Author Topic: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.  (Read 8724 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 04:51:49 PM »
I don't think I understand exactly what is happening here, but it seems the professor is okay with what this person is doing.  So the OP needs to address with the professor what is expected, and if the OP does not like what is expected/accepted she should address that with the professor's boss.  I don't think it reflects well on the OP to simply refuse to work with someone.  In real life (as opposed to an academic setting) we inevitably are forced to work with people we don't like for various reasons.  I completely see how the OP would be upset by what the person is doing, but if the professor thinks it is okay, I think the OP is harming her own reputation by coming across as difficult for refusing to work with another student (even though I agree the problem is with the "stealing/lazy" other student).

JenJay

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 04:54:44 PM »
I like your classmate's response.  It's direct and concise.  I'd put it just that way to the professor.

Me too. If the teacher gave the classmate a copy of your work after being asked not to I'd complain to the teacher's boss.

Zizi-K

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 05:01:33 PM »
I teach at the college level, and I would NEVER give one student's work to another, or post their work without their express permission. Sometimes a student will write an exceptional paper, and I would ask their permission to post it as such for the benefit of the other students. (No one has ever said no, but I would certainly respect it if they did!) Sometimes I require that students do a peer review, wherein they exchange papers and give feedback. (Each paper is on a different topic, so there's no chance of plagiarizing.) The works are never finished in this case, but are "in-progress", and they exchange in groups of three not with the whole class. Since they exchange with each other what are essentially rough drafts, it has never been a problem.

I agree with the other posters that you should have a very direct and explicit (but respectful) conversation with your professor, perhaps with one or two other students who feel similarly. Go to her office hours or make an appointment. You could also send a respectfully worded email. I also agree that if the professor does not agree to cease distributing your work, you should definitely take it up with the chair of the department or even the Dean of Students.

Moray

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 05:04:17 PM »
I don't think I understand exactly what is happening here, but it seems the professor is okay with what this person is doing.  So the OP needs to address with the professor what is expected, and if the OP does not like what is expected/accepted she should address that with the professor's boss.  I don't think it reflects well on the OP to simply refuse to work with someone.  In real life (as opposed to an academic setting) we inevitably are forced to work with people we don't like for various reasons.  I completely see how the OP would be upset by what the person is doing, but if the professor thinks it is okay, I think the OP is harming her own reputation by coming across as difficult for refusing to work with another student (even though I agree the problem is with the "stealing/lazy" other student).

POD.
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artk2002

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2013, 08:56:18 PM »
I don't think I understand exactly what is happening here, but it seems the professor is okay with what this person is doing.  So the OP needs to address with the professor what is expected, and if the OP does not like what is expected/accepted she should address that with the professor's boss.  I don't think it reflects well on the OP to simply refuse to work with someone.  In real life (as opposed to an academic setting) we inevitably are forced to work with people we don't like for various reasons.  I completely see how the OP would be upset by what the person is doing, but if the professor thinks it is okay, I think the OP is harming her own reputation by coming across as difficult for refusing to work with another student (even though I agree the problem is with the "stealing/lazy" other student).

You see it as damaging her reputation. I see it as establishing a reputation for having reasonable boundaries. I don't put up with slackers in my own work -- somehow I doubt that it's hurt my reputation at all. There's a far cry from "being a team player" to "covering for the deadwood."
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

citadelle

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 10:16:28 PM »
Teachers often share lesson plans and/or post them on the internet for share and trade. She may be coming from this perspective as a teacher. In my education grad classes, we've often shared lesson plans.

Of course, that does not make anyone obligated to do so, but it really isn't an outrageous concept.

GSNW

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2013, 10:26:02 PM »
Sharing lesson plans is one thing.  Demanding copies from everyone and feeling entitled to the work of others is not the same.  For example, one class I took required that we give all of our classmates copies of a lesson we presented (just the lesson plan itself, not the materials).  This was more of a share and share alike situation.  OP's situation doesn't sound like the same thing to me.

sammycat

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2013, 10:31:15 PM »
I'm not quite sure exactly what is going on.

Is Miss Gimme training to be a teacher and she's taking the students' work to use later as lesson plans for when she is fully qualified?

In any event, I like the fellow classmate's response in refusing to hand over his work, and I'd follow his lead. I wouldn't be handing over my hard work to anyone but the professor/teacher in charge of the class in order for it to be marked. I'd then expect it to be handed back, or if not handed back to me, at least not handed onto any other third party without my express permission.

elseleta

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2013, 12:38:39 AM »
What an awkward situation. :( At my college, this would be reportable behaviour because, if she uses your work, it's plagiarism. My college is unbelievably strict about plagiarism (if you are caught doing it once, you are expelled - plain and simple).

If it were me, I would refuse the girl asking for my work with a curt "I'm afraid that won't be possible" or "I am unable to accommodate that request". No explanations or anything else. Rinse and Repeat.

If you are really worried the teacher is giving her copies of your work, go to the teacher and speak to him/her about it. I would specifically cite that it is plagiarism, and that the teacher has no right to give out your intellectual property without your permission (it is YOUR property, make no mistake). If the teacher refused, I would take it to her superior or the dean.

