How to deal with a bully supervisor? - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

How to deal with a bully supervisor?

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
How to deal with a bully supervisor?
Old 11-17-2019, 10:12 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

This is mainly a vent and a long read. At this point, I'm trying to cope with the situation for a few more weeks of student teaching, but finding the will to keep going has been very difficult lately. I feel anxious all the time, and I'm depressed.

I'm a student teacher, who has been dealing with a bully supervisor. I'm not the only one who has noticed it. My CT (Cooperating Teacher) has commented on the frequency my supervisor comes in to observe, some of the things she's done, and made comments about her own negative past interactions with my supervisor. She has a reputation. My CT defended me, but it hasn't stopped my supervisor from acting in this way.

My supervisor has been criticizing me on a psychological level, criticism has been on my physical and personality attributes. She uses intimidation, such as excessive observations, harsh tones, glaring stern looks, close observations (sitting right behind my shoulder or 2-3 feet directly in front of me while I'm teaching small groups), and has spoken to me like I'm a child she's scolding, asking me if I have a problem with what she's saying.

She has said things about me, even shared personal information, in front of others that is misleading, humiliating, and paints me in a negative light. She's shared my health information with others. She's made a flippant comment about my competence.

She tries to pit my CT against me by insinuating things that are negative about me in a gossiping manner. For instance, sharing misleading personal information that paints me in a negative light.

She creates an excessive workload by insinuating I should be doing more earlier in the placement when that's not the case, which then leaves my CT confused with being given conflicting information.

She wanted to know when I would be filming for the edTPA and told me she'd be in to observe me while I was filming, but she didn't know when. This was the only interest she had in the edTPA. I feel she wanted to observe while I was filming because having a formal observation while filming would be a way for her to make it even more stressful. She offered no guidance or support while I was doing the edTPA.

She implied to my CT that me working on the edTPA while only taking over part of reading, spelling, and science was a big no no, that I should be doing more. That is not in line with what the head professor and program director told me. She said to focus on the edTPA, not to take over too much while doing the edTPA, to wait until it was done before taking over everything. It left me with a very heavy workload with my CT giving me more after that visit than what we were supposed to have at that time.

My CT asked my supervisor questions about the edTPA and my CT told me my supervisor didn't know much about it. I don't understand that at all. It's a high stakes, massive project I have to pass to graduate and become licensed. It's a big part of the program. There's no way she doesn't know that.

I'm completely overwhelmed and stressed often due to dealing with her antics. It's impacted my health, and I'm not operating at 100% because of it. It's effected my confidence, making me feel very anxious and exhausted from it.


  Reply With Quote

Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,758
Senior Member

Summerwillcom
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,758
Senior Member
All I can say is I am sorry you
Old 11-17-2019, 01:16 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

are having to go through such a nightmare. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. This experience is something you can learn from. To work as a teacher nowadays in many places, you are given mixed messages by different people. Sometimes you are told to do things they do not really want you to do and other times vice versa. ( Usually, it has something to do w/ a mandated program or party line.)
It is not right, ideal, or fair. It is just that way in many schools.
My dad told me years ago that I was going to have to "grow thick skin"). Learn not to let people like that get to me because it bothered me a lot.)
He was right because when I started not caring what others did or said so much, it made my life a lot easier. I am talking about not caring about the people who are negative, wishy washy, or mean.
I would make sure you find out what the state requires for certification though. ( You seem to be getting different messages.) Best wishes!
Summerwillcom is offline   Reply With Quote
just me back
 
 
Guest

just me back
 
 
Guest
sharing personal information...
Old 11-17-2019, 01:23 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

is an absolute No no. But you are in a very difficult position if she holds your certification over you. Would your CT and/or Principal be willing to speak to the college about what they have experienced - ie, not speaking on your behalf but if personal info has been shared with your CT, or if she /he has observed inappropriate interactions with you, he/she could speak to the college and request an alternative supervisor.

This is not what you should be experiencing.
  Reply With Quote
whiteturtle's Avatar
whiteturtle whiteturtle is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 527
Senior Member

whiteturtle
 
whiteturtle's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 527
Senior Member

Old 11-17-2019, 01:59 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I know nothing about the edTPA you mentioned, but my first thought is to try to ask your supervisor about it in the presence of someone else from the university. This way if she feigns ignorance, she really will look uninformed. You can then ask the other person about it. Even if it's just another student. Is there any way to do this? Even if it is just with your CT so the supervisor knows you have a witness to her saying she doesn't know anything about it. After this, ask your head professor or program director. If they tell you to talk to her, tell them that you tried and she told you she didn't know anything about it.

I feel bad for you. Student teaching is difficult enough. It sounds like your supervisor is really not totally informed as she's asking more of you at this point of your student teaching experience than you've been advised to take on.

