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My new grade level partner has lost her mind.
Old 07-03-2017, 10:44 AM
 
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I am a regular poster, but I am signing out for reasons. I have a co-worker who will be my new grade level partner thereby replacing my current grade level partner and best friend. It was hard on everyone when the announcement was made. My best friend has been teaching that grade for over fifteen years and she truly embodies that grade, but she is switching places with my new grade level partner.

No one is really on good terms with this woman because she is very opinionated. She finished up her internship at a well-performing neighboring district where she has repeatedly said that that district does things a lot differently and she always compares her internship placement to where she is now.

My best friend is hurt about the grade change and she is going through a really tragic familial situation as well, so she is taking her time to heal through the summer and cope with all the changes.

We haven't been out of school for a month and my new grade level partner has been texting, calling, and leaving voicemail messages about them getting together and moving my friend's things out of the classroom. Very rudely might I add. She wants to do it next week or the week after. My friend has years and years and years worth of materials in her classroom and closet. She is being downsized to a class that is half the size with literally no storage place. However, she wants to be close to her family at this difficult time and she normally goes in a week before pre-planning week anyway. However, my new partner wants to do it in the upcoming two weeks.

The latest voicemail drove my friend over the edge and she called me because she was so upset about how rude this woman is to her. She hasn't answered any of the woman's communication attempts because of her attitude. Everyone knows we don't have to switch classrooms until pre-planning week, but she wants to do it beforehand so she can spend in her fully decorated classroom during pre-planning week doing lesson plans. My friend is not obligated to go in weeks before school.

How this woman is going about this is completely unacceptable and I told my friend to let the admins know what she is doing. You can't chastise and bother someone because you want it to your way.

This woman is nearly fifty years old. She shouldn't be acting like this. No educator should act like this.

She's absolutely lost her mind and I do not look forward dealing with her this upcoming school year.


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Old 07-03-2017, 11:36 AM
 
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You and your friend should send an email stating that you will not be entering the school until the designated time. ( Is there anyway you can leave this as an out of office reply for her email only?) Acknowledge the fact that you realize she wants to get her room organized, but you or your friend will not be coming in until professional development starts. If she continues to email just keep up the same mantra. Block her from your phone until it is time to enter the school.
Too bad you can't say something like, "Wow sounds like your first placement was excellent? How come they didn't hire you?"
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:50 AM
 
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Your friend needs to set her straight -- but not burn bridges.

A nice email stating that she has a family situation going on this summer that requires her full attention -- and will not be able to come in until (insert appropriate day). Then your friend needs to put an out of office message for her email, block the number on her phone, etc.

I would let the principal, secretary and the custodial team know that she should not be in your friend's moving things around -- because you know she will try.

As her new partner -- you can just say the above to her as well. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:05 PM
 
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I can definitely see both sides. Your friend needs some time off and this new person is pressuring her. On the other hand, I've moved classrooms 4 times in my 12 years and each time I set up before preplanning. Ofcourse though if she doesn't want to go in early, she shouldn't have to. I just can see why the new one would want to set up early. It's always nice to be able to focus on planning during the required days - especially when making a grade change.

In most of the schools in my area, everyone packs up their room and labels their stuff with the room number. That way, if there is a room change, the custodians just move stuff to the new room when they are cleaning out the rooms. That would have reallly helped this situation. Is there anyway that the custodians can help?
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:18 PM
 
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Honestly, I understand why this woman wants to get into her new classroom. I would want time to get settled in before preplanning time as well. It sounds like she isn't going about it right, but ignoring her communication isn't right either.


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Old 07-03-2017, 12:55 PM
 
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I can certainly understand why your friend doesn't want to go in, but it isn't really fair to the new teacher either. Of course, your friend has no obligation, but it is still a bad situation for both. How long before school ended did your friend know she was getting moved? Did she have family issues then? If not and if she knew before the last week of school, it sounds passive-agressive to not pack up then. It sounds like she may be taking out her frustrations at getting moved on this new teacher, and that's not fair. Nevertheless, I understand her desire to be with her family member and not packing her room up, and the right place to be is with her family. (ETA: I assumed there was a family medical emergency, but upon rereading I see it might be that she is grieving from a loss.)

How many days of pre-service are there? Are they days filled with training or are they days that are free? How soon after pre-service are teachers expected to have their rooms ready for meet-the-teacher?

