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How to tactfully help colleague
Old 08-15-2018, 01:38 PM
 
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Our administration has certain teachers "on their radars." I won't say this at school but I do think that each of these teachers has areas where they need improvement. (Don't we all though?)
Having said that, admin is completely tone-deaf socially and doesn't go about leading and supporting teachers in the right ways. One of the teachers is our SpEd teacher. She transitioned from a self-contained high school class for students with autism to a pullout elementary class for students with specific learning disabilities that she felt was her "dream job."
It was a rocky year for her. She seemed for most of it to really dislike the students she worked with...I think she imagined a different dynamic than she had with them. She did attend a conference about 3/4 of the way through the school year that got her reenergized and excited.
The conference was a "get your neon read on" theme....it was great for her attitude and her enthusiasm for the job and those parts were better. Long story short, admin let her know that one teacher said some really nasty things about her and it really demoralized her.
She wants to do a better job. The trouble seems to be that she perceives doing a better job to mean a better job decorating her classroom. She's still fragile so I don't want to destroy her newfound enthusiasm and excitement, even if misplaced. Any advice?


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Colleague advice
Old 08-16-2018, 03:31 AM
 
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Could you compliment her and tell her you've noticed her new cool room? And then at some point share ideas that you've tried to reach students or however you think could benefit her? Maybe since she didn't seem to like her students, some way of getting to know them better like interest surveys??
It would be hard to go from high school to elementary for sure!
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:05 PM
 
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I agree with complimenting her. Ima fairly new teacher and have struggled in the past. I was always one to reach out for advice and ask for help but in the meantime nobody ever told me that I was doing a good job. Yes, I had areas to improve on but I had some good things going on in my classroom and it would have been nice to be told that. It can be so exhausting to put everything into your classroom, not being perfect (because who is anyway), and constantly being told what to do better.

So, I would offer a compliment. Especially compliment her effort to go to a conference. She is willing to grow and put what she learned into practice. Maybe in a subtle way ask her what she is still struggling with and give her some simple things that she can work on right away. I know that's what I needed during some rough years.
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