Always have a tablet and pen and take notes as she is talking, no matter what. Just write what she says and don't give her a reason to come after you any more than she already is. You can do this. Your student teaching is not going to last forever so keep your cool. I hope your CT is more supportive than this person. She sounds like a piece of work.
whiteturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
stephenPE's Avatar
stephenPE stephenPE is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 221
Full Member

stephenPE
 
stephenPE's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 221
Full Member

Old 11-17-2019, 03:08 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

Your supervising teacher sounds like a miserable SOB. I like the idea of taking notes while the cretin lectures you.


stephenPE is offline   Reply With Quote
Hoppop
 
 
Guest

Hoppop
 
 
Guest
File a complaint
Old 11-17-2019, 06:19 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

Here's what I don't get. You are paying thousands of dollars to attend this college. Yes you have a responsibility to do your work and make the grade, but the university also has a responsibility to educate you and treat you ethically. They work for you. File a complaint with the dean or president of the university and request a different supervisor. I owed 30,000 dollars in student loans after I got my degree and most colleges are a lot more expensive than that. For that kind of dough, I'd better be getting my moneys worth and being treated with respect. My cooperating teacher was awful and I always wished I had transferred, but I was young and dumb and let the university make me think that I worked for them instead of the other way around.
  Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
Summerwillcom
Old 11-17-2019, 08:31 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

Thank you for responding and the advice! I agree with your dad!

This situation is a little different with it more to do with aggression towards my person being shown by someone with a high level of power over me. It's not that I just don't agree with her or what she's asking me to do. I'm dealing with intimidation, verbal abuse, her sharing my private information, and undermining me, among other things.

To clarify, I know what I need to get certified. My supervisor is sending mixed messages to my CT, not me. My supervisor minimized what I need to do with my CT and played ignorant about the edTPA, which is a major part of our program. We have classes on it, handbooks, support groups, upload parties for when it's completed. We have to send it away and have it scored and pass to graduate from the college program.

I don't believe for one minute she doesn't know what a big deal the edTPA is or know much about it. I believe her minimizing it to my CT was a way to keep me from being supported in my field placement while completing it and a way to create a very heavy workload by piling on the work by having my CT give me more to take over during that time, when that shouldn't have been happening then.

Here's a handbook of the directions for doing the edTPA, just to show how intensive it is:

https://concordia.csp.edu/teachered/...y-Handbook.pdf
  Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
just me back
Old 11-17-2019, 09:14 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

I spoke with someone at the college about my supervisor sharing my personal information, which it seemed taken seriously. But, I think it was handled by giving a refresher training about confidentiality. So, I'm still dealing with the problem in other ways. I think a big part of it is a smoke and mirrors game. For instance, she'll come in acting like I should be taking over more when that's not the case, creating confusion. I've had to go ask and clarify at my college, only to find out I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, but it puts questions in my CT's mind and makes me look questionable (if that makes sense). She does things like ask my CT, "how is she doing," many times in one conversation, and will say it like, come on you can tell me if there's problems.

My supervisor saves the really out there remarks for when I meet with her privately, like she told me to do an administrative task and asked me in a tone, "Do you have a problem with that?" It was so out of context to say that, because I agreed to do it with no indication of not wanting to and didn't question or say anything that would suggest that I had a problem with what she asked me to do. It was an easy, everyday admin task that I didn't think much about her asking me to do it. Or, when I made a comment about something, and her reply was "Maybe she doesn't think you're capable," which was also a very negative response that suggests I'm not capable. Other people don't feel that way, but it's like that's the picture she trying to paint.
  Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
whiteturtle
Old 11-17-2019, 09:56 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

Those are great ideas! Thank you!

The problem is I don't ever see my supervisor at the college at the times I'm there. I wish I did, because that would be a great way to flesh that out. I'm sure she'd speak very intelligently about it though if I asked in front of the professors. I find it very hard to believe she doesn't know about the edTPA. It's a major thing at the college and is a national assessment for student teachers that many States and colleges now do. We have to pass it to graduate. There's whole classes on it, handbooks, support groups, and parties when it's completed. Our education classes have a party after everyone submits it. She's supervised for at least a few years that I know of.

I've been documenting everything in a notebook and will make sure I have it close by all the time since she does random unannounced visits.

Thank you for the encouragement and support! It's been extremely stressful.

My CT has been great, but I worry my supervisor has her questioning things about me. She's shared misleading personal information about a leave I took for legitimate personal and health reasons last year. She did it in a way that made it seem she was questioning the legitimacy of that. My supervisor has also created confusion, and I feel it does impede things even if my mentor is fine with me. It doesn't create a positive atmosphere when my supervisor acts like something is wrong all the time. It creates stress, confusion, and a false atmosphere that I don't know what I'm doing or something is wrong with me. My CT told my supervisor I'm doing a good job, but under the circumstances I worry she could do damage.
  Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
Stephen
Old 11-17-2019, 10:21 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

I like that idea of taking notes too!

