Author Topic: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker  (Read 10767 times)

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whatsanenigma

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2014, 04:52:50 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.

Yes, this exactly.  Disagreements between co-workers aside, this issue needs to come to the attention of the dean.

TurtleDove

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2014, 05:02:13 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."

With the bolded explanation forwarding the email, that might make sense to do.  I think the Dean is already handling what happened with Lulu though - he already knows Muffy made her cry and continued to badger her.  But I do like the bolded statement because it takes away the "tattling" aspect of things and frames it as "I don't think I really have anything to do with this - I did my part - I would like to stay out of it from here on forward so Dean, here is Muffy's input.  Please remove me from your mailing list."  (Obviously, not that exact language, but you get the drift) :)

buvezdevin

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2014, 05:06:31 PM »
I agree with keeping a copy of the email, but not forwarding it now.

So far, OP has brought an issue to the dean regarding a student being unable to participate in class, and left it for the dean to address as needed - whether the dean found that was caused by Molly acting less than desirably, or - as might have been the case - Lulu being the actual issue.

Sending dean Muffy's email would be a *new* issue brought forward -  "look! Molly can't be reasonable in professional communications, on top of that other thing".

It would - to me - only be worth bringing the email to the dean if it were needed to show a pattern in a continuing issue with Molly which needed the dean to address.  I think the dean *has* addressed the first issue (re Lulu) and I would not introduce the email unless Molly continued to interfere with Lulu, or other student's class participation - or if Muffy undertook continuing inappropriate communications to OP.

As for those pointing to the "she cried, so what" - I agree it is a cold statement, but it was made in the course of an unprofessional email whose overall message was "you are not a good person because you involved a higher up in something and now I look bad because I *did* behave badly - so what."  It is an emotional knee jerk defensive reaction to being called out, and pretty poorly reasoned.  I would not consider it evidence that Muffy enjoys making students cry, or kicking small puppies - but that she is immature, unprofessional, and defensive - though the email is inappropriate! by itself it is not something I would be asking dean/management to pursue disciplinary action for, and if I weren't asking for disciplinary action/intervention - why forward it?  Dean has just *had* an example of Muffy's professional interaction skills via Lulu.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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Arila

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2014, 05:10:29 PM »
I will admit to having more conservative ideas about the leeway I have in when I should/shouldn't make my boss aware of something. If I ever have any doubts, I usually share the data and let my boss figure out whether or not to get involved. He is also copied on at least 1/3 of my email traffic (poor guy) both by people sending email to me and me sending email to them, so I'm also perhaps desensitized to the idea that my boss sees a lot of my work communications.

Anyway, I'm not posting to be argumentative, I think it's good for us to explain the nuances of our differing opinions so that the OP can apply them to her specific situation.


The "she cried so what" factor also points out that whatever was said between Muffy and the dean, Muffy's attitude is still not in the right place. The issue between Muffy and Lulu is the dean's to solve, and we all seem to agree on that point. The email from Muffy further shows that the message Muffy received from the discussion with the dean wasn't that she had done wrong/needs to modify, but that she had been caught.


You guys keep posting while I'm posting!

- I don't see this as a new issue, or a pile on issue.
- I really disagree with the "save it in case the dean needs it for further investigation" The dean is really REALLY not likely to go to a third party and say "Hey, remember that incident where you were only tangentially involved? Do you have any more to add?" No. That won't happen. This email is relevant to the first issue, and shows that it's not not not resolved.

Deetee

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2014, 05:15:55 PM »
I still think you should forward it as I think the Dean can make the best decision if she has the most amount of information. I might add a note or chat with her first and say "I don't expect you to do anything directly with this and I have no plans to respond to Muffy myself, but I thought you would want to know the follow up of our earlier conversation"

buvezdevin

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2014, 05:21:03 PM »
I suggest saving the email, to show the pattern of behavior - if there is further such behavior, or if Muffy starts making complaints to dean about OP.  Wasn't suggesting that there is a likelihood the dean will independently ask OP about any such communications.

I agree that we all bring our own perspective about "how much to share" our emails with bosses.  Mine is that my management chain gets inundated with emails, so I try to forward only things which need their action, or a small subset of "FYI" messages.  And for me, this doesn't fit either category - but I see that it might for others.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2014, 05:28:49 PM »
I suggest saving the email, to show the pattern of behavior - if there is further such behavior, or if Muffy starts making complaints to dean about OP.  Wasn't suggesting that there is a likelihood the dean will independently ask OP about any such communications.

I agree that we all bring our own perspective about "how much to share" our emails with bosses.  Mine is that my management chain gets inundated with emails, so I try to forward only things which need their action, or a small subset of "FYI" messages.  And for me, this doesn't fit either category - but I see that it might for others.

