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Shouldn't we be nice to each other?
Old 07-24-2018, 09:51 AM
 
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I've noticed a trend in public schools lately that teachers are becoming more competitive and almost vicious with each other. They then justify it by saying they "put the kids first." I fail to see how being abrupt, defensive, confrontational and downright nasty is putting kids first. Kids can only thrive in an environment where the teachers are well-equipped to do their job and I don't just mean having enough school supplies. Our mental well-being does matter.

I just wanted to say it, maybe someone here understands maybe not but at least having a voice on here helps me feel better


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Not the only one.
Old 07-24-2018, 03:50 PM
 
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You're not the only one who is seeing this trend. I was the victim of a teacher and administration who was bullying and too competitive. I focused on my kids when I realized that when I tried to stop this behavior, it just continued and was bullied to the point. I left that toxic environment because itw as obvious that the kids didn't go first whereas my motto is "kids first and foremost".

-UD
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I totally agree
Old 07-25-2018, 01:54 AM
 
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I've noticed the same thing. I feel like I don't know who I can trust because of back stabbing and gossip. I used to be very open, ask others how they did things because I feel like I'm always wanting to learn more to hone my skills. I used to compliment others when I saw something I liked. Unfortunately some teachers mistake all that for weakness. This year I'm prob going to be more reserved just to protect myself.
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Agree
Old 07-25-2018, 05:01 AM
 
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I feel like our society in general has gotten more this way. Sometimes at school I cannot believe that people can be so mean and still think they are being a good example for children.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:23 AM
 
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I saw that at my the charter school I worked for. OH after all the anti-bullying talk and talk about creating a safe environment they turn a blind eye when teachers do the very opposite to other teachers. My gosh school climate should be respectful to EVERYONE.


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Yes!
Old 07-25-2018, 06:19 AM
 
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It's become a new part of the job to protect yourself. I agree that sometimes it's not admin or parents- it's colleagues.

The atmosphere of self-promotion is so debilitating, and it's hard to stay away from it. Pinterest-perfect classrooms, no "real" blogging (only it's great, I'm wonderful), the push to innovate (while throwing the baby out with the bathwater), fads promoted on social media, technology (while not meeting basic reading and math standards), and the list goes on of things that may or may not help kids. The problem is that every supposed improved practice or innovation can actually hurt kids if not implemented with extensive training and support.

I wonder how many of the Ts who treat others this way just don't have anything left for colleagues after dealing with the pressure they feel to measure up. Not excusing this kind of behavior, but I do wonder if it's another expression of the unreasonable pressures of the job. Maybe they need some social-emotional lessons, a circle, or restorative justice meetings.
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:43 AM
 
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I firmly believe in this and, even if you aren't friends, you should be friendly!
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:00 AM
 
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I know someone in a small school district, an excellent teacher, with 26 years of experience, who lost his job when there were staff reductions. It was all very political since several teachers with much less experience kept their jobs.

Seniority used to count when layoffs were on the way. In many places today, with high-stakes testing and teacher evaluations, that's no longer true. Now, it's often every person out for himself or herself. It's not good, but I understand why it happens.
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Absolutely!
Old 07-25-2018, 07:37 AM
 
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My team teacher and I were best friends for years. When the evaluation process changed so kept saying that we were competing against each other. Not true, but apparently she was serious because she started backstabbing and undermining me.

I was heartbroken. Even though we still teach together I seldom speak with her. Very sad.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:35 PM
 
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Amen to what Zia posted. Kids benefit from an environment where the adults support and rally around one another. My team was great last year. Well see this year. I'm in a new school.


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I don't understand it either
Old 07-25-2018, 01:19 PM
 
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We should have each other's backs.

I'm not totally sure what's causing it, but I can't help but think that part of it is how evaluation procedures have changed across the country, which has left a lot of teachers more insecure about their jobs and more likely to backstab one another.

I also think it's easy to buy into the whole mythical archetype of the inspirational, life-changing teacher that the media and PD peddlers sell and think we have the magic pill. At the same time, all we hear is how public schools are failing and it's all within our control (for the record, I don't believe either one). I think a lot of people like this want to believe that they are the magical teacher and everybody else is at fault for the "failing" public school system.

I have seen a few of these types in my day. They're usually the types who are cutting down other teachers' methods, bragging about their own methods, and running to administrators trying to get people in trouble. I always laugh to myself about these deluded, naive individuals because it's not like the students who have been around these magical teachers end up getting dramatically higher SAT/ACT scores. It's not like the people I've seen like this are off making millions of dollars as consultants. Surely both of these things would be happening if they were really as revolutionary as they appear to think they are.

