Author Topic: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker  (Read 10474 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2014, 04:34:16 PM »
Thanks for that update! Can I just say, I'm totally weirded out by Muffy's behavior toward Lulu. Does she act like that with any other student? One thing I might have done is tell Lulu to make the dean or vice principal or principal aware of the inappropriate behavior that Muffy has displayed. Especially the part about Lulu fearing retribution. Lulu needs to feel safe at school and it doesn't sound like she does. Although it's really great that she is able to trust you and her other teachers aside from Muffy.

If Lulu doesn't feel comfortable telling speaking with the higher-ups about this, I probably would go ahead and take it upon myself to do so. I know the advice has been against putting yourself in the center of this or making it seem like you can't get along with Muffy but I think this is a case of the children's welfare being paramount and Muffy's behavior is worrisome.



JanaL

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2014, 05:10:41 PM »
Former high school band director here (now in higher ed)...I'm shocked (and a bit jealous) to hear about a music program that actually has an assistant!  :o

Does Muffy have a supervisor in the music department? I think a music teacher would want to know if someone representing the department is being disrespectful toward classroom teachers' instructional time.  In my experience, most music teachers go out of our way to ensure students aren't missing more class than they have to- and the success of our programs depend on that mutual goodwill among faculty.  Muffy's behavior is outrageous- first to that poor child, then to OP, and her abusive emailing is a potential PR disaster for the music department, too. Who else might Muffy feel entitled to lash out at?

If you are comfortable doing so, I'd also recommend mentioning the incident to the appropriate person in the Music Department.  An assistant should probably be making copies, sending emails, tracking sheet music and inventory- or even helping out in lessons if they are musically inclined- they certainly don't need to be running children down in the halls as the wardrobe police.  How odd.

TootsNYC

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2014, 05:13:04 PM »
I think the dean can deal with mentioning Muffy's screw-up to her supervisor.

But I would encourage Lulu to talk to the dean or to the top music person about the badgering, sucking-up kind of stuff that Muffy is doing. It's uncomfortable for her. And inappropriate.
   And even if Muffy is just trying to smooth things over, it's creating a very uncomfortable place for Lulu.

artk2002

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2014, 05:18:16 PM »
Thanks for the updates. My feeling is that Muffy belongs in the "Professional Darwinism" thread. She's crossing boundaries right and left. I would make sure that Lulu knows to talk to her counselor or dean about Muffy's excessive interest. That's a very worrisome sign.

Brava to you, OP, for helping Lulu through this.
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LeveeWoman

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2014, 05:28:31 PM »
Telling a kid that age that she dresses "trashy" probably is heard by the teen that she herself is trash, and with girls, it might be tantamount to calling her a sl#t.

jedikaiti

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2014, 05:56:43 PM »
I think the dean can deal with mentioning Muffy's screw-up to her supervisor.

But I would encourage Lulu to talk to the dean or to the top music person about the badgering, sucking-up kind of stuff that Muffy is doing. It's uncomfortable for her. And inappropriate.
   And even if Muffy is just trying to smooth things over, it's creating a very uncomfortable place for Lulu.

Absolutely. This, so many times over.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #66 on: February 28, 2014, 06:25:06 PM »
Muffy reminds me of Professor Umbridge, and hopefully her time in your school won't be too long.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

RegionMom

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2014, 06:31:53 PM »
Was subbing 7th/8th grade in a private school with a strict dress code.  Even outerwear (sweatshirts, jackets, coats) must be school color.  But that can be from medium blue to almost black/blue, so not a hardship to find a way to stay warm. 

Had a teacher tell me that "Susie" got to wear her non-school color jacket one day, because she was popping out of her blouse.  She had been "blossoming" and had outgrown her shirt.  So, an e-mail had gone out to not fuss at Susie for being out of dress code. 

I thought that was a simple was to take care of it.  Respectful to Susie, no fuss, no embarrassment. 

Pulling out a student for something that a dozen other teachers had already seen- I mean, if her dress was so bad, she would be sent to the office/parents called/uniform infraction, etc...whatever was deemed necessary, is just sounding like there is something weird in this relationship

Maybe one time Lulu confided in her, and now Muffy is playing killer mommy?

(I also was jealous to hear of music assistants!)
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

GSNW

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2014, 07:20:40 PM »
Yeah - with dress codes it *can* be very subjective (there are some obvious and not-so-obvious infractions).  Usually I will send a kid to the dean, and it's the dean's call.  They have PE clothes in the office for kids to wear when they violate dress code, so it's really not a big deal.

Lulu spoke to the dean yesterday and so the dean is aware, and Lulu knows to tell anyone - including her actual orchestra teacher - if Muffy is making her uncomfortable at any point.

The sad thing is that Muffy was, once upon a time, a great orchestra assistant.  She is very knowledgeable and I can imagine that it would be nice to have help when 60 6th-grade beginning strings students are screeching away.

Part of the problem is that Muffy is angry and bitter over the loss of our previous orchestra teacher, who we shall call Perry.  Perry was a wonderful teacher loved by all the kids.  He really did amazing things with that program.  Muffy was obviously obsessed with Perry, and not in a healthy way (she is 25 years older and Perry is married to another teacher that works here.)  Last year, Perry got a student teacher, Babs.  Babs proved to be a great talent in the classroom and when Perry took a job at an area high school, Babs was immediately hired on to replace him.

