ProTeacher Community

ProTeacher Community (
-   Paraprofessionals (
-   -   Co-Worker Issue Feeling Invisible by Those Trying to be Dominant (

RejectedPara 06-04-2019 03:15 PM

Feeling Invisible by Those Trying to be Dominant
I am an Aid in a classroom of (3) other Aids and one Teacher. Most of them have worked many many years together. They thrive on gossip and speaking negative about others. Two of the aids do not hold a position of authority but act dominant to newer aids because they have seniority. I’m not sure if it is in my head, but I highly doubt it since it has become a pattern, but when ever one of the newer aids Rebecca and I are seen talking, one of the aids Jane with seniority will be mean to her until Jane feels like Rebecca is no longer being friendly toward me then Jane will then be nice to her again. This has happened over and over that I can’t help but think Jane knows exactly what she is doing which is some sort of mind control technique.

If Rebecca and I are in a conversation and Jane is also talking, Rebecca will turn her head away from me while I am still talking and give her full attention to Jane. So in this case, i have raised my voice a couple of times and just continued talking about what I was saying to say, “Hey, I’m not finished talking here!” but they will not look at me but still continue to talk to one another like I am not in the room. So one time when they did this to me, I turned around and walked out! I’m not going to let anyone deliberately ignore me and disrespect me that way. I'm still polite and professional toward them because I have to work with them, so I try not to hold grudges and let things go for the sake of making things work. But I feel Jane is the one with the problem and she subtly causes contention. Jane knows because she has seniority and because the teacher and another aid will back her up she feels she can act dominant toward us and use mind control to make us submit to her and to them.

I actually could not take it anymore after months of playing nice I finally got sick of it and did the same thing back to her. When she spoke to me I just ignored her and did not give her eye contact. I’m not playing her games any more nor will I let her have the upper hand over me just because she has worked their longer than I have. Honestly, if she had not used her mind control tactics I may have respected her but because she plays mind games in a subtle way and she thrives on gossip, withholds praises and ignores me when I speak, I do not respect her and will not give her what she wants from me which is for me to be submissive to her.

The teacher is just as bad as her and gossips even more than she does. I work hard and make sure I am working harder than everyone else because the rest of the aids have a habit of saying whenever they get a sub that the sub does absolute nothing! Implying that the subs are lazy and do not work. But the real truth is that when ever we do get a sub in our classroom they ignore her and do not speak to her. They most definitely do not tell her what to do or give her any kind of work, so naturally the subs mostly sit around with nothing to do. But it isn’t the subs fault, there were given nothing to do so that Jane and the rest of the aids can say she did absolutely nothing. I know their tactics so that’s why I work my butt off but this does not make them happy either but rather seems to upset them. I figured if they are going to be upset with me whether I work or I don’t work I rather have them be upset because I’m working my butt off. Has anyone also experienced this type of behavior in the classroom? It’s awful!

twin2 06-20-2019 03:06 AM

Not good
I'm sorry you poured your heart out and your post seems to have gone unnoticed. The para board doesn't seem to have a lot of activity so it can take a while to get a response. I am a former para who became a teacher, so the para board does interest me too.

It's sad that a coworker can be so controlling that others feed off of them. It's sad that people like you are negatively affected by someone else's need to get noticed. As a para, I experienced that for one school year but that para was moved out. I was given the impression by an administrator that she was moved out for not being a team player. My sister has experienced that sort of nonsense most of the time she has been at the school she works.

Para roles are valuable and should be respected. By the same token, substitute roles are valuable and should be respected. Your para "friend" seems to gain power by hurting others. That's really sad. Like you, I have also witnessed subs being criticized for things that are out of their control. Sometimes as you've said, the sub isn't given what they need to do the job. As a sub, I hated when a teacher left busy work and didn't allow me to teach. I understand teachers try to make the day easier for everyone, but a lack of structure for the day can cause more problems, and when it does, it's the substitute that gets blamed. Then if a para trashes the sub to the teacher, that teacher may believe them because they did not witness things themselves.

The way I've always tried to handle my work situation is to not let things get to me. I do my best with my job duties and I try not to become involved in the drama. Most times, if given time enough, people will see people for who they really are. I have earned respect because I don't get involved in the drama. Sometimes it's easier to just accept that certain people act the way they do and to expect it. You can't let it get to you. Accept it, get rid of it. Move on.

I assume school is out of will be out for you soon. Maybe next year's assignment will be better, having already experienced this work bully. At the least you know what to expect. One thing is for sure, every school year seems to be different from others. Maybe things will be different enough next school year that you won't get frustrated by this para.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:59 AM.

Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.