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happygal's Message:

What a cow

I would laugh it off.

At the planning meeting just stay calm and let her do all the talking. Ick. She sounds bossy.

Unresponsive? Wth? How dare she. There is a thing called being tired, overwhelmed, in thought, ... sounds more like you didnt snap to it fast enough for HER and she is judging. Like i said what a cow.

If her comments about you come up, laugh and say, "why yes, things do slip my mind from time to time, that's why i write things down." THE NERVE

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
BoredCoTeach 06-23-2019 10:41 AM

Toxic people hang out with each other! Your principal is toxic, and is rising up future toxic leaders. Honestly, the number one reason that teachers quit education/schools is toxic administrators, not the kids! Good leaders don't have favorite staff. :-).

E-Mail: Busy people prioritize e-mail. And, often times they will address the issue in person.

Planning: While I can tolerate kids and colleagues that act like children, I need my time away from them. Plan time is my time to get things done and decompress. Often times, as a co-teachers, most teachers were too busy working on things to talk.

One of the principals that I worked with attacked me, unfortunately she's afraid of me. I contacted the union and am leaving the school. I am taking my time this summer to line up a job outside of education.

Healthyandfun 06-17-2019 02:31 PM

this happened to you. You have gotten good advice. Here goes with my two cents. This teacher is not someone you can trust. She has shown who she is by not bringing up these topics with you before. If she cared about you and wanted to work as a team she would not have gone crying to the principal and then brought up petty complaints. Do not meet with her alone, email, text, or phone her during the summer. If you are forced to meet with her and the principal, do not do it unless you are on duty. Have a union rep present and follow their advice. If any questions are asked of you, think about responding from a place of knowledge rather than defending yourself and being emotional. Think about how to phrase things. Such as

I havenít missed any deadlines this year. What makes you think I have forgotten things?

Missed emails
We do receive many emails. Which ones did I not respond to?

I attended our planning time each week. I welcomed new ideas and worked on implementing new things. If there are areas in particular which you feel you need help in, let me know and I will be give you some ideas to try. Or. . .our planning styles are quite different. I like to think things over and think about how things might work with the students i have. I like to let ideas settle in my mind before I draw a conclusion.

I hope this gives you some ideas. I also wanted to add that your principal is not to be trusted either. I hope your union will support you!

Take some time for yourself and enjoy your summer.

Dreamer625 06-17-2019 01:55 PM

If you haven't already contacted your rep do it now. You should also write down any conversations or examples of times the teacher has made evaluative comments. Also document any examples you might have of her overstepping her boundaries. As a union rep for my building, this is definitely something you need to get on top of. You can also request a meeting before the school year starts. DO NOT meet with either the principal or the other teacher alone! As I'm typing this I don't remember if this is the post where recording using a cell phone was mentioned, but if it was bring this up to your rep also. Good luck!

QueenBee2011 06-17-2019 01:14 PM

I truly appreciate all your advice. You all validated my feelings too. What a nightmare. So far this summer break hasn't yielded the results I planned for like relaxation, fun in the sun, no worries...

redhead38 06-17-2019 10:07 AM

Great advice from everyone...

Union Rep./ exceptions!

Fractured 06-17-2019 10:02 AM

Yes, I agree with others that have said she is looking to push you out. I would def do as suggested and get a union rep or lawyer. Sorry this happened.

teachnkids 06-17-2019 07:24 AM

I would say that it is interesting that someone new to the grade level, without a medical degree, feels competent to diagnose you as having a memory loss and never share any of their "concerns" with you first.
I would definitely bring an advocate for you to the meeting. Either you or the advocate need to ask to see her medical degree since she is diagnosing you!

Since she's all buddy buddy with P I would not meet with them before meeting.

During meeting I would explain my side...she came in and revamped everything, so you didn't want to make waves.

No responding to an email? 99.9% of people has done this!

Replying to wrong email? Ummmm, again 99.9% have done this. It's called being busy!

Finally tell the Energizer bunny, perfect Patty, B!TCH to go take a long walk off a short pier!
SusanTeach 06-17-2019 06:54 AM

The fact that she went to the P before talking to you first is the red flag to me. It's fine to be worried about a colleague if you are in fact doing things that she's worried about. But that should've been brought up to you when it happened. You can't fix it if you didn't know about it.

I would very calmly meet with the P without her first. Tell her what you told us, about her cleaning house of what you've done (unless you think it was necessary). Explain that you didn't want to make waves so you let her take the reins and that now it makes you look like you weren't doing anything ("nonresponsive"). Tell the P that you're all for constructive criticism, but that you were never told anything about your performance by her until she went to the P.