Since you are the BFF and the former teammate, why don't you go in and pack up your friend's stuff? You would be able to pack it in boxes in an organized way since you know her and the curriculum, and could probably do a good job of boxing stuff separately that you know she will want vs boxes of stuff she probably wants to go through. It would be a lot of work for you, but if she's your BFF and going through a family tragedy, it would be a great kindness. Run it by her and get her ok, but encourage her to accept your offer.

Last edited by tyrex; 07-03-2017 at 12:59 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Compromise
Old 07-03-2017, 12:59 PM
 
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This is not an ideal situation by any means. However, you have to work with the new teacher and want as smooth of a transition as possible. Can you and your friend at least make room for the new teacher to bring her things in? Will your friend allow you to go in and take things off of the wall and box them up. Tell the new teacher you and/or your friend can give x amount of time on a specific day, but that is it until the end of summer. You want to have a working relationship with this woman. I understand your anger and frustration that your friend has been moved, but it isn't the new teacher's fault.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:09 PM
 
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Our janitorial staff only helps with moving furniture. We have large walk-in closets, so we put all of our teaching materials (personal and district) in our closets. We have to move our own things when we switch classrooms. The reason why my colleague wasn't able to pack her things to move to the other class was because she was under the assumption that she would remain in our grade until the very last day of post-planning when it was close to leaving for the summer and she was called into the admin's office.

However, there is a difference between being eager and being demanding.

No one should feel obligated to answer phone calls or text messages from someone who is being rude and inconsiderate of someone's summer break, texting at least three times a week and calling at least four. I don't blame her for not answering considering the woman speaks to others in a very condescending tone. She's not making suggestions about going in early. She's making demands.

That's not right no matter how eager she is to get into the classroom. If she truly wants to plan then she can do it during the summer until she can get into the classroom.

The only person who would burn bridges is her because she is a mid-year hire teacher moving from an upper grade teaching one subject to a lower grade teaching all subjects. If she treats people like this, people will be less likely to her.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:25 PM
 
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Instead of completely ignoring her, it may be wise for your friend to reply with a brief note saying due to family issues and she is unable to return to school until the pre-planning week as required by district procedures.

You friend would be proactive to forward all email and texts from your new coworker to your principal so he/she sip prepared for any issues that come up.

I would stay out of the issue between your new coworker and friend. You're going to have to work with this new coworker. Appearing to be uninvolved with the craziness can help you avoid the drama that the new gal will no doubt want to drag in to your grade level.

You're a good friend for supporting your former coworker as she deals with the difficulties in her life.

Last edited by Renea; 07-03-2017 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:29 PM
 
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I don't feel comfortable going into my friend's closet and packing up her things because she wants to do this on her own. She's moving to a different grade level, so she'll probably want to purge a lot of things. Plus, I have a back injury and I can't reach and bend for hours to pack boxes. In addition, I have obligations during the summer that I can't back out of. But I, too, will be going in the week before pre-planning week like she and I always do.

My new partner wants to go in the week of 7/10 or 7/17.

We don't report back until August 7. That nearly a month away.

School policy-wise, she doesn't have to move classrooms until August 7, but she's going in a week early anyway. She's going in early, just not as easy as my new partner would like. I get that my new partner wants to get into the classroom, but she needs to be considerate of other people's time considering going in and cleaning out her closet is unpaid time and she has young children to look after.

Though my new partner didn't agree to be switched, neither did my friend.


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Old 07-03-2017, 01:49 PM
 
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Your new coworker can cool her jets and work on the curriculum and schedules the week she wants to move. There will be plenty for her to do organizing her new curriculum without your help. She's a grown up and can figure out how to prepare for a new grade level before her room is ready.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:34 PM
 
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Agree with Renea. Of course she's eager, but sometimes things don't go exactly the way you want. She just needs to be patient. Also I agree with the PP that said you should stay out of it. Be supportive of your friend, and listen to her get it off her chest, but don't insert yourself into the situation.

Last edited by apple annie; 07-03-2017 at 06:50 PM..
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Drama
Old 07-03-2017, 03:01 PM
 
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Understand your vent...stay out of the drama. Just be glad you don't have to move rooms or grade levels. Be careful too because some administrators will make it your problem by either making you move rooms or grade levels just because they can.

Our new principal is moving at least half of the staff,15 teachers , to new grade levels and classrooms next year.

Last year, he even moved 1 teacher from K to 5th grade 3 days before school started.

Repeat ...stay out of the drama
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moving classrooms
Old 07-03-2017, 03:15 PM
 
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I also used to like to go in about two weeks bef. we have to report and get the classroom finished. I couldn't do it one year due to the other teacher's things still in the classroom, but I sure didn't bother her during the summer to get her stuff out.

