacher leaving, not over you being hired.

    I'd acknowledge that head on. I'd probably have stopped at the comment about them getting "used to me" and said something like, "You know, I've been hearing a lot of that. Mr or Mrs X sounds like s/he was really something. I'd love to have been around to have known him/her. It's a big loss to a school to lose a good teacher. I hope to do my best here."

    Then hang out with them at lunch. Let them talk. Listen a lot. Yes, negative. But there is no need to engage. Still, it sounds like they're either hurting or just plain scared about their own job futures.
     
  11. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2009

    Update:

    The past few days I've eaten in my room and graded papers. A few of the "nicer" teachers have come in to say they missed me but that they completely understand the need to squeeze in extra time anywhere.

    The upper grades don't eat with us and those teacher's have been very supportive the few times I've had interactions with them.

    I just couldn't handle the negative. It's scary enough for me to be away from home and not to have that emotional support to come home and talk to, especially when I feel like I got pushed down even more during the lunch time.

    I think next week I'll try mixing it up and eating with them a few days a week. If it still bothers me... I can decide from there.

    Thanks for all of your advice!
     
  12. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Sep 2, 2009

    When I was hired here, the teachers that I worked with were discussing a sub. One of the teachers turned to me in the meeting and said, "She is who we really wanted to work with, not you!" I cried for days. I was so hurt. I am now at a different grade level and everyone is nicer. I just smile and think, "I didn't want to work with you either." whenever I see them.
     
  13. lsho

    lsho Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2009

    Been there...

    I have been there. When a new teacher is hired, we are always (mostly) replacing someone else. The teacher I replaced was fired in April of last school year. I took over the last 2 months and got a warm welcome. This was because the teachers thought I was temporary. When they found out I was his permenant replacement, most teachers were still kind to me but a large group gave me the cold shoulder in a big way. The teacher I replaced was well liked by staff and students alike and it was an awful transition.

    All I can say is to keep your chin up. I got the whole "Who do you know and how did you get hired" thing as well. I was student teaching in the district and had been talked about often to the supt. about how well I was doing. THAT is how I got my job. I worked hard, as you did. But people want to always assume the worst and that you aren't qualified and simply got to where you are by knowing someone who knew someone. Don't let it get to you. Kill them with kindness.

    Find a group of teachers who are behind you. There has to be at least a couple. And don't shy away from social functions, even just lunch. Putting your head in the sand will make you look defeated. They will come around one way or another. If it becomes a true problem, speak to your mentor about it. Or come to us! :D
     
  14. SPECIALEDMAN

    SPECIALEDMAN Companion

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    Sep 10, 2009

    I suggest that you stay away from the negative and complaining teachers. Sometimes it seems that an entire school is one big negative pool of crap and often (I’m sorry to say this – hold year ears) it’s your veteran teachers that fall into this poor ole me state of “I’ve got the bad kids” “They don’t care about me” “The new teacher is stupid” “How’d you get that job” attitude.

    Be rude right back at em!! But don’t catch the negativity bug from them 
     
  15. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2009

    Update:
    I've remained as nice and helpful as I can be. I thank everyone on our staff every day from the P (when she is there) to the custodians. I do appreciate everything they do for us.

    I'm still staying away from lunch. If any of the negative nancys ask, I just tell them that I need to review the math lesson for today (which is usually true).

    I still am not getting the support I really need from most of the teachers but I've decided that this means I should appreciate those who help even more.
     
  16. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Sep 10, 2009

    Just keep smiling and teaching like you know how to do. :) Some people really need something to talk about because they don't want to focus on what they really need to do.
     
  17. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Sep 10, 2009

    What is with teachers anyhow? I am sure most, if not all are female. Am I correct in assuming that? My sister, an RN, took a job in the Chicago suburbs as a school nurse. She could not BELIEVE the cattiness that went on daily in her school. She said the teachers (99% female) attitudes and gossipy ways reminded her of being in high school all over again. She was disgusted that people who are supposed to be professionals could act in a manner that was so far removed from that.

    Just wanted to post this so you could know your situation is not unique. It is awful, and when things like this happen I hold my head in shame at my profession. What a bunch of nit wits. Hang in there, and just remember it isn't you, it is them.:hugs:
     
  18. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Sep 14, 2009

    They are just jealous at you. Hang in there.
     
  19. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2009

    I understand how hard it must be but I see the other side too.

    We had one teacher who got hired this year over someone who had taught on a long-term temporary contract last year. It isn't fair. There are A LOT of examples of people getting hired because of who they know.

    I try my best to be nice to the new teacher but it does bother me that favouritism played a role and it probably took me 1-2 weeks to get over it.

    I also disagree with trying to act like a shining star. Do your job. Do it well. Be respectful. Your colleagues will probably come around. If you try to act like a superstar they are less likely to come around. Don't do less. But I wouldn't be doing cute BB's and stuff - that just seems like you are trying to draw attention to yourself.

    Hang in there. It will get better. They will come around.
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 15, 2009

    I think you should tell them that you hope that you get used to them as time goes on. You could even mention that it is the first time at a job that you have not been welcomed with open arms, so it might take you a while to adjust. I don't think you do yourself any favors if you just sit there with them and accept the rudeness. Associate with the supportive teachers and tolerate the others respectfully.
     

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