If you meet with the P without her, it will give you a chance to tell your side of the story without interruptions or without feeling like you're being undermined at the meeting.

Be very professional about it. Just be matter-of-fact about the whole situation and apologize for any misunderstandings that were presented to her.

happygal 06-16-2019 10:06 PM

What a cow

I would laugh it off.

At the planning meeting just stay calm and let her do all the talking. Ick. She sounds bossy.

Unresponsive? Wth? How dare she. There is a thing called being tired, overwhelmed, in thought, ... sounds more like you didnt snap to it fast enough for HER and she is judging. Like i said what a cow.

If her comments about you come up, laugh and say, "why yes, things do slip my mind from time to time, that's why i write things down." THE NERVE

Emily26 06-16-2019 09:37 PM

HIPPA has absolutely nothing to do with this. The only people who can violate HIPPA are health workers.

That doesn't mean this isn't VERY strange and out of line. I've never heard anything like it. I would not sit down with the principal and this teacher to discuss your mental health, OP. Demand to meet with the principal alone and have a representative with you.

Renea 06-16-2019 06:06 PM

In my state teachers are legally responsible if they put another teacher's job in jeopardy with accusations. If teachers say anything regarding the fitness of another teacher they could held responsible for negative consequences. We had these guidelines posted in our lounge. Of course that didn't stop teachers from gossiping about other teachers but we all knew there were legal limits to what we could say. You can't put someone's job in jeopardy.

Your coworker has crossed a legal line, in my opinion. The P should have out a stop to this nonsense but seemed to encourage her. I'm so sorry you're dealing with such a nasty person.

Song of Joy 06-16-2019 05:48 PM

I believe this teacher is violating HIPPA law by questioning your mental fitness for the job and taking these concerns to your principal. She really has no business meddling in a question of your health, and really, the principal and this teacher have no business calling a meeting. This is definitely a case for representation. Have your attorney or union rep check into HIPPA laws for this. In fact, I would let your principal know ahead of time that you are checking into HIPPA violations before you will meet with him.

That should sober them both up a bit.

And I'm sorry this is happening. Your colleague is a back-stabber which says more about her than it does you.

BackstabberBi 06-16-2019 05:46 PM

You are absolutelely right to feel the way you do. I agree with the posts. This backstabber b!atch is up to no good.

She pretty much came into my grade level and cleaned house of most of what we've been doing for the last ten years. I pretty much folded and let her take over. I didn't want to make waves especially when she is a favorite with the admin.
This right here says it all. This is not a normal response/reaction. She is a mean spirited person and wants to harm you. Personally, I don't believe you forgot a darn thing. And if you did, SO WHAT?

Being non responsive? forgetfulness? Is she a doctor? Where are her medical credentials? And to go to the P directly with her medical opinion, totally inappropriate may be even illegal. Again, if you forgot so what? She can get her @ss to your classroom and ask like normal human beings do. Did she make clear in her email that she needed a response? I bet she didn't. You know why? bc she was setting you up.

I would totally make an appointment with my doctor, ask him to write a diagnosis on your memory skill and then take it to the meeting.

I believe she has an ulterior motive. What does she have to gain or the P? I agree with jov, she may have a niece, nephew, family member or friend who just graduated and wants your job.

Her behavior, actions are out of the norm.

Don't let me get started with the P. I am sorry to add to your worries. Prepare yourself mentally, and take an advocate.

She is not a doctor, ignore her ill intended diagnosis.
Alaska35 06-16-2019 05:04 PM

of all, I feel so bad for you that your colleague chose to talk with your principal about something that she should have discussed with you first or not at all. I don’t think the principal should have listened to her and called a meeting for the three of you to attend.

I would not trust her at all. I have seen this happen in my grade level before I retired. I have a passive personality, so I never could understand how a teacher, new to a grade level, could come in and take over the grade. I have seen it happen.

I feel bad for you on so many levels. I am not sure I would rush to the doctor for a checkup because of what your colleague has done.

I am not very good with confrontations, so I am not sure I have any great advice for your meeting. Some of the other posters have offered suggestions that could help you.

I am afraid that I would have difficulty working with this person moving forward. I don’t think highly of her actions or the actions of your principal. IMO the principal should have shut her down.

luvmycat 06-16-2019 05:02 PM

I would be outraged too. I donít think you are a union member, but you need to take someone to record notes and to be your advocate. There have been many great lines stated here for you to take on as your talking points.

Iíve always tried to go into these situations with laying down just the facts- no opinions or emotions.
Insist that only facts be a part of the dialogue.