What I did was organize what was going up on the boards, walls, and door and get all signs and posters ready. I packed everything neatly in boxes and when I was able to do the room, I got done in record time. Enough so that I stopped cutting my summer short and just started getting things ready at home from then on.

Maybe you can suggest this idea to your new team mate if she calls you.
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Tough situation.
Old 07-03-2017, 03:32 PM
 
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Your friend is in a difficult situation. It is kind of you to support her as she navigates these new circumstance she didn't plan on.

I'm not sure how it goes in other districts, but we are given very little planning time when teachers report back for professional development the week before the students show up. If we're lucky and depending upon the principal's whims, we may get one and one and one-half days or two full days of "classroom prep" time when we're not receiving PD or in mandatory meetings. If I had to rely on another teacher to pack up 15 years of items during those two days PLUS get all of my stuff in, I'd be very upset and anxious. I'd expect to start preparing my classroom as soon as everyone else starts, not wait around while someone is packing. It sucks, and no, it isn't mandatory, but on my campus teachers always clear out their items well in advance of our return to school if they're moving classrooms or campuses. The only exception I can think of are teachers who retire and leave a bunch of items behind for the incoming teacher to keep or throw away, which I find rude, but that's another post.

I'm sorry your new teammate is bothering your friend. I don't agree with the new teammate's approach, but your friend should return her call or send an e-mail and let her know when she will be fully moved out so your new teammate can make plans. That is the courteous thing to do and will hopefully stop the pestering. I know she doesn't have to answer or make work related calls during the summer, but it is a short order that could take care of a large problem. If you're not able to help your friend move, she hopefully has a good plan in place and plenty of help for when she's feeling up to it to get herself moved and settled. I've helped more teachers move than I can count, it always takes way longer than you think it will.
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:56 PM
 
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I agree to stay out of the drama...

Your friend should just text her the school's policy.


No explanation needed.

Have your friend text admin if she still persists.



Our policy is that teachers need to move their stuff before they are cleared to leave. No room for drama.

Be there to listen to your friend, but don't get involved.
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Moving
Old 07-03-2017, 06:45 PM
 
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Wow that's awful. We aren't allowed in the school over the summer at all. The feeling is that the custodians can't get their work done if they have to step all over the teachers, etc. Do you have a contract? If you do, you don't have to work on any days that aren't assigned to you. If you want to, it's your choice.

I feel bad for anyone who has admin that moves everyone around all the time. How can you be effective if you don't get to refine your practice at one grade level?

Tell your friend to respond by saying, "I won't be available until X day". Be nice about it, but firm.
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Ugh...
Old 07-03-2017, 07:54 PM
 
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What are the chances CrayCray gets an okay from a higher up to move your friend's things out?

I get your friend doesn't have to come in until X date, but I have seen people transfer rooms with the administration's blessing, especially if you could move person A into a totally empty room. The reason being, you should not have anything of value in the classroom after the last day of school. So if Principal Skittles is willing to supervise the transfer of things, not much you can do. There is your stuff in piles. You do what you want and beg for forgiveness later.

I would only respond that move in date is (whatever) to CrayCray's inquires. And stay the heck out of this poop storm.

At my DD school, to get rid of older teachers, they'd get punted to Kindergarten. Or Kindergarten teacher to a Lord of th Flies 5th grade class. I so hope that isn't the case for your friend.
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Your admin might take the woman's side
Old 07-03-2017, 08:17 PM
 
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I've seen a lot of room switching and mostly nobody likes it. Pretty much everybody who is switching packs up the room in entirety and the custodians move the boxes within a week of school being out. In a few cases where it's a last minute and there was a vacation planned the admin might give the person two weeks to do it.

I think your friend should ask for help and get her stuff out of there asap. I bet she's not happy about the move either. Even if she is, she should be able to put her room together well before school starts, especially if she is changing grade levels.
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:45 AM
 
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I see several things going. This goes beyond the new teacher wanting to move in early. There is major negativity about the move that had nothing to do with the new teacher which makes me wonder if that is clouding perception of the situation. You co-worker added to the problem by not answering the communication of the new teacher from the start. It really isn't professional to ignore a co-worker even if they don't request something in a preferred way. It never ceases to amaze me when professionals justify ignoring others because the are perceived as rude, especially when you must work with that person on an ongoing basis.

