Totally and utterly miserable

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Dolla, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 17, 2005

    Hey guys...

    I am so low and have been for the past month and a half. The problem is that one of the preschool teachers was fired back then and the replacement teacher knows just how to push everyone's buttons. The thing is, that the school I teach at doesn't really have a set curriculum but has adjusted it to what the parents want their kids to do and learn in school as it is a private school and the fees are huge. Yes, I do agree that the work is hard but I have downscaled it to what the kids in my class can manage. We do a colour and shape a month, a letter a week, a number every two weeks, an opposite every two weeks, and some vocabulary as none of the children speak any english. They are required to write the letters and numbers 1-10 and we were told to do a worksheet on both the letter and number everyday which I scaled down to one a day as I have 25 children in my class and it takes about 35-40 minutes to get it done. This worked fine for me and most of my children enjoy the worksheets and have taken to it well. This has been practice for 3 years now since the school started.

    This new teacher came in with a bang, took over and protested everything we were told to do with the children because "she is qualified and she was taught that the kids should play with sand and and and" which I understand completely, but the point remains that the work that the children do is what is requested and expected by the parents. She protested so much and made such a scene that the teacher who took weeks making worksheets for the preschoolers took every last one and said she refuses to have her work critisised all the time. Now we have no worksheets, and she, being the cause of all this and not just doing what her job description says, refuses to make new worksheets and me and the other teacher are left to do it.

    To make matters worse is that she constantly critisises everything I do in my class. Things like telling me that the way I count blocks with a child is wrong! Is there a wrong and right way to do that? We have download books which you can write down things about each child in your class "if" you want to. Even that she tells me I'm doing wrong! The download book is something you do out of choice. Each teacher does it the way they want to. We were told that what we do in class doesn't have to be coordinated with the other teachers, as long as the homework is the same for everyone. She now insists that we do the same everyday even after being told that we don't have to and that it is each teachers choice. She even wants us to do the same art every week and art is a completely free subject in which you do what you choose with your class.

    I just feel so run down because nothing I do is ever right in her eyes, not that she's supposed to or has the right to judge, and not one compliment is thrown my way for all the other great things I do. She's a teacher... not the head so I get really frustrated when she wants to deliver judgement on what I do. She comes into my class to "observe" but instead of sitting quietly and "observing", she'll interupt me and my class to tell me that she doesn't do it this way she does it that way. That's not the point of observing is it, and if she wanted to give suggestions, she could wait until I am finished instead of drawing my children's attention away from what I am trying to do with them and making it harder for me to hold their attention.
     
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  3. smilesjd

    smilesjd Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2005

    I'd be upset and frustrated too! It sounds like you and the other teachers should be voicing your opinions to the head/director of the preschool. If he or she had a set way of diong this before the new teacher came they should still be in place now. If the head likes the way the new teacher is doing things then hopefully she still lets all the other teachers teacher the way they feel best too. If nothing else, something should be done about her interuptive "visits" to your classroom. Maybe a rule could be put in places like "If you plan to observe another teacher you MUST schedule a time in advance." Then you would have the ability to control when she is in your classroom. She sounds very disruptive to your students learning! I'm sorry your being put through this!
     
  4. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2005

    Who did you say gave this person the right to tell you how to run your classroom? Are others complaining? I am not getting a very clear picture. What I understand from your post is that some teacher has taken it upon herself to tell others how to run their classroom. I don't see how that could happen. Doesn't she have to be in her classroom? Who is giving her the time to do this observing of you?
    Have you taken Early Childhood Classes? If not, are they available?
    Worksheets for 3 year olds are not appropriate. They need to be learning through play and sensory experiences and free art. They need lots and lots of hands on experience. Playdough, clay, water, yes sand, corn, rice, the insides of pumpkins, fingerpainting, dancing and singing. Is that how you are teaching?
    Forget the worksheets. 3 year olds should not be doing them...ever.
     
  5. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 17, 2005

    That's what all of us feel but the parents insist on it. The point is that the culture here is so much different to western culture. The people here are all about image and they'll do anything, detrimental to their children's development or not, to look good. What's more is that the school is owned by the ruler of the emirate so the pressures on for images. That's why I said I limit the worksheets I do and do less than is required. I do more colouring and playing, singing and physical movements with them which they really enjoy. Playdough is also a winner. I try to make a game out of what I teach and give a lot of stars on their chart.