Best of luck, OP. :)


drzim

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2013, 02:02:49 AM »
Teachers often share lesson plans and/or post them on the internet for share and trade. She may be coming from this perspective as a teacher. In my education grad classes, we've often shared lesson plans.

Of course, that does not make anyone obligated to do so, but it really isn't an outrageous concept.

As an instructor myself, I will agree that sharing and/or posting lesson plans on shared sites is very common.  In my experience, instructors are pretty good about the "sharing" part and also citing and giving the proper credit.  I've never felt really threatened by someone "stealing" my work.

So my question would be:  does this person do good work themselves and freely share their work amongst the group?  It could be that they are just used to this type of sharing culture.

Slartibartfast

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2013, 02:36:07 AM »
Take it to the professor.  "[Professor'sName], I'm really not comfortable with the standard we've set in class where Classmate'sName is allowed to demand - and receive - full copies of all our work.  In particular, I'm not comfortable being partnered with her because she copies and uses my work even when I explicitly ask her not to.  I recognize that sharing lesson plans is common among educators, but I'm not writing these for the purpose of sharing - I'm writing them so I can learn.  I don't like having the control over my own work taken away from me.  Would it be possible for me to be partnered with someone else?  Also, I would prefer that you not share my work with her outside of class without my permission, either."

sweetonsno

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2013, 05:48:49 AM »
Teachers often share lesson plans and/or post them on the internet for share and trade. She may be coming from this perspective as a teacher. In my education grad classes, we've often shared lesson plans.

Of course, that does not make anyone obligated to do so, but it really isn't an outrageous concept.

As an instructor myself, I will agree that sharing and/or posting lesson plans on shared sites is very common.  In my experience, instructors are pretty good about the "sharing" part and also citing and giving the proper credit.  I've never felt really threatened by someone "stealing" my work.

So my question would be:  does this person do good work themselves and freely share their work amongst the group?  It could be that they are just used to this type of sharing culture.

This is how I feel, too. When I initially read the post, I thought this other classmate was shirking her responsibilities and trying to get other people to do her classwork for her. However, it sounds like she's doing her own work for the class and looking for materials for real-world applications in addition. Most teachers I know like to mix up their lesson plans now and then. Does she offer to give you copies of her lesson plans? I've found that exchanging ideas with other instructors is one of the best ways for me to improve my own teaching.

While you don't need to say yes, I don't think her requesting the information is out of line, so I wouldn't respond as though it was. I think this situation is somewhat analogous to asking for your cookie recipe so they can bake the same kind for their book club, or asking you where you bought your boots because they want to pick up a pair for themselves. Their asking for the information shows that they appreciate and respect your thoughts, not that they don't. You know, one of those "candle not losing any of its brightness to light another taper" kinds of cases.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2013, 06:16:01 AM »

You see it as damaging her reputation. I see it as establishing a reputation for having reasonable boundaries. I don't put up with slackers in my own work -- somehow I doubt that it's hurt my reputation at all. There's a far cry from "being a team player" to "covering for the deadwood."

I think you misunderstood me.  I said the OP should address this with people who can back her in her refusal to work with the woman.  If they do not know what the woman is doing and do not back the OP's perception that the other woman is out of line, it is the OP who will look difficult. As I understand the status quo, it is only the OP who is upset with what the other woman is doing and the professor is fine with it, which means either he doesn't know what the other woman is doing or he believes what she is doing is appropriate and hence the OP is the problem.  If the OP simply refuses to work with the woman without determining whether those in power think the woman is wrong, it is the OP who appears difficult.

Hmmmmm

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2013, 06:16:35 AM »
Sharing lesson plans is one thing.  Demanding copies from everyone and feeling entitled to the work of others is not the same.  For example, one class I took required that we give all of our classmates copies of a lesson we presented (just the lesson plan itself, not the materials).  This was more of a share and share alike situation.  OP's situation doesn't sound like the same thing to me.

I didn't see where in the original post that demanding student wasn't also offering up her own work to the other students. I'm not getting the impression that the other student is plagerizing other's work.  Only expecting to use it when she is teaching her own classes.

I have not taken educational upper level classes personally. But I do remember friends coming out of these classes with complete sets of all the projects completed by all of the classmates. I don't know if they received them at the end of the semester or if they received copies as they were completed.  My SIL just completed a masters is sociology and I know that in her last project based class one of the benefits was leaving with a complete portoflio of all the projects submitted by the class students. It was even listed as a benefit in the course description.

I think OP should go to the dean and clarify the school's guidelines on if students are required to share copies of their projects.

If I were the OP, I might speak with the professor before hand and tell her prefers to not work with her.  But if the professor goes ahead and partners them up, I don't see a way to refuse without making the professor mad. The other student is not doing anything the professor sees as wrong.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to say, "I refuse to work with her" politely.
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2013, 06:20:03 AM »

If I were the OP, I might speak with the professor before hand and tell her prefers to not work with her.  But if the professor goes ahead and partners them up, I don't see a way to refuse without making the professor mad. The other student is not doing anything the professor sees as wrong.

This states what I was trying to say much more clearly.