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Sub Aid in a toxic, gossiping, backstabbing environment
Old 10-27-2018, 06:07 PM
 
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I am working on a short term sub assignment currently. The teacher and other aid in the classroom are great at their job. They work well together and seem to really care about their students. It pleases me greatly to see this since the students are the ones who benefit from it the most. However, they are negative toward the administration and seem to take offense over the tiniest things. They often gossip about about other co-workers. The aid in this class, I will call her Stacey, is very catty and often curses when talking about them. She kind of instigates and elevates the situation. What is really frustrating is she seems to have a chip on her shoulder. When I offer her help in anything she either ignores me or seems to take it negatively when I help. It confuses me. She and the teacher seem to get along well and talk to one another often but sometimes when I say something they ignore me at random times. I go into work to do my job and try to do it well. Neither one of them has said anything negative about my work.

It just really bothers me that some of the aids and another teacher all join in together gossiping about others. It has gotten so bad that when a particular aid leaves the room they begin talking about her. Iím not sure if I can finish my assignment since the culture at this school is very negative and everyone seems to hate each other and be on the offense ready to fight. Help!


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Old 10-27-2018, 08:32 PM
 
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That does sound like a toxic environment. I would suggest do your job and ignore the nasty, mean girls. As you said its the students that matter.
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Been there
Old 10-28-2018, 03:06 AM
 
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Been there, done that.
1. Yes you can finish the assignment.
2. Stay Neutral.
3. Do not engage in the gossip.
4. Continue to do your job and keep in mind that they probably do talk about you behind your back, you just don't know about it.
5. Quit offering help to the one aide, she probably is insulted that a sub would dare offer her help, sounds very similar to one I dealt with who was hung up on seniority, looked down on everybody else.
6. Lucky are the ones with a pile of female aides that get along................
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Be busy...
Old 10-28-2018, 03:20 AM
 
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I second Klarabelle's suggestion and add the thought that you may decide to find yourself too busy to be part of the gossip. You haven't said how long "short-term" is, but the odds of changing the culture aren't very good, particularly since you're only going to be around temporarily.

Accept that you aren't part of the culture (group) and try to see that as a good thing. You have my sympathy, it's simple but far from easy--we are by nature social animals and want to belong. My guess is one reason your help isn't accepted is that you're not part of the group. As we sometimes tell the kids, "Worry about yourself." (Well, in this case, "worry" about the kids too!)
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talk of the town
Old 10-28-2018, 04:12 AM
 
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I'm sure that you've been a topic of their convo. If nothing's stopping you, I say end the term early if you don't have to stay to finish.


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Old 10-28-2018, 09:05 AM
 
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Thank you for your advice.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:01 AM
 
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Personally I wouldn't leave the assignment early because that reflects on you...I mean, you can't very well say "I'm leaving because the teachers and aides are all middle school mean girls!" lol. I'd just put my head down, do my job, and then resolve to be busy the next time a job there comes up.

The school where I do most of my subbing has a kindergarten team like this...omg, it's definitely like being back in middle school. There are four kindergartens -- two assistants don't like the other two, one teacher and one assistant (but not her assistant) don't like another assistant, two teachers have lunch together and talk about everyone else, one assistant is always mad at her teacher who's new this year and doesn't do things "like we always used to do"....etc. I just keep my mouth shut and ears opened and I learn a lot. lol
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:19 AM
 
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Youíve been given good advice to hang in, keep your head down, and stay busy. Continue to be professional, and donít allow the toxics to draw you into their negative circle. Thereís drama in every school, but it doesnít always descend to the level youíre experiencing right now.

Soon enough, youíll be able to knock the dust from your sandals and put this school in your rear view mirror.
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multi-day jobs
Old 10-28-2018, 01:56 PM
 
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This is part of the reason why I don't take jobs that are more than 1 day, anymore. I had a terrible experience one time when I took a 5 day job and it turned out to be a pilot program! I won't bore you with the details, but I canceled it and the repercussions have not been good, even though I don't really know what they were. I don't want to get stuck in an assignment, again, and if I just wait there will probably be other single-day jobs that will come up, anyway, to fill those days. I also, after this fiasco, only take mainstream jobs (science, English, history, etc.). I don't take anything weird. I learned the hard way. I know there will be some that will insult me over this, but it is what works best for me and I think we all have to figure out what works best for us. I don't want to be stuck and miserable in jobs because of my ego. If it goes poorly, it will be over that day. Luckily I am not desperate for work. It is part of what I need to do to keep a good attitude, so that is what I do.
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