Author Topic: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker  (Read 10175 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2014, 03:52:23 PM »
I would absolutely forward that to the dean, with a note that said, "Thought you might want to know."

And then I'd just avoid the woman at all costs.

But as you point out, you may not be able to, so I like your, "I don't see any point in discussing this." and then, "Excuse me, I'm running late, and I need to get going." and walk away while she is talking.

I agree. Definitely forward it to the dean.

I like the "I'm not going to talk about this with you" response. And then walk away.

And be prepared. My guess is that she's going to get more angry and more aggressive before she backs off. But once she really understands that you aren't going to engage with her on this and that you're going to keep getting the dean involved, she'll most likely start avoiding you.

TootsNYC

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2014, 03:56:14 PM »
Oh--here's an idea.

you could also say,

"I really don't any any of the details, and I don't want to--I left that all up to the dean."

And then, "Excuse me, I really need to get going."

If she has cornered you in your room, and you weren't planning to leave the area, then, "Excuse me, I can't talk anymore, I need to get this finished." And if at all possible turn away from her.


Or, "If you have a problem, take it to the dean."

Nornster

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 03:58:53 PM »
I have to say, I would not only NOT just demure and decline discussing the event, I'd go on the offensive. Don't just forward the email to dean, tell her you DEMAND a meeting with both the dean and her to find out why she feels  she has a right  to pull a student out of your instructional time without even the courtesy of asking you first. (I'll bet the dean probably has a very different understanding of her right to talk to students whenever she wants.) There's nothing impolite in being assertive about addressing wrongs.

I had a similar situation when I was teaching kindergarten. A fifth-grade teacher pulled me into the hall (while my kids were in the classroom) to discuss a parent of mine who had witnessed her son, who was in the other kindergarten, push a classmate of his while they were lined up outside before school started. So, an event I hadn't witnessed, involving no students of mine. Finally, I told her I would come talk to her when my kids went to art. Oh , no, that wouldn't work, she would be instructing students at that time. I looked at her, back to my students waiting for me, back to her - and suggested we talk during our only mutual prep time, before school the next day - in the principal's office. She backed down really quickly after that. She was very pushy, but I politely refused to be pushed around.

This was all a case of professional Darwinism, too - she was a first-year teacher at that school, without tenure. Add to that an ill-behaved son and a defensive streak, and shockingly she (and her son) were not asked back the next school year.

Oh, the making the student cry really angers me, too, but other posters have covered that. I just think a lot of teachers can be "too nice ," and I don't think this is just between her and the dean and the student - it affected you and your whole class, too. The angry email would've probably come from me first!

Edited to add: I can totally see not going to the Dean - as she suggested, you could "come to her" and read her the riot act for her presumption!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 04:06:03 PM by Nornster »

Twik

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2014, 04:08:15 PM »
"She cried so what."

 :o

Exactly what I was thinking.
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Arila

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 04:21:23 PM »
I also think the email should end up in the Dean's inbox. Email to coworkers using work email -- I would never send anything that I didn't want my boss to be reading.

I would also copy Muffy on that communication, and perhaps say something like,

"Muffy, I have turned this issue over to the dean."

If she insists on discussing it further, I would respond that the only possible condition under which you will discuss it further is with you, her, and the dean present. I was going to put that in my suggestion for the first email, but then decided that it sort of invites further discussion, so I left it off in favor of the (expected) second communication/response from Muffy.

TurtleDove

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 04:29:59 PM »
Workplaces may vary, but I would not send the email to the Dean at this point. To me it makes the OP the one who won't let things drop and the Dean is supposed to be handling situations with students, not interpersonal problems with staff (at least as I understand it).  The Dean is alerady aware of "The Muffy Situation" and presumably will ask the OP for input if needed.  At that point the OP should share the email, but to do it now I think creates a weird "can't these people get along as adults" vibe, when the OP can simply ignore the email.  The issue with the student is already being addressed by the Dean.

Arila

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2014, 04:33:16 PM »
TD, if this was just an issue between two coworkers just about the two of them, I would agree with you, but what I think happened was that the dean spoke with Muffy about the incident, it didn't get resolved in Muffy's favor, and Muffy is trying to control the (totally appropriate) flow of information to the dean. If it was a new topic, or a topic not specifically trying to cut the dean out of the loop, I might agree.

Jones

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2014, 04:38:51 PM »
TD, if this was just an issue between two coworkers just about the two of them, I would agree with you, but what I think happened was that the dean spoke with Muffy about the incident, it didn't get resolved in Muffy's favor, and Muffy is trying to control the (totally appropriate) flow of information to the dean. If it was a new topic, or a topic not specifically trying to cut the dean out of the loop, I might agree.

Excellent summary. I was trying to figure out how to express my reasoning on the forward, this does it.

I do like the idea of copying Muffy on the forward and putting in a sentence about how the situation has been turned over to the dean.

TurtleDove

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 04:42:56 PM »
I see what you are saying, but at this point it sounds like tattling to me.  Are you saying the Dean needs to know Muffy is angry that the OP went to the Dean?  To me, the OP simply ignoring the email and going to the Dean with things the Dean should be handling (like things involving students) is a better option than essentailly saying, "Now that Muffy is in trouble, here is some more ammunition." 