    I also feel what we are doing with these kids is too much but in this society, there is no changing their minds and everything here, I don't even know how to explain it, these people get their way with everything. I can't wait to be out of this county.
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2005

    Why are you even there?!
     
  7. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 17, 2005

    The school had an opening and living here is so extremely boring that I decided to apply. I enjoy kids and thought this would be a good way for me to explore what I am good at. Turns out to have been a bad decision as I am now a part of this terrible cycle that no one seems to care enough to do anything about and if anyone dares change it, they either get fired or completely rejected by the other personnel. It is hard to keep sane here because you constantly have to watch your back as there are always people waiting for a chance to backstab you so that they look good with the ruler
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2005

    What a strange place to live, but it is interesting to hear from you. Keep sharing! The rest of the gang will be on later tonight, but they are at work now(regular posters and we all talk at night)...but I am off today. Oh, what time is it there?
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2005

  10. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 17, 2005

    Well if that teacher wants to run the show, then all of you need to put all of your kids into one room with her and walk out. Let HER run the whole show.

    She would drive me nuts in no time!

    I have a fear when we get a new principal (ours is retiring SOON), that they are going to come in and turn things upside down and everything is running smoothly now.

    GOOD LUCK with the gal.

    Lori
     
  11. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Oct 17, 2005

    What about when she walks in ----have several books ready and start reading the book. Would that put her in her place? I'd teach the students the circle song. Ring Around a Rosie, Pocket full of Posies, Woops E Daisy we all sit down. This will get them in a circle and you start reading OR call them to the reading rug and start reading..... have a bell you ring and they know to come to their spot on the rug. www.kizclub.com You copy and paste little books at this site free. Color them so the pictures are pretty.
    ---another idea Is there someone who speaks their language and English. They could read it in Spanish or whatever and you re-read it in English (Page by Page)and tape the reading. I forgot when I first thought of this idea you posted they don't speak English. Wow! that would be tough....
    ----What would happen if you ask her not to come into your room because It upsets you and your students.
    ----You just have an emergency bathroom run when she walks in
    OR "You are here" I need to clean their lockers. Our lockers are in the hall. OR Miss ____ will you please lead the whatever activity, If she doesn't want to oh, please you are so gooood. I will watch you.
    ----She would drive me crazy.... I honestly don't know what I would do. I'll sharing anything that pops into my mind at this instant.
     
  12. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 18, 2005

    Thanx so much you guys... It's nice to know that I'm not just complaining but that others would feel the same too. The reason for the visits is that we can "learn from each other", and we were told to do so by our Dept. head. Our Dept. head is also another story as she tells one person one thing and tells the next another thing and has a history of doing certain things to get the people who don't fall at their feet and worship the ground she walks on, into trouble with the ruler. I have heard this from several teachers who have actually left because of her. The whole situation and the people there are just horrific. That's why I said you have to watch your back the whole time because it just takes once to raise your opinion, and if the Dept. Head doesn't like it she's on the phone with the ruler and the next day you can expect a lashing or even worse, be fired. My stress levels are through the roof. That's why I just do what I was told to do and try to make it easier for the kids, but still do what the job description requires. This new teacher is aposing it all and this makes it worse for the rest of us
     
  13. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 18, 2005

    It is now 14:25 here in the UAE. Sorry, I was probably in bed by the time you were all here
     
  14. JulieC

    JulieC Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2005

    I don't know how you are coping! I think I'd have slapped her by now! The pressure on you and your co-workers must be staggering but don't let her get you down - just remember that she is the New Girl - it;s up to her to fit in. When the parents or owner complain about no worksheets - send them to her. Good luck
     
  15. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Oct 18, 2005

    That sounds like a completely unprofessional environment. Are you sure that it is worth the headaches and stress to continue working there?
     