I really can't believe this is what I'm dealing with. I've worked with difficult people, but I've never felt someone was after me in such an extreme and pathological way.


  Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
Hoppop
Old 11-18-2019, 12:10 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

Thanks for that! I agree completely with what you're saying and don't understand why the culture seems that's its not the case I'm paying them thousands of dollars.

I have spoke with the program director at the college about these issues. But, even with all that, she's still my supervisor. I was hoping it would be dealt with at the level of the program director given the director is also the head professor and the person who is in charge of giving me grades for the seminar class. It's a very small college campus, so we have one professor who teaches most all the classes and runs the program. There's no one else besides a couple part-time professors who aren't a part of student teaching and who I only had for a semester.

I know going to the Dean will be a big move, going above the program director's head, and worry it could cause hard feelings.

Do you know what filing a complaint typically entails at a college?
  Reply With Quote
happygal's Avatar
happygal happygal is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Senior Member

happygal
 
happygal's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Senior Member
Hit record
Old 11-18-2019, 12:48 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

When verbal assalts happen.

Interrupt while they are happening.

Say, "I cannot continue to allow you to speak to me like that."

"I don't think that you realize that you are being abusive to me right now. Please stop."

"Your proximity to me right now is inappropriate. Please move."

"I wouldn't talk to you or my dog who has stolen my Christmas dinner that way. Knock it off, now!"

You must stand up for yourself. Your mental health is suffering. Do not make excuses to why you cannot fight for you.

I would get a restraining order...seriously...what you described is criminal.

You should not pay for this
happygal is offline   Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
happygal
Old 11-18-2019, 01:36 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #13

Thank you happygal! I see what you're saying and agree that I need to stick up for myself. This is insane and yes my mental and physical health is suffering.

I am worried about confronting her in the moment. It could go either way. It stresses me just thinking about calling her out on it when she's doing such things. Have you said things like that to a boss? How did they react? Did it stop the bullying or did they find other ways to work on your job?

We're not allowed to have our phones out, so I would need to buy a small recorder to record anything.
  Reply With Quote
c6g c6g is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 393
Senior Member

c6g
 
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 393
Senior Member

Old 11-18-2019, 03:59 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #14

Is there a way that you could find other student teachers this supervisor is currently evaluating? If all of you went together to see her boss, it might get their attention.
c6g is offline   Reply With Quote
happygal's Avatar
happygal happygal is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Senior Member

happygal
 
happygal's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Senior Member
Yes
Old 11-18-2019, 09:59 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #15

Also so called friends and family

It is easy for THEM to unleash on you and in a mean way. You certainly can speak up and say KNOCK it OFF
You owe it to yourself to look out for you.

Seriously, it is ok to tell people what you wish. They may still persist, but you will respect yourself a whole lot more by either effecting change for the better or walking away.
happygal is offline   Reply With Quote
happygal's Avatar
happygal happygal is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Senior Member

happygal
 
happygal's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,548
Senior Member
Keep your
Old 11-18-2019, 10:04 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #16

Phone in your back pocket. Have it set to camera. Take it out immediately and hit record. Screw the rules. She is breaking rules abusing you.

If she says anything about your phone say, "too bad, i am not going to let you get away with talking to me like this anymore."

And. "Your poor choice in behavior has forced me to document this. Wise up lady!" You must get stern here.
happygal is offline   Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
happygal
Old 11-21-2019, 03:40 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #17

Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to respond! You're right, the way to deal with a bully is to stand up for yourself. This has been horrible being in such a vulnerable position with the power dynamic and nature of it. She's there with her evaluation forms and pen out.

This is not the experience I wanted to have during student teaching!
  Reply With Quote
NeedZen
 
 
Guest

NeedZen
 
 
Guest
c6g
Old 11-25-2019, 12:07 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #18

I know of 2 other people she supervises. They both have made negative comments about her (e.g. they don't feel the supervisor likes them.) I'm not sure if they would be willing to go in and complain. I'm not friends with either one, so I don't know them that well. I'll try to leave class at the same time and see what's going on with them. I think I'm the main target. One of them told me the supervisor was talking about me to her in a negative way during her last observation at her placement, but we were in a college class in a group, so she didn't go into details. I was hoping to speak with her after class, but she stayed to speak with the professor, and we haven't had class since then. My CT even said she knew my supervisor observes more than the other supervisors, but she's never seen her come in this much.
  Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:11 PM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net