Should your co-worker go in to help? Well that depends on school policy and what was supposed to be done prior to the end of the school year. Here teachers who move rooms must be packed up prior to check out to allow custodial staff to do their job and have the new occupant time to myself ve in and set up. The only time new occupants can't come in is during summer school when offered or the two weeks custodians have free rein.

I guess my question is, why did your co-worker ignore her? And is passive-aggressive going to be the way you handle her all year?

I guess I just don't see the professional benefit for you, the administration, or the families to create drama rather than being the bigger professional and try to fix it.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:33 AM
 
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good friend and supporting your friend is very admirable. I feel for your friend. She is hurting and you want to be there for her. Her family situation makes this an even more emotionally charged situation.

When looking at a situation, I try to give people the benefitof the doubt. We really don't know what the new teacher is thinking or feeling. Maybe she is feeling very stressed to get things organized. I try to be understanding especially when communication is through texting and email. Using those forms of communication to draw conclusions about someone's intent can lead us to make wrong assumptions. Maybe she doesn't know about your friends situation or the severity of it. Maybe she left a voicemail and when she didn't hear back she tried texting and when she didn't hear back she emailed. (I have been guilty of this myself. . .thinking someone must not have gotten the other form of communication.)

Since she is a newbie, Maybe she doesn't know what the school policy is. In my district it was the exact opposite. Teachers had to pack up at the end of the school year. If rooms were changed, they moved on the last day or soon thereafter. If the change was made later, the new teacher could get in the room and the boxes would be set to the side so they could begin to oraganize the closet and rest of the classroom as they had time.

IMHO, the new teacher asking to get in the classroom is a reasonable thing to ask, but her methods are probably not good. What is a win win solution for all involved? Several times over my career, I helped pack up friend's classrooms when they were unable to do so. We worked together with teachers who knew the situation and labeled all the boxes for our colleagues and had a few teens (of other teachers) pitch in to move everything to the new room. We numbered the boxes so nothing would be lost. It wasn't perfect, but our colleagues felt blessed to have it completed and the new teachers were grateful to have a clean classroom. You mentioned your friend will need to sort things out which could take some time. It may be easier to have everything in her new space and sort box by box on her own time schedule. Could you organize a few teachers and assorted young people to do the packing and moving and you could supervise it? A few hours from a group of people could get it accomplished.

If this is not possible, your friend should respond to the new teacher with the date she plans to move her
things and include a brief description of her situation. (Maybe something like "Due to a death in my family, I am grieving. I plan to move my classroom on August ? I am sorry for the inconvenience." Something like that should be sufficient.

You will have to work with the new person and it would be best to stay out of any more drama. A simple "I feel for you" or "what can I do to help you right now" can go a long way to diffusing the situation and set the tone for the new year. Good luck!
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:37 AM
 
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First I would tell your friend to call the union if you have one and tell them what is going on and ask them what she should do. I would write everything down and date it in a journal what this person is doing because she is basically harassing your friend. Your friend does not have to respond to the harasser because she is on vacation. She can ignore the calls and texts and play dumb when she returns to school because she does not owe the harasser anything. There are set vacation dates.

If the calls and texts are driving your friend crazy, your friend could send that other person ONE friendly text telling the harasser that it's great that she is so conscientious and diligent but she won't be at school until a certain date. That's it,and after that enjoy the rest of the summer. End of story.

If she keeps calling or texting and your friend really is getting irritated, I would think about using the following actions: I would call the secretary in the office and ask that person when administration will be coming back. Or ask them if your administration has an emergency phone number so they can be reached. I would calmly tell administration what is going on. Telling administration now might stop the harasser for future harassment, too.
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What is in your friend's best interest
Old 07-04-2017, 08:50 AM
 
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I reread all the posts because it's interesting to see how others think. There's something I wanted to add.

It might be best for your friend to go in now and move her things because going back to work is in itself a huge amount of stress and labor. Having to move a room back to back with planning for a new year sounds awful.

If your friend just goes in and spends a couple of days purging and moving.... and setting up her new classroom, she can then go home and have more vacation. Come Aug. 7, she'll go in with a room all set up and everything will be so much better for her. If she waits, she'll have to not only deal with that move at the beginning of the year, but also the anger of being moved will be reignited. Best to just deal with it, put it behind her, and move on.

I had a horrible man for a principal who made me move 3 years in a row and to new grade levels too. He justified it because the school had the need and I could teach various curriculums. I remember very well watching everybody else skip off to vacation while I was literally pulling the janitor's cart back and forth moving my stuff. Thankfully he moved on and that stopped happening, but I remember being really angry about it. What I've learned over the course of my career is that it's best to just accept what you can't change and just let it go. Try to establish a good working relationship with that new gal. It will be to your best interest to do that.