I'm having a difficult time expressing why it seems distasteful to forward the email right away.  The closest I can come is that to me it comes across as, "I cannot handle my own professional relationships so please discipline Muffy."  Not that the OP is actually saying that, but just that it is how it would come across at this point, to me, if I were the Dean.  I would think, "Can't OP just ignore Muffy?  I am already handling what Muffy did with Lulu, and now OP wants me to mediate between her and Muffy?"

TootsNYC

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 04:43:29 PM »
Workplaces may vary, but I would not send the email to the Dean at this point. To me it makes the OP the one who won't let things drop and the Dean is supposed to be handling situations with students, not interpersonal problems with staff (at least as I understand it).  The Dean is alerady aware of "The Muffy Situation" and presumably will ask the OP for input if needed.  At that point the OP should share the email, but to do it now I think creates a weird "can't these people get along as adults" vibe, when the OP can simply ignore the email.  The issue with the student is already being addressed by the Dean.

Actually, as I think about it, I think I agree, that it would be best not to bring it to the dean.


Jones

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2014, 04:48:34 PM »
IMO, The dean should know that Muffy thinks it's no big deal to make kids cry or disrupt the classroom and is trying to make other people not come to him when she does it.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2014, 04:49:17 PM »
Workplaces may vary, but I would not send the email to the Dean at this point. To me it makes the OP the one who won't let things drop and the Dean is supposed to be handling situations with students, not interpersonal problems with staff (at least as I understand it).  The Dean is alerady aware of "The Muffy Situation" and presumably will ask the OP for input if needed.  At that point the OP should share the email, but to do it now I think creates a weird "can't these people get along as adults" vibe, when the OP can simply ignore the email.  The issue with the student is already being addressed by the Dean.

Actually, as I think about it, I think I agree, that it would be best not to bring it to the dean.

I agree.  Hang onto it, and forward if you need to in the future, if the situation escalates.
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GreenBird

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2014, 04:50:30 PM »
I'd strongly consider forwarding the email to the dean because of the "She cried so what".  I  think I'd say "Just FYI" and attach the email to make it clear that I'm not asking the dean to do anything about anything for me.  But Muffy's attitude in that email is entirely relevant information for whatever the dean decides to do with Muffy.  I wouldn't follow up with the dean about it further because what the dean does with Muffy is not my business, but the attitude displayed toward the child in this email strikes me as information that the dean needs. 

whatsanenigma

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2014, 04:51:19 PM »
TD, if this was just an issue between two coworkers just about the two of them, I would agree with you, but what I think happened was that the dean spoke with Muffy about the incident, it didn't get resolved in Muffy's favor, and Muffy is trying to control the (totally appropriate) flow of information to the dean. If it was a new topic, or a topic not specifically trying to cut the dean out of the loop, I might agree.

Excellent summary. I was trying to figure out how to express my reasoning on the forward, this does it.

I do like the idea of copying Muffy on the forward and putting in a sentence about how the situation has been turned over to the dean.

Also, Muffy directly interfered with the OP's ability to do her job.  Muffy pulled a student out of OP's class in the middle of a complex, guided, activity and now the student has missed out on it and there is no easy way for the OP to replicate that learning experience with the child.  And besides that, even when the student was allowed to return, she was so upset that a major disruption to learning was caused.  It's even possible that OP has follow up lesson plans that reference this activity, and this would put the student even more behind.

Muffy just basically walked into OP's classroom, where she had no real authority, and demanded time with the student that rightfully belonged to the OP.  (Or, you could look at it the other way around, and say that the student was entitled to the time with the OP and was denied it.)  The educational process, and OP's ability to facilitate it, was disrupted.

And it sounds to me like Muffy had already discussed "whatever it was" with the student and just kept pulling her back to keep harping on it, what with the student saying that she's glad it's over.  I would bet that's what the dean told her-you've already addressed this problem with this student, now don't bring it up again (and hopefully also, don't drag a student out of someone else's class to harp on it again).

So, there are two reasons why it's a legitimate issue to bring the dean into, that go far beyond just a dispute between two co-workers, I think.  One is that the OP's job is already complicated enough and Muffy just made it even harder.  And the other is that a student has been made very upset, possibly with longer term consequences, or possibly as a symptom of being bullied or similarly mistreated by another teacher, and it is legitimate for the OP to be worried about that student.

lowspark

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2014, 04:52:18 PM »
For me, there are two reasons I'd go ahead and forward it to the dean.
Firstly, it's probably in the school's best interest for the dean to be aware of the "she cried, so what" attitude this teacher has.
Secondly, there are indications that Muffy will continue to badger the OP, either in person or via email or both and the best way to get that to stop is to make Muffy realize that her communications will not stay just between the two of them.

I can see it being seen by the dean as the OP running to her every time there's a problem, though, so I'd probably cc Muffy and preface the email with some kind of explanation. So maybe something like, "Dean, I'm sorry to continue engaging your involvement in this situation but at this point, I would like to completely remove myself from further communications regarding this incident."