Staff putting down teacher

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by gutterballjen, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. gutterballjen

    gutterballjen Comrade

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    Jun 1, 2011

    The other day, I took a job in a school that I've never been to before. As I was filling out my paperwork, the desk clerk started talking to me about the teacher I was subbing for. She told me how this teacher is always out with health issues, but still smokes like a chimney. She said how irresponsible this Ms.______ is to still have this nasty habit, and how she's letting her students down. I just nodded and smiled, as she went on and on.

    At recess, I was sitting with the rest of the team. They started talking about planning an end of year picnic for the kids. One of them asked, "Do you think Ms. ______ would bother to come?" The others just scoffed and made comments on how she would come up with some sort of excuse.

    This whole thing shocked me, especially what the desk clerk said. I understand complaining about teammates happens more often than we care to admit, but in front of a sub? :unsure:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 1, 2011

    This seems just plan unprofessional behavior and not the place that I would want to work. Although, I must admit, that this probably happens pretty often in the education world.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 1, 2011

    It probably happens a lot in the real world too.
     
  5. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Jun 1, 2011

    It is unprofessional, but not uncommon. No matter the workplace, there will be people who have either put themselves in a place where others don't like or trust them, or, and this is even worse, where someone else works against them to undermine them.

    I'll bet the principal would not be too happy to find that the office manager was gossipping about other staff to a guest teacher.
     
  6. The Maestro

    The Maestro Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2011

    Well, sometimes it's deserved ...

    When I first became an art teacher, I was replacing the one who had been out for at least a year due to Workmans Comp ... and when I say she was out, I mean everyone was saying that she was abusing the system. Don't ask me why she wasn't reported, I don't know. The school secretary had flat-out told me that this teacher was complaining about how she had hurt her back at school to the point she couldn't work, then caught her at the grocery store hauling heavy cases of food into her car. Other teachers had similar stories, and I heard them all. When the new principal mentioned to me during the interview that he hadn't seen the art teacher since he'd started working there, I knew I would be hearing stories though. Did I ever. They just did NOT like how she was milking the system.

    What was really funny was how, the moment that this teacher heard that her position was going to be replaced, she immediately got better and requested her old job for the next year, which the union told the P he had to do, so I was moved to an open Language Arts/Social Studies position. Of course, the moment that happened, she worked two weeks, then called in AGAIN saying she was under stress and went back on Workmans Comp. The office started telling me that the stress she was feeling really was the eight kids she had at home.

    Around January, the P told me he'd had it with subs in art, so he was moving me in there. The former art teacher went to the union rep, who (apparently) told her she wasn't going to defend her ... and this rep was about as union as you can get. When SHE wouldn't defend a union employee, you knew it was bad. I was moved in, and that was that ...

    ...except for one other thing. She took the Workmans Comp money and started a teachers materials store with it about twenty miles away. It went out of business soon after, and later on, the union rep informed me with a smile that this former art teacher had actually tried to reapply at the school district for her job back.

    Needless to say, she was not rehired ... but again, plenty of fodder for discussion during lunch! :eek:hmy:
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2011

    Unprofessional.
     
  8. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2011

    My first reading of the title sounded like they "put her down" like an ill pet. That would have been worse.
     
  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2011

    (That's what I thought, too.)
     
  10. The Maestro

    The Maestro Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2011

    I'm not really sure to what behavior you're referring to. I'm hoping not to anything I did; I was new to that school and didn't want to say anything about anyone at the time for fear of stepping on someone's feet (and the teachers there were a bit clique-ish). That and the fact that I didn't know anyone there except for the P. Also, I couldn't really comment about someone I'd never met since she never went to the staff meetings, and the only time I did see her was after she quit and came into the storage room to take her personal belongings.

    I will say that I did feel angry at her. I worked hard to get where I was and it can be difficult, but at the end of the day, unless there's some unusual circumstances, I'm pretty sure I earned my daily wage. Someone who abuses the system like I'm pretty sure she did, nope, no respect from me. The only difference between me and the rest of the staff was that I didn't really feel it was my place to say anything, while they enjoyed telling me about who I'd replaced. And while I didn't feel like I *personally* knew enough about the situation to justify giving an opinion to them, I will say that their behavior and feelings were understandable.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2011

    I was referring to the staff members who were talking behind the absent teacher's back in the OP's comments. Not cool.
     
  12. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Jul 4, 2011

    I think that subs end up hearing alot of "inside" information. I have heard alot of negative comments made about other teachers or staff members (never by the secretary). Since I usually know nothing about the situation or often the teacher and because making any kind of comment would be very unprofessional, I usually keep my mouth shut and make sure to never repeat any of what I have heard. I guess sometimes that's part of being a sub.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 4, 2011

    lol.

    Pretty unprofessional in my opinion.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 4, 2011

    Unfortunately staff sometimes openly vent about kids as well. This is also not professional. Sure we all need to vent, let it out sometimes, but it's best to share those thoughts (if at all) privately with one trusted friend or a spouse rather than openly in school hallways, offices and faculty rooms.:2cents:
     
  15. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jul 4, 2011

    I actually hear more negative things from the office staff than from the teaching staff....and ONLY because the office staff has to deal with the teacher calling in late, or not calling at all, or a sub shortage or having to rearrange subs to fit the jobs, or someone not doing their attendance correctly or not filling out forms correctly so the office has to redo them...etc. It's not that they're not professional, but a person can only handle so much. So I'm rambling and defending unprofessional behavior...I'll stop now!
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 4, 2011

    Also be careful about venting in the community: the grocery store, the library, a restaurant. You never know who might be there.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 4, 2011

    Or online.
     
  18. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 4, 2011

    So true!
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 4, 2011

    Right, this unprofessional behavior of venting about colleagues in front of other adults, teachers venting about students, etc. is all pretty much the same level of unprofessionalism. So for that matter, ALL of us should just keep our mouths shut about EVERYONE. No venting in front of ANYONE (connected to school or the district) about other teachers, students, parents, other school employees, etc. Only venting about work stuff to our spouse & non-involved friends is OK though, but as long as the venter knows that no one connected to work can get wind of it.
     

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