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Collaborating with someone who seems to dislike me
Old 12-01-2017, 12:45 PM
 
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I’m teaching 4th grade in a new school and a team mate seems to dislike me. This teacher has never had a conversation with me that’s not work related and there have been times when I felt it was being made clear to me she has no interest in having one.

One day during dismissal she stood a few feet from me but didn’t utter a word. When a couple people passed by during the dismissal time she’d cheerfully say hi or make small talk, meanwhile i was standing there. When they’d leave it would go back to silence.

Anyway, we are supposed to be doing some collaboration during math (splitting kids up in heterogeneous groups just to mix up the peer group) and she and the other teacher pre-taught using the same materials and I was in the dark that this was happening. So my kids showed up and didn’t have the same information or experience. I said during a planning meeting that it would be nice if they shared and they said it was just coincidental that they had the same materials.

I’m supposed to do a 3-day overnight with this person in the spring and I’m absolutely dreading it.

I know I replaced a good friend of hers and maybe there’s some feelings around that. Maybe they don’t like the way I teach- like I’m not super strict, and I let some stuff go in my classroom. I’d rather focus on solving a social problem together than setting up a bunch of perameters around it to prevent the problem. For example, she told me two kids should never be allowed to sit together but I’d rather give them the opportunity so they can learn to self-regulate so yes, the kids have had some challenges early on but they also are doing a lot better making good choices now.

I can also be socially awkward and I know after that collaboration meeting I just sort of shut down and only contributed to the work related conversation and when it turned to people talking about their families (that I haven’t met but they all know one another’s spouses and kids) I didn’t know what else to do/say so maybe that’s perceived as b!tchy?

Any thoughts? Advice?


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Sounds Awkward
Old 12-01-2017, 04:21 PM
 
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Sorry you are having to deal with this. Sounds like she just misses her previous teaching partner and is not ready to move on.

No matter what she does I would always be polite and say hello when you see her and then goodbye when you leave.

I would be very professional and share teaching materials or at least offer to share with her. You can always leave goodies on her desk or mailbox and she can choose to use it or not.

Maybe you could do your collaboration on a shared Google Doc instead of talking in person. That would mean you can each work when you have time.

Maybe in time she will be ready to accept that her previous teaching partner is gone and she has a new one who is polite and professional, plus willing to share resources and ideas.

Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:25 AM
 
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Don't assume it's you. Just be yourself. She may be someone who takes a long time to accept change and warm up to new people. She may not like the way you do things in your classroom but as long as it doesn't undermine the expectations for student behavior and school rules, that's not her call. As 1956BD suggested: "always be polite and say hello when you see her and then goodbye when you leave."

I have a couple questions: Is this teacher the 4th grade team leader? Why did her friend leave?
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:19 AM
 
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If they aren't going to COLLABORATE about preteaching or knowledge your kids have when they go to their classrooms, I wouldn't send my kids. Why should your kids be put in that situation? The collaboration should happen before kids get together.

I agree with both previous posters. It might not be you.
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Been there
Old 12-02-2017, 11:27 AM
 
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I had a co worker like that a few years back and it was very strange. She’d be Uber nice to other people around me and then that “nice” would turn off when we had exchanges. She would remain cordial but it sure felt like a snub. I thought it was just me, but now that she’s left the building others have since commented about similar experiences. There were only 2 people on staff she was actually outwardly nice to. Not sad she’s gone!. I’d like to see a few more fly the coop too.😉
Who knows what the root of this person’s issue is, maybe it was based on an awkward interaction when you first arrived and she’s holding onto it, or maybe it’s that you’ve replaced a friend. It sounds like you’ve addressed the issue of sharing pre teaching strategies already, but could you bring it up at your next team meeting by sharing what you’re planning on using and ask them to do the same. I agree with a PP, if they don’t collaborate how can you possibly send your kids unprepared. Is this optional or a mandated collaboration?


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Old 12-02-2017, 08:55 PM
 
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Been there.

You can waste a lot of time trying to figure out another adult’s bad behavior, or you can let it go and keep being yourself. The hard part is to try not to let it get to you.

Good advice from other posters.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:32 AM
 
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I had a coworker who was super nice while I was subbing, but then when I started teaching, she would snub me. I finally asked her what I did to her and she said she was sorry she made me feel like that. We just didn't jive. We still don't outside a professional level.

What your describing is me and my principal. It's like she's kind and laughing with others, but then when I come around, it's different. She will be completely different after school hours, on the phone and in the summer, but that's it.

Good luck! Like other posters have said, she may just need time to connect.
Kill her with kindness and see what happens...
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