The reality is that, institutionally, everything is set up to fall on teachers' backs. We are the only allies we can possibly have. It's also the case that most teachers, from what I've seen, are hard working people who are doing all they can reasonably be expected to do for the actual students they have. Just because a teacher teaches differently than I do doesn't mean they're less effective or inferior.

Last edited by Surly; 07-25-2018 at 05:33 PM..
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Yes, we should! :)
Old 07-25-2018, 03:37 PM
 
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I think testing and admin comparing apples to oranges has made some teachers more competitive as opposed to cooperative.
At the same time, I think when you work with a large group of people, you are always going to have 1 or some coworkers who are like that especially if you have a boss that does not have really excellent management skills.
Even then, the admin is not 100% responsible for rude, nasty people. They do set the tone though.
A lot of my life , I spent in a school where people were very well mannered. We had top notch admin there too. ( We still had some back biters and nasty teachers.) They were at least quieter and more careful with the excellent admin than they would have been with poor admin.)
I remember when I was a kid...a long time ago. My mom was a teacher and even then ( long before testing), there were conflicts/ competition between some teachers that I overheard by just being around so many of them.
We all have different personalities, values, and ways of coping.
I wish everyone was nice and try to be myself, but I know there are teachers out there who value different things. Some people are just not very nice and others are. I guess I have just accepted that because of my own experiences.
It sure would be nice though if teachers all tried to be professional and kind to others.
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Teach by Example
Old 07-25-2018, 05:55 PM
 
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This is a such a relevant post that needs to be addressed in all schools. I experienced bullying and mean girls (and it wasn't the young ones who were mean like some suppose) last year. In retrospect, I think the admin ignored it because I was not a griper and I did my job. I am 50 years old and have worked many places and never experienced anything like it in all my work years!


You are correct, it is not a safe or nurturing environment. I did my best to protect and shield my kids from it by pouring myself into them rather than wasting energy on dealing with the crap they dealt me every day. It makes me angry when teachers behave in ways they would never tolerate from their students. Hypocrisy at it worst!
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
I'm not totally sure what's causing it, but I can't help but think that part of it is how evaluation procedures have changed across the country, which has left a lot of teachers more insecure about their jobs and more likely to backstab one another.
In my area (and many others, I assume) student learning outcomes are now part of our evaluations. I think this puts teachers, especially in low SES schools like mine where so many negative factors are out of our control, under a great deal of stress. I know the teachers at my school are working their butts off- but kids are not standardized, and therefore results cannot be standardized. Yet teachers are blamed- now officially on their evaluations- when students don't meet the targets.

IMO, instead of acknowledging the factors that are outside of our control-severe mental illness, trauma, disabilities and varying ability levels, etc. teachers get swept up into the rhetoric that a "great teacher" can overcome all of that and every kid can meet whatever arbitrary target is set for SLOs.

We don't even stop to think about the fact that what the state/district/whoever is asking for isn't even mathematically feasible in most cases. My state says that all children will be at or above the 40th percentile. If every single kid is at or above the 40th percentile, it's no longer the 40th percentile .

From what I've seen, this leads to teachers blaming each other: These kids wouldn't be so far behind if the Kindergarten teachers did a better job teaching phonics. These kids would meet the target if the EL teacher would just pull them at the time I asked. If the counselor did a better job with this kid, he could actually learn something. This kid would be meeting the target if he could just get a sped label. Everyone knows Mrs. _____ in 1st grade does too many fun activities and not enough learning. It's not fair because (insert grade level or specialty) has it so much easier than I do etc. etc.

As a somewhat newer teacher, I never got to teach before the era of "accountability." But I have to believe that things were better before.
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Competition
Old 07-27-2018, 04:44 AM
 
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I noticed the trend increasing as well. There are a multitude of reasons why - administrators are strong factors in creating environments in their buildings so a good administrator will facilitate cooperation and team building, reducing competition . And it is true that our society of late has definitely let loose its ugly side. But one big reason I retired early is because of just what Haley23 said: the types of testing, evaluations, and accountability that are currently in place nurture competition, or at least inhibit cooperation.
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:25 PM
 
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As the sped teacher for my school I have to communicate with 15 different teachers. Of those 15 I know exactly who I can cut up and have fun with, who I can vent to, who I can go to for help, and who I need to avoid as much as possible. There is only 1 that I feel I need to avoid, but 3 that I flat out don't trust. It's sad that I feel a full 20% of my coworkers are untrustworthy. To cope with the day to day stress I have my 1 or 2 people I vent to and other than that everyone else is kept at a superficial level. I'm nice to everyone, we get along, but they don't really know me. It's sad that adults act like this, but that is the unfortunate reality these days. You can absolutely put kids first without backstabbing your coworkers.
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