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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,331
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,331
Senior Member
Chirp... chirp...
Old 12-21-2018, 05:11 AM
Clip to ScrapBook #12

(Do I hear crickets?)
I hear them too. Thanks for a long thoughtful reply... I hope you sense that we seem to fundamentally agree on all points. Your assessment of the situation sounds very accurate.

I doubt you could have done anything differently... and this can be a bitter pill to swallow, to acknowledge that there are situations where you just can't win. Another of my favorite sayings is "If someone is determined to be stupid, no force on earth can stop them." We can insert the word "mean" in place of "stupid." You're right; the true bully will move back close to the person he/she elbowed--or find a new victim. If/when that happens I would intervene. But as you also point out, this is ultimately about an imbalance of power. What I find interesting about that is that power is ultimately perception. As you point out, if the student sees me as "just a sub" I have little power with him--unless I can find some way to offset or change his perception. If I also act like "just a sub," he'll come in for the kill--particularly if he feels threatened.

That's why I'm suggesting that we need to build stronger victims. (That's not quite accurate, but I think you know what I mean.) It changes the balance of power. I do agree there's a balance in it and there should be consequences for repeated bullying. The challenge is to find consequences that actually work. In some cases, the bully simply goes underground or takes it out of the school environment to social media or after school.

One of the things I find frightening is there seem to be more and more "bullies" in the world--when we define a bully as someone who has no compassion and empathy for another and wants the world to operate for him or her. I've been dealing with one... it's a long story (not about school or subbing) or I'd share it because I have reached the conclusion that I'm never going to win--this person (who does have limited power over me in a specific situation--and has pointed that out more than once) is seriously suffering from some personality and emotional disorders. She believes my job (and nearly everyone she works with) is to make her feel better about herself. She's quite good at what she does--I'll grant that. The best I can hope for is to not lose.

I actually can't lose because she doesn't make me feel inferior--quite the contrary. Nearly every day she reminds me of how desperate she is for power. Fortunately, I don't have that problem. I've even said that fixing her and building her ego is not in my job description. I've created alliances in the organization to "protect" myself but I'm also a realist.

And that's at the core of my belief system--victimless living, a simple but hard concept. In the grand scheme of things, when we pass the buck it often equates to not understanding that it's a shared problem without one single solution.
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