  16. kteachdc

    kteachdc Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2005

    I worked with a coach that was exactly the same - would come into class and tell you how you were doing everything wrong, went through all of our supplies and books and got rid of everything not "appropriate" (i.e. commercial) and was generally snotty. I fought with her tooth and nail and eventually she left me alone. Although I got a somewhat questionable eval from the director due to this, I'm glad I did it. I also understand how parent needs have to be balanced with appropriate curriculum. I honestly can't tell you what to do, but I wanted to let you know that others have been through similar situations. Just do your best - what you know the kids need and the parents want - and see how things pan out. It can be very depressing and annoying though - I'm not sure how to deal with those aspects!
     
  17. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Oct 19, 2005

    You said she comes in to observe. Have you told her that now is not a good time? Or--ooo this is what I would do! Put her to work when she walks into your room. She complains about something? Sweetly suggest she show you. I wouldn't even give her a chance to be negative. She walks in and sits down--I'd say oh, great you're here! Can you help little Bobby with his letters? Or whatever you're doing. She's probably leaving her own room so she doesn't have to work.
     
  18. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 20, 2005

    That sounds like a good idea. I have been keeping positive and fighting fire with fire. When she complained about how the day is dragging on I just said: "my day's gone so quickly, I wish I had another hour!" This is true though. Some days I feel like there just isn't enough time for all the things I want to do with them.

    The main thing about her "observing" was that we were in assessment week, (yes, unfortunately the little ones also get assessed to see if they are keeping up with the pace) and I was in the middle of the oral assessment with one of my difficult children. I couldn't just stop doing what I was doing to keep the "observer" occupied as once I have this child's attention, I had to roll with it because she has a very short concentration span and I don't believe in forcing a child to do something if they can't. She came in, instead of quietly and remaining unnoticed, she came in and sat right next to me, took the childs' attention away from me and what we were doing and I had to mark the child negatively (not badly as grades don't apply for this assessment) as she had lost concentration and basically lost the plot of what we were doing. Then she also interrupted me while I was busy (our children had to be assessed on whether they can count out 1, 2 and 3 blocks) and she said what I was doing was being done incorrectly. Counting blocks incorrectly!!!! I had practiced with my class by giving them 5 blocks which fit into each other like lego blocks. They're all the same size to form a "tower". The way I practiced with them was first to put them all together and count the 5 different coloured blocks as they were required to count to 5 aswell. Then I would ask them to show me 1, 2 or 3 blocks which they would then break off from the 5 block tower and hold up the amount of blocks I asked for. Most of my children are able to do it, but not all the children's abilities are the same and she protested when she saw that the child that I was busy with (a weak child who learns slowly as a result of a cracked skull), was having difficulty understanding. When we put the counting of blocks into the assessment, it was said that it was intended to find who the brightest kids were, and not to be taken too seriously. I then asked her politely to please not interrupt me while I was assessing and that she please sit where she is unnoticed as she should have been. She then threw her toys and stormed out of my class, running to the Dept. Head saying I chased her out of my class! She then continued at a meeting that was called to say that I don't use any of the suggestions that she makes which is totally untrue as I have tried everything she suggested. Some things I use everyday and some things I tried but my children didn't take to it well. She also insisted that we were lying in saying that she constantly says: " I am qualified and you aren't" in so many words, but she has complained that we don't know what we are doing because we aren't qualified, which is also untrue as we all do the same work and the kids are learning. She has also gone as far as to say to someone that her and I shouldn't be getting the same salary as she is a qualified teacher and I'm not. This I heard along the grapevine and therefore didn't want to say anything about it in the meeting, but this just gives you a picture of what she's like. Insisting she doesn't discriminate but drops lines like these all the time. It's so frustrating and gets me down a lot because I know I am doing a good job and my children enjoy what I do with them but just because I'm not a qualified teacher, I am made out as a fool all the time. She has been told several times to stop trying to take over and change everything as in this country she is only making it more difficult for everyone else around her but even after the head telling her to just do her job and leave the rest of us alone to do ours, she still carries on trying to run our lives. It has gotten to a point where I feel I want to resign, eventhough we can't afford for me to resign, because I am so depressed and stressed out that it is affecting my marriage as well because my husband hates seeing me so stressed out and coming home everyday upset. She has caused me to suffer from anxiety and I even wake up with panic attacks early in the morning, hours before I have to get up. I am tense and my brain just doesn't switch off. It is affecting my health and although I am so attached to the kids in my class already and I don't want to let them down, I am worried that my marriage and my wellbeing are at stake here. I have also considered, if she refuses to listen to her immediate superior, to contact the owner of the school and tell her exactly how I feel and what has been going on and letting her decide from there what to do. This teacher is so obsessed with trying to tell us what to do that she has even tried to make art, which is a free subject and it is up to each teacher what she wants to do that week, a coordinated subject. My kids are mad about Eensy Weensy Spider and I ordered pipecleaners and thing so that this week coming we can make a spider for art. She read the note I left on the secretaries desk, and ordered the same things for herself and said we must all do the same art every week after also being told several times that art is not to be a coordinated subject. She also then continued in asking me how I was planning on doing the spider and then had the ordasity to tell me that her idee would be better and that I should hang them from my roof, which I was planning to do. I just looked at her and walked out. I feel like she can't differentiate between how to treat her children and how to treat her colleagues and quite frankly, I've had enough of it. I can't even speak to my head about how I feel as it is all a backstabbing affair and nothing anyone says can be trusted and you never feel like anything is kept confidential. I am at an all time low. I went into this job, knowing what this culture is like and I decided that I was going to just do my job, make it as easy as I can for the kids, keep a low profile, and not be noticed or in the spotlight. Since she arrived, I have been talked about behind my back, I have been checked up on, I have been critisised in everything I do. Before she arrived, I had none of this and I was even told I was doing a good job. Since she's been here all I've heard is how wrong I am, and I'm just doing my job and following the "syllabus" that I was told to do in the first place.
     