Is this the same P that you have had for awhile?

I know that you have had a lot going on in your life, but you have done a great job and donít deserve to be hoodwinked by a colleague.

Be strong!

When are you meeting?

MightyTeach 06-16-2019 04:41 PM

I would ask the P if the meeting will be about next year's classes and curriculum or your coworkers unprofessional remarks. Let the P know that if the meeting is about the coworkers remarks that you will have have a union rep or team leader with you as this situation suggests age discrimination. That should stop them in their tracks!

I cannot believe a coworker would act in such an unprofessional, childish manner. Do not doubt yourself! Forgetting is not a crime!! Shame on her!

apple annie 06-16-2019 04:17 PM

This teacher has ZERO business sitting in on a meeting about your mental health. The principal has ZERO business calling such a meeting. Talk about an ambush! Refuse the meeting and get a lawyer.

applesaucencr 06-16-2019 04:01 PM

That is offensive and unprofessional! If you have a union, talk to your rep. Frankly, I would file a grievance. Why should she be in a meeting with you and the P? It should be a meeting between you and the P and possibly the union rep. Write down some talking points and stay professional and confident. Nonresponsive? You like to THINK and REFLECT so you can add valuable input. Forgetful? Everyone makes a mistake here and there especially when they are busy doing their job! She should have come to you first if she were truly concerned. She is gaslighting you. I am so mad for you!

NJ Teacher 06-16-2019 03:43 PM

Your colleague was way out of line. The principal should have thrown her out of her office for such heresay and not entertained any of it. If the principal directly observed any incidences of a problem, it was incumbent upon them to speak with you, not listen to a newbie person at the grade level who as others have said, possibly has a hidden agenda.

I agree with the other posters that she is talking in generalities. When I was teaching, we had two very vocal teachers at our grade level. Both were excellent, but I often felt, especially if the principal or another administrator or coach had joined us, that it was "dueling voices" and impossible to get a word in edgewise. I also felt my principal didn't give credence to many of my comments, so I was purposely quiet. Does that constitute non-responsive? Not necessarily, I am a deep thinker who reflects on things before reacting.

I do not consider myself forgetful, but my colleagues and I often helped each other find emails with deadlines and reminders about things that were coming up that were due or happening. We were bombarded with so many things each week, it was impossible to keep them all straight. No one ever accused me, or anyone at my grade, of being forgetful. Replying to another email does not constitute forgetfulness in my book, either.

As for the meeting about next year, I would definitely be prepared to speak up and clearly defend myself if need be. If you have a summative evaluation that makes no reference to any lapses of memory, would point that out, as well as past evaluations. I would say that it is interesting that someone new to the grade level, without a medical degree, feels competent to diagnose you as having a memory loss and never share any of their "concerns" with you first. I would hate to be forced out of my grade level, but honestly, I would find it difficult, if not impossible, to work with such a person next year. You shouldn't be forced to change grades, but if the principal suggests it, it is something to consider.

And I wouldn't go for a full medical workup unless it's something YOU feel you want or need.

Hugs to you.

jov 06-16-2019 02:34 PM

I think Kinderkr4zy may be on to something about age discrimination or setting you up to force you out or ask you to resign/retire. Maybe she wants to get rid of you so a friend can take your place. Maybe she and P are colluding on this, since she's such a favorite. Do not trust either one of them!

Peaches Pears 06-16-2019 02:25 PM

Listen to Clarity and Anna.

Go to the union.
Bring Union rep from outside your building or union lawyer to the meeting.
Let them know you are neither a fool nor a push over.
Also consult your licensing body's rules of professional conduct.
I strongly suspect both the teacher and principal have violated the standards and expectations established by your licensing body.

I am not suggesting they should loose their licenses but they may be able to be brought before the discipline committee. Our College of Teachers discipline committee often puts stipulations on teachers and principals requiring them to take an approved course, at their own expense on professional conduct, boundaries etc. within in a specific time frame.

whiteturtle 06-16-2019 02:20 PM

Good advice from all. Your coworker is an a**hole.

Kinderkr4zy 06-16-2019 01:55 PM

I dont have much to add but I will say that I am horrified for you. What a horrible human being and what a loser of an admin to even listen to such nonsense.

This does sound like it has an edge of age discrimination to me (thought I dont know how old you are). Would such vague and meritless complaints be given any credence if the teacher in question was fresh face 25 year old? I doubt it. This alone means that your union rep or a lawyer should be part of the meeting.

mooba1 06-16-2019 01:33 PM

Clarity is exactly right. This woman is a snake in the grass. Do NOT allow her to make you doubt yourself,

texteach55 06-16-2019 12:44 PM

I, too, agree with Clarity and others. She should have mentioned this to you or she could have even mentioned it to one of your family members before she went to your boss. When I am stressed, I forget things. Please keep us informed. Iím sending positive thoughts your way.