Good Luck
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About administration...
Old 07-04-2017, 09:06 AM
 
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I would not call myself for the friend.

For one, it's assuming administration has your friend's back. What if they believe, an overwhelmed person grieving, moving grades and classrooms, having to grind through 15 years of things can't do it in X amount of time? If you are such a good friend, would you like to help supervise the move if we want to move her into her new classroom earlier? Now what will you say? No? Well, why did you bring it up?

I feel horrible for your friend. She's dealing whatever at home, getting punted to grade she didn't want, and a small classes room with no room for anything. Going through 15 years of things would make me openly weep.

All you can do is make suggestions...

Contact the union
Contact administration
One last text to CrayCray when she will be in.

You communications to Cray should be polite. You will have 180 or so days with her. In the end, your friend's issues aren't yours. Once your friend finally gets back to teaching, this part of the mess is done. You, on the other hand will have to deal with this coworker. Don't set it up for a long miserable year over something that is not your battle.
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Tough spot to be in!
Old 07-04-2017, 09:23 AM
 
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First off, I am so sorry for your friend. Unless you go through something tragic you do not understand that the daily things that you once thought a problem are really just minute irritations. Your new grade level partner will just have to suck it up and deal with it. I am sure she will have enough time to set up her classroom.

Your friend should just text her that it is not possible to come in early and to please not move her belongings. I strongly suggest that you avoid all of the drama as you will be placed right in the middle of it all.

This is a tough spot to be in, but try to avoid being in the middle by gently excusing yourself from any discussion about either teacher.
Wishing you the best
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:44 AM
 
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My friend only told me what happened, but I haven't approached my new coworker or anything. So I am no way involved in the drama, but I am very upset for my friend. She lost her mother and her father is very ill. I understand why PPs can see my new coworker's side, but no one haven't listened to the voicemail messages or the text messages to justify her approach about this. There are downright nasty, plus someone in the front office must have given her my friend's personal cell because on the staff summer directory, my friend only listed her home phone. Granted, that's not my new coworker's fault to release that kind of information, but still. So my friend is even more upset that her personal number is being handed out.

I pretty much stand by my friend's decision of not answering her phone. She's not obligated to answer calls or text messages. I don't think that is being unprofessional when she wants to spend her summer with her family. My friend shouldn't have to accommodate my new coworker. The two of them aren't the only teachers who are switching classrooms/grades.

If my friend decides to respond by saying, "No. I'm not coming in because XYZ."

Is it okay for my new coworker to go into the classroom and move my friend's stuff?

My new coworker knows the policy about moving classrooms.

Our district/school policy about cleaning/moving rooms is different from most, but it is what it is.

I am, of course, going to maintain a professional relationship with my new coworker, but I know it's not going to be a partnership like my friend and I had. When she and I found out that we would be grade level partners next year, I extended an olive branch about helping her understand the curriculum, how to teach writing, literacy centers, and guided reading because our primary grade is tough and our student population are great kids but tough if you don't start the year off right, but she declined. She struggled with all of these areas this past school year in an upper grade level, so my admins encouraged me to "mentor" her in a way to help her out because she is a newbie teacher going into a hard grade level. Last week, I offered to help again via a phone call by meeting up or just having a chit-chat, but she once again declined.

She's made it known that she wants to do a lot of things she observed during her internship and she knows these things are different from what the other teachers are doing at our school, so she doesn't need help. Her words, not mine. So, she's going to do her and I'll be in my room doing me.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:17 AM
 
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Nasty or not, it is not professional to meet unprofessionalism with more unprofessionalism. It doesn't lead to moving toward a healthy working relationship.

Are you implying that she first tried to contact your friend via the private cell phone rather than the home phone or work e-mail? Or was that a tactic employed after the new co-worker was ignored?

I do have to ask, "but still" what? If someone else provided that cell information, it isn't the fault of the new co-worker so why the "but still"? You said it isn't her fault but you still blame her. Can't have it both ways.

I believe that many people would get a bit irritated by being ignored, especially when they too want to plan their summer and get started off on the right foot for their job.
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About moving stuff...
Old 07-04-2017, 12:00 PM
 
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If Cray clears it with administration, and you have a weak union, she probably can clear out the room. Even more so when you add in her father being ill.