  19. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Oct 20, 2005

    And why is the head not being more supportive of you? Have you spoken up about her? I would think about exploring this with the head even if you are worried about it getting back to her. Are you going to be more miserable if this teacher finds out? And, why is she not in her classroom? Is she supposed to wander from room to room, acting as a support person?
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 20, 2005

    I hope you make a decison soon because it is affecting your health. Please let us know what you decide. I could not go as you are...I don't think. Just keep your "cool" though and be organized and make a good decision.
     
  21. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 20, 2005

    I have discussed this with the principal, but even she is edgy on taking the matter on as the Preschool Dept. Head (Deputy Head) has been there much longer and tends to go to the owner of the school and make up stories about others just to clear her name and drop others in the mud. The owner is after all our employer and in this country, you are never assured to have your job the day after tomorrow. It's like walking on eggshells all the time. I can't trust the Preschool Head as she tends to backstab anyone who raises an opinion and because she backstabs, the Principal has recieved many letters and phonecalls from the owner of the school critisising her ability as Principal (which there is no problem with) and this made her cautious of whatever she does or says, as she's just trying to protect herself and her job. A few days ago, another teacher walked in on the Preschool Head discussing the Principal with some of the older kids and once she saw the teacher, basically went into a panic because she was caught in the act of trying to get yet another member of staff into trouble for no reason. This is how much we can trust our Department Head.... not at all. I don't blame the Principal but feel that more can be done to put this teacher in her place and respect the Principals orders. I have learnt that it doesn't help to raise an opinion or discuss my thoughts and feelings, because the Department head will lie to your face and then get you into trouble with the school owner, and the Principal doesn't want to step on anyone's toes, even if they deserve it, because if she does, she gets threatened with her job because the owner believes every word that comes out of the Dept. Head's mouth.

    I'm basically in a situation where I can speak to the Principal but she feels too threatened to do anything and the Dept. Head will fully agree with you if you discuss something with her and the next thing you know you are sacked! At the moment I feel like phoning the owner myself and clearing things with her, but just the thought of having to spend the rest of the year with these people and them knowing that I might have been the one to land them in a bit of trouble because there is no structure at the school, is a bit scary.

    I just wish this year would pass really quickly as I doubt that I will be back next year.
     
  22. Dolla

    Dolla Companion

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    Oct 21, 2005

    Well, the weekend is coming to an end and it's off to the lion's den again tomorrow... wish me luck
     
  23. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Oct 21, 2005

    Your country does things so different than we do in the United States it is hard to share. Just want you to know we send hugs and wish you the very best. I don't understand people like her and never will understand them. They make everybody miserable and they don't seem to understand they are also making themselves miserable also.
     

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