Youthcantknow 06-16-2019 12:40 PM

She was really unprofessional to go to the P without ever coming to you first! You say that you "folded and let her take over." I think I would phrase that in the meeting as "I tried to be respectful of you as you joined me this year. I was open to your suggestions and did not expect that you would misinterpret this as being nonresponsive. I would like you to please provide some specific instances when you felt that a response was warranted." I would try to come on pretty strong during the meeting so that she and the P can see that you are a strong person deserving of respect. If you can express your shock and hurt without getting emotional, I would do that, too. I feel that she was very unkind to go to the P like that. Good luck - I really hope you are able to clear the air.

msd2 06-16-2019 12:35 PM

I agree with the poster that said some of the "forgetfulness" regarding not responding to e-mails may just be not knowing her communication style and not responding to something she thinks needs a response.

It is possible you have made some more mistakes than you are used to because she took what you were familiar with for 10 years and changed it completely.

I'd be careful about going in claiming it is all untrue. You may come out with egg on your face. But I do agree with going in with support. I'd want to know what you have not been responding to and when. You have basically admitted you let her "take over", which to me indicates she may be meaning to say you are not contributing at planning time rather than the term non-responsive.

Going in on fire claiming she is all wrong is probably not the best approach.

I wish you luck.

Until you know that your forgetfulness is really forgetfulness, I wouldn't be considering a medical work-up. It is most likely a big miscommunication between the two of you, which should have been handled between the two of you.

hand 06-16-2019 12:29 PM

Clarity and Anna are exactly right. Take a pad and paper and write down your talking points. Also, make sure you write down everything they say. Even better, take an advocate or a union rep with you. This is not a meeting that I would enter into lightly.

Keltikmom 06-16-2019 12:16 PM

I agree with other posters...go in with both guns blazing. Take the lead immediately with these words:

ďI am insensed (sp?) that you have said these things about me, knowing they are untrue. What is your real agenda here?Ē Completely take the wind out of her sails ASAP.

anna 06-16-2019 12:01 PM

I agree with Clarity 100% and would nail both the know it all teacher and the principal for their evaluative conversations regarding your abilities and memory. They do not have a legal right to that kind of conversation whatsoever. Be proactive and shut that crap down.

Clarity 06-16-2019 11:19 AM

If she had an issue with your being forgetful, she should have mentioned it to you first.

I would go to the meeting with an attorney and threaten to sue her, but that's just me.

The first thing you need to ask her for at the beginning of the meeting is a specific LIST, including TIME, PLACE, FORM, and EVENT for EVERY instance she is reporting. Not just a "she is forgetting things" or "She is nonresponsive." Those are dog whistles and the way nasty people start rumors.

Not responding to emails could be a function of being too busy or not thinking an email needed a response. Accidentally posting something on the wrong page? What is she, an idiot? Who hasn't done that?

Do NOT let her run the meeting. Take an advocate, a union rep, or an attorney. Not kidding. She is your enemy now. Treat her as such. Do not defend. Attack her lack of specifics.

elmo33 06-16-2019 10:42 AM

I would be very offended... it is hard to be treated like that. Was she complaining that you weren’t a good partner? I would not trust her at all....
We have all forgotten things or emails on my team and no one would run to the P about it- ..? What is her motivation?

QueenBee2011 06-16-2019 10:26 AM

Just talk me down off the ledge, please.
I just finished the year with my new grade level partner. She is a wonderful teacher and is very well respected by the admin and other staff. She pretty much came into my grade level and cleaned house of most of what we've been doing for the last ten years. I pretty much folded and let her take over. I didn't want to make waves especially when she is a favorite with the admin.
What happened next is why I'm writing.
She went crying to my P saying that she was worried about me because I am forgetting things and I'm nonresponsive during planning time. In addition to that, apparently I haven't responded to some emails and I posted a comment to second grade about something that first grade did. In other words, I responded to the wrong grade. Not that uncommon, right? I just can't believe she would tell them that I am losing my memory.

I was floored when my P presented this to me.
My own children and DH have never said anything about me being forgetful. My sister and I are super close too and she has never noticed anything like that.
My P wants to have a meeting with the three of us to discuss next year. I am so angry, hurt, embarrassed and feel hopeless. This was probably one of the worst things anyone has ever done to me.
What should I do?
I am honestly thinking of going to the doctor and asking for a full workup.

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