Always Something

I wonder sometimes if this ever gets easy. I know I have a lot to learn about the basics of teaching. But still, I've found myself less stressed with the day to day aspects of running my classroom. At the same time I've found more and more of my attention diverted by school drama.

There's nothing specific I can put my finger on, but it just seems I'm constantly looking over my shoulder. So much so, I almost considered not flying out to California to meet my new nephew because of what my colleagues would say. Today was a perfect example when I had a run-in with a veteran of my school. This is a woman who I rarely see and from approximately December through April did not enter my classroom. And yet twice in the past week she has walked past my classroom and later made negative remarks to me based on out of context observations.

I know that there's drama at all kinds of work places, and from what I understand there's an especially high level at schools. What I don't understand is why we as teachers would waste our time on this stuff? Especially in a "high-need" environment. When the stakes our high, can't we leave the backstabbing and gossip to the rich schools?

Comments

hatdog said…
I've worked in business and as a teacher, and it's hard to say if politics play a larger role in one than the other. I haven't had any of those rancid little comment bombs dropped on me at my current school, but it could be happening to others without my knowledge. On the other hand, my experiences in office culture were full of co-workers who were more than happy to step on another to advance themselves.

I've found that often the people that make those catty remarks are themselves coming under fire from a boss or are having other problems - and I admit it makes me feel better to imagine that they are, even if it's not true! Sometimes just turning it back and asking the critic for their advice is enough to get them to stop - chances are they are not trying to be helpful in the first place and if you turn it into an opportunity to ask for assistance they'll avoid you in the future! And hey who knows, maybe she's got some good ideas?
Anne said…
I think that high need schools have a lot of drama because there is a nasty combination of too little resources and not enough control given to teachers. We fight over the little pittance of money we are given for supplies and, in reaction to not having control over decisions and our classrooms, we take our frustrations out on each other. None of this is good, or right, but it is my take on it, for what it is worth.
ruben said…
I think you both make great points. I think turning it around on the critic is a great idea. If they have something constructive to say I'll get some good advice out of it, if not, then that will hopefully shut them up. It's tough sometimes for me to do because I'm a naturally defensive person and not always receptive to feedback if it's not prefaced with something positive.

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