I had my grandmother, mother and friend die within two months of each other. I was 39. Your friend is really, really, REALLY lucky she has time to grieve and time to be with her with her father. I had to be back to work three days after the dirt hit my mom's casket. My mom was 81, and in reality nobody really cares but you and the family. About a month afterwards, everyone moves on and you are stuck with this bag of awful to deal with.

Cray is interesting because she is an older hire. A 50 year old new hire wouldn't happen around here without that person being a very good friend of someone (district/administration). Usually it's blonde, peppy 23 year old who doesn't make waves.

If you guys hire anyone that can fog up a mirror, with little luck, maybe she'll move on. If it's 300 applications/one opening, between grade shake up, moving classes, and hiring someone isn't a go with the flow person, I would keep a look out for what else is coming down the pike.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:06 PM
 
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I'm sorry for the rough time your friend is going through.

This situation is tough on both sides. I can understanding wanting to get set up and I can understand needing to separate from work to deal with family issues. I do think your friend should respond to this other person. I'm sure the communication from the other person is just going to amp up and become more demanding if there is no response. It sounds like there is some anxiety happening on that end. A text response that just says when she is planning to return and move the room and that she is unavailable before that time (and will not be responding to any communication from school until then) is what I would suggest.

Like your new partner, I'd prefer to have the stuff moved before summer so I could concentrate on other things during pre-planning (and the weeks before that), but I understand that your friend has too much going on to worry about that right now and she's not obligated to do it. But refusing to communicate is also not cool and will just allow your new partner to amp up her efforts (which will continue to be distressing), imho.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:09 PM
 
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I think there is too much "she is not obligated" going on here. I'm being honest that that kind of attitude wouldn't fly at my school. Clearly the new hire is not being considerate in her expectations, but neither is your friend. One courteous response MAY have prevented some of this. I'm sorry for her loss and grieving but maybe she has someone else that is willing to help her pack up and be done. Taking the high road may prove to be a load off of her shoulders after all.
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:36 PM
 
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I agree with HiHoCherryO 100%.
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:39 PM
 
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The moving schedule for your school does sound stressful.

In the districts where I've worked, everyone moving had their moves to their new classrooms completed before they left for the summer. Those moving had posted schedules, right down to the exact time of day that items had to be in boxes-janitors came to move the boxes at that exact time.

Does your long time partner need help in moving? It would be nice if some of the team would help her. Hopefully, if she knew of the move before school ended, she would have already done some packing. She might need friends to step up and get things started/help her.

I can honestly see the new person wanting her things to be in place, giving her extra days to get comfortable with her new assignment.
Wanting to do this in the middle of summer is a bit early, but the week before teachers start inservice would seem reasonable.

Sounds like admin. might have moved your partner to make things less stressful for her, considering the recent family changes you mentioned. Once settled into her new position, she might be relieved.

I do agree with the other posters in that a polite response from your friend to the new teacher might be nice. Things could be settled and the rest of the summer could be enjoyed more by both parties.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:04 PM
 
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It is interesting to see the input from others about the situation, but this is merely a vent as an upset friend. The advice given for my friend, I'm not going to tell her what she should and shouldn't do. However, at the end of the day, what my friend decides to do is her decision to make regardless of anyone's opinion. Everyone's circumstances are different and people react to family losses differently. If she doesn't want to focus on my new coworker's messages about going in next week or the week after, she doesn't have to. Sometimes, in times of grief, people do things that may seem "irrational" to others. She's human.

It's her summer vacation and this is her time to HEAL.

She lost her mother.
Her father is terribly ill.
She's trying to cope with the loss with her family.

Family losses triumph someone wanting to go to their new classroom early and being rude about it.

Regardless, not my decision to make and I'm not going to tell her what to do. How she decides to cope shouldn't be up for judgment because it's not hurting anyone.
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Work on something else
Old 07-04-2017, 06:46 PM
 
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I understand the new person wanting in the room. That would not be happening in my district during the summer. The janitors have the building during the summer. We are given a date that we can come in and work on our rooms starting about 2 weeks before we are due. That should be more than enough time to do a room if you take care of stuff at home. If the lady wants the stuff moved get her to have the assistant principal supervise and/or move it. They get paid to work days during the summer. Have your friend send her one message and that's it. If she doesn't want to come in she shouldn't. Also, I think you say in one of your other posts that it her stuff was boxed and in a closet. Why can't the new teacher work in the other areas of the room. And yeah, I would be very annoyed if I kept getting text and calls. I also would be very mad if some one gave out my number without permission. Don't really care the reason. The person giving out the number