Muffy dislikes Babs and makes it pretty obvious - they have been butting heads all year, from what I understand.  At one point Muffy was made to help out in the front office to give a week of "cool-down time" (during this time Muffy was not allowed in the orchestra room).  Babs is a first-year teacher trying to establish herself in the classroom and Muffy has been more difficult to deal with than some of the kids!  Muffy was resentful last year of the attention Perry paid to Babs and is resentful this year that she is still here and Perry didn't take her "with him" to his new position.

I don't know why admin doesn't get rid of her, but I know firing people in our district can be incredibly difficult -- and I don't have all the information our admin surely does. 

Carotte

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2014, 07:35:51 PM »
So wait, Muffy had made some nasty comment to Lullu that morning, then went back later that day to berate her for the same reason while Lullu should have been in class?  :o

greencat

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2014, 07:42:06 PM »
I had a very similar situation with a coworker I can also only describe as nasty - not involving a student, but involving a complaint about that coworker's work ethics, or lack of them as it was.  Our boss came in and talked to the group of us, and after all our supervisors left for the day, she opened her mouth and started lecturing the rest of us about "Tattling" to the boss instead of talking to her directly.  The first problem was that we had already tried to address it with her directly with no result.  The second problem is that coworkers are not students in a kindergarten class and the handling of workflow-related issues, even those exacerbated by a personality problem, is in fact the duty of management.  Coworkers do not "tattle" on each other when they relay serious issues to management, especially when they affect "customer" interactions - for educators, the students are the "customers" in the arrangement.


I'm glad your management team is on top of this, although I do hope that Muffy is dealt with soon for the sake of the students and the new orchestra teacher.

AlephReish

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2014, 09:50:13 PM »
GNSW, good for you - you've advocated for your student. It sounds like the administration may be trying to build a file to work on the process to fire Muffy.

I'm currently teaching 8th grade earth science as a maternity leave replacement - I wish I would be with my students long enough to use that lesson! (We're covering weather right now, and I leave before we get to the fun stuff.)

cicero

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #72 on: March 01, 2014, 12:18:15 AM »

Lulu was in the music hall in the morning (before school).  Muffy saw her and made a remark about Lulu's dress (which is within dress code and she's been wearing it all year), something like, "That shows too much skin and is not appropriate." 

Lulu replied that she had worn it before, Muffy apparently went on a rant about how "In my day we didn't dress so trashy, we respected what our instructors said," etc etc.  Lulu got upset and left.  What Muffy was basically doing (in my opinion) was trying to cover her butt because she knew what she said to Lulu was not cool.  Interestingly enough, the dean already knew about the conversation in the music hall because another teacher overheard it and told the dean about it. 

Lulu came to talk to me again during class today.  She is afraid of retribution from Muffy.  She said that Muffy has been trying very hard to act buddy-buddy with her in orchestra, asking her how she is doing, pressing her for more details, etc.  If Lulu doesn't open up to her (beyond "I am fine, thank you," Muffy becomes annoyed and starts asking more specific questions ("How are your other classes, is everything OK?  Are you SURE?  Is ANYTHING bothering you?" and this is making Lulu quite uncomfortable.  I was able to help her through the teachings of eHell, which was great!

I talked to Lulu about polite spine.  I told her it is okay to say, "I am fine Ms. Muffy, but I would like to concentrate on my instrument."  Or, "Please don't keep asking me - I'm fine but I want to string my bow."  Lulu has also asked me and her other teachers NOT to let Muffy pull her from class again (which we are comfortable doing and it speaks volumes that no one asked her why). 

I also told Lulu that she needs to remain polite with Muffy but is not required, due to her being a student, to engage in personal conversation with her - and if Muffy presses the issue to TELL ANY OTHER ADULT. 

It is a tough lesson for kids when they figure out that not all adults can be trusted.

The other good news is that I haven't seen Muffy around or heard from her at all, so I feel like I'm in the clear on that.

Thank you for helping lulu thru this. I have to say that my creep-o-meter went way up when I read this update . this person should not interact with children, she is very very inappropriate. She called this girl trashy, berated her for being "disrespectful" and now is trying to be her friend in a creepy way. I don't like this at all.


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Danika

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #73 on: March 01, 2014, 03:17:49 AM »
Thank you for helping lulu thru this. I have to say that my creep-o-meter went way up when I read this update . this person should not interact with children, she is very very inappropriate. She called this girl trashy, berated her for being "disrespectful" and now is trying to be her friend in a creepy way. I don't like this at all.

POD. I was thinking the same things. Plus, it's noteworthy that she's targeting a student who's known for being well-behaved and who tries to work hard. That's generally the kind of child who follows instructions and doesn't like to make waves. It's someone who is easier to push-around and intimidate and who is less likely to fight back. I don't like any of this. I'm glad that OP and the dean are aware of the problem. It's sad that Lulu had to tell all her teachers not to let her get pulled out of class though. OP, I'm glad you're instructing her that she doesn't have to make polite chit-chat with Muffy if she doesn't want to.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Goal for Today: Ignore Nasty Co-Worker
« Reply #74 on: March 01, 2014, 03:59:55 AM »
So, after bullying her, the woman harasses her to find out the extent of what she has maybe told others.  That's horrible!

Has anyone had a talk with Lulu's mom and dad?

If Lulu were my child I would want assurances that Muffy would not be interacting with my child again, assistant or not.