Yes, I agree with this.  I think the particulars of the job descriptions matter, but as I understand it the Dean is to handle issues with students, and I think she has enough information to go on already.  If I were the Dean and got the forwarded email from the OP I would think, "why can't these two just be adult about this - what do they want me to do about it - give them both a time out?"  Note that my respnose wouldn't be simply, "Muffy needs to be disciplined."  It would be "why is the OP involving me in her issues with Muffy."  That is why I personally would hold off on forwarding the email at this time, unless the language above (I forget which poster suggested it by I quoted it in bold) was used to basically say, "I don't want you to handle anything for ME, but if this helps you in dealing with the Muffy/Lulu situation here you go."

tinkytinky

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2014, 05:31:26 PM »
I think the "I don't expect you to do anything with this, but here is information as a follow up of our previous conversation" is the appropriate preface to this email. Another option would be to do a short, to the point email to Muffy with Dean clearly cc'd in (responding to the first email so Dean can see it). "I addressed a situation with my student and my classroom. I do not believe there needs to be further discussion between us on this matter."  Dean can see that he doesn't need to follow up with you, but is aware that Muffy is pushing the issue. Muffy can see that you aren't going to fall for her pressuring emails and you will not hesitate to follow the proper chain of command.  (I still don't know that I would do this email, but it does give you another option.)


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GSNW

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2014, 06:44:45 PM »
Update:

Did not see Muffy today, thankfully.  Lulu was fine today.

I did see the dean today and she thanked me for bringing it to her attention, and told me what the actual interaction was about.  I mentioned the email, dean asked me to please a) write a statement about the issue and b) save any emails Muffy chooses to send me.  I told her I have no plan to reply or engage with Muffy in the future, but it sounds like the entire issue is much bigger than this incident and will be forwarded to our principal to deal with.

Sometimes I wonder whether I teach kids or work with them!

FWIW, I teach 7th grade science (geoscience).  That lesson is so very cool and can really be expanded upon for multiple age levels and ability levels! 

TootsNYC

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2014, 07:22:29 PM »
oh, c'mon, you can tell *us* about the whole issue!

We don't know them in real life--it's not -really- gossiping!

Right, everybody? Right?

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2014, 08:33:56 PM »
^^right!
"After all this time?"
"Always."

GreenBird

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2014, 10:05:03 PM »
It sounds like your interaction with the dean went really well - good update!  I think it worked out better that you could just mention the email in a low-key conversation so there was no question that you were just making it available to her if she wanted it, rather than it accidentally getting blown into its own thing.  I think you're navigating this really well! 

(and yes, I'm nosy about the issue too..... ;)

barefoot_girl

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2014, 11:45:54 AM »
I work in a very different kind of educational establishment (and in a different country to boot), so I am genuinely curious about the way this was handled and how others are suggesting it be handled.

If one of my colleagues made a student cry, I would go and speak to that colleague myself, and tell them that their behaviour was out of order, and not to repeat it around me. I am an adult, and i work with adults, and i feel that this sort of thing is best handled by a face-to-face conversation at the time.

What was the necessity of reporting Muffy's behaviour to the Dean? Is it  SOP, in any case of a disagreement between teaching staff, or was it more that in this case a student was reduced to tears?

tinkytinky

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2014, 12:08:18 PM »
As a parent, if an adult made a child cry, I'm right there with you, i would talk to the adult myself. However, in my experience with different schools, there is a fine line to walk and you need to go the proper chain of command.....if she went to Muffy herself to discuss this, there is a very real chance that higher ups will hear about it. Then they have a bigger issue to deal with, co-workers at odds with each other which makes the teaching not as effective. This would go in both professional files and would be brought up in any reviews. Especially considering that Muffy is in an assistant possition, this does not put them on a level spot. So OP could be considered MORE at fault if she confronted her on her own. OP went to the Dean about a student issue. The issue happened to include Muffy.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2014, 12:11:53 PM »
I work in a very different kind of educational establishment (and in a different country to boot), so I am genuinely curious about the way this was handled and how others are suggesting it be handled.

If one of my colleagues made a student cry, I would go and speak to that colleague myself, and tell them that their behaviour was out of order, and not to repeat it around me. I am an adult, and i work with adults, and i feel that this sort of thing is best handled by a face-to-face conversation at the time.

What was the necessity of reporting Muffy's behaviour to the Dean? Is it  SOP, in any case of a disagreement between teaching staff, or was it more that in this case a student was reduced to tears?

As I recall, it was more a question: "How should I have handled this?"

Quote
I spoke to the dean during passing period and asked her what to do?

And you know what? Sometimes things are egregious (eggregoose?) enough that I *want* to tell on someone. And sometimes it's because I know that they won't ever recognize -me- as having authority to tell them they were out of line.

Pulling a kid out of class and making her cry is pretty bad, in my opinion.