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Helpless coworker
Old 07-23-2010, 09:05 PM
 
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My coworker can drive me crazy. When she doesn't understand something she demands that the rest of us explain things to her. IE, our standards. She demanded that one of us "show her how to match the text book to the standards." Another time, she got frustrated because we were going to certain trainings. Well, did SHE get off her duff and look it up online like we did? No, she whined and carried on about how SHEd like to go. So another coworker forwarded her the email TWICE. Well did she bother to show up this summer? NO.

Next she complains if parents complain about her. She actually gets irritated and cannot believe that a parent would have the audacity to say anything about her teaching (imagine a teacher who can't bother to look anything up for herself).

Well she complained about not going out with us (she is always busy) so she said she would set up our next get together. Well it had to be four weeks in advance so she could squeeze us in = then two days before she canceled.

She doesn't like our field trips, she doesn't like it if we let our students do something that she hasn't thought of - she gets mad and says we all need to be on the same page. If I were on the same page as her, I'd have people complaining about me too.

I am just tired (we all are) of doing her thinking for her. Other times she will mention her good grades (???) how smart her kids are, etc. I just don't see how when she can't even think for herself.

This year I am determined not to bail her out. I saw her the other day and she was like, Oh I need your help with a computer question. (I just tried to blow her off). She is typically congenial, and then she asks you for a favor to help her out somehow.

Ugh, this is just so frustrating.


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Same, but different.
Old 07-23-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I have had a similar experience with a student in my education cohort. I generally dislike group projects anyway, but I particularly hate being grouped with this student because she refuses to do her share of the work and then wonders why she isn't learning anything. Maybe because everyone else is forced to do the work for her in order to get the assignment done on time! Then what little work she does do is well below par. Throughout all of this, she insists on being involved in all of the decision making processes, but half the time can't be reached in a timely fashion, so everyone is always waiting for her.

This last semester, I made the mistake of taking pity on her when groups were being selected for our final projects because she was being left without a group, so I added her to ours. Not only did she do minimal work, but she actually messed up a rather large portion of the project that had already been completed by someone else.

I have one more semester with her, no more group projects with her or I will scream!
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Run, don't walk
Old 07-24-2010, 04:48 AM
 
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I've found myself with the same type of situation you describe, and I ended up trying several things...
  • avoidance (of course, that doesn't work for very long)
  • give the source and let THEM figure it out
  • just say "I really don't know"
  • send them to someone else (yeah, pass the buck)
  • and FINALLY, talked to my principal about it.
The "needy, incompetent, non-listener, I'm-too-busy, so-please, YOU-do-it-FOR-me" attitude... UGH!
They've been allowed to do this for so long, they act like they cannot think for themselves....and pretty much can't.


When I had finally had enough, I spoke to the principal about it (very professionally...mentioning her good qualities and that I really DID like this person, but I'd had enough of them not pulling their weight in the grade level, etc...) The principal talked to this person at their "end of the year" evaluation, and things improved. I don't know what was said, but I definitely saw a difference. She was offering to do things for US by the next school year.


Good Luck!
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I had a similar experience
Old 07-24-2010, 05:12 AM
 
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a few years ago when a new teacher was hired for my grade. She was extremely needy and expected to me to give her everything to use in her classroom. She also expected detailed explanations of how to do activities, grading, etc.

I really thought this level of help exceeded what a competent professional should need. It was draining but throughout the years I remained patient and helpful. She contributed minimally with some worksheets that I never used.

A few years later, she transferred to a lower grade and began using most of my stuff- unbelievable. She felt entitled to it. The principal actually had to step in and prohibit her from using certain activities and projects that were specific to my classroom and level. She was very angry and is still cold to me.

The point of this story is that I am very careful about what I share now. I don't mind giving direction or resources but I refuse to just turn over my lessons to be copied.
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Had a similar experience
Old 07-24-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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I had a similar situation happen to me about seven years ago. It annoyed me so much, it still makes me fume. That year there was an unexpected drop in enrollment in September (we were below our estimate by 35 students) so we had too many teachers. At the time, I had been assigned to teach grade seven science and had been doing so for the previous three years. Unfortunately, I ended up getting bumped to another middle school during the last week of September, and only found out two days before having to report to my new school. Well, the teacher who ended up getting my teaching package came to me for help, and I decided to give him a hand knowing that he was being thrown into this subject with no prep. This teacher had a reputation for being lazy, but I couldn't believe it when he asked me to sit down with him and go through my units literally lesson by lesson. I was like..."Uh, hello, I have just lost my position here, I have two days to pack-up my classroom, and I need to prepare for teaching an entirely new subject." Add to all of this the anger of being bumped, and the sadness of having to say goodbye to my class who, by the end of September, I had already bonded with. I remember how annoyed I felt at this individual's selfishness, and lack of consideration. He just wanted to get all he could out of me before I left. I continued to get e-mails from this individual throughout the rest of the year; all with questions about this or that. By January I had stopped responding.


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I feel your pain
Old 08-14-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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I was very fortunate to put myself through a great school known for putting out well-trained and educated teachers. I am still paying my student loans for that.

However, I have noticed that a coworker I have who does exactly the same thing mind you, was a TA who went to one of these weekend schools for getting a teaching degree. (Now if you went to a school on the weekend - I am not bashing you, I am just bashing this one particular school in MY area.)

She cannot do anything for herself either. She has been teaching with us for three years and still wont' offer an opinion on something "new" or a decision we have to make. She comes to me for "help" or to bail her out. I realized last year that much of the info that she needed was stuff I had in school. And to top it off, she has 0 classroom management skills. Her kids are jumping off the wall and all she can do to them is threaten them. So she also has lots of parent requests.

I finally decided to cut her off. I started eating in my room (lunch was a major time to hear her comments and whines). I haven't heard hide nor hair from her this year. I would say 'avoidance" is the major thing to do.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I had a coworker email me once and say, "I'm teaching a workshop to some first grade teachers and I was wondering if you could tell me how you teach reading."

Um...in an email?

I offered to meet with him and discuss what he wanted, but apparently he was too busy.

Hmmm...
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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It seems like everything I do is being done in a nearby class. I gladly share most of my ideas, but sometimes I would like things just to be special to my classroom. Even our decor and where things are posted is eriely similiar.
Gets a little frustrating....
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yes, lte's mom!
Old 09-17-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I so agree! I have a co-worker who basically uses all of my materials and calls it "our curriculum". I have had to search for new ideas to keep my class feeling a little special. She says she doesn't know how to search for ideas on the Internet like I do. What?? I was teaching before the Internet...THAT was tough for idea creation. She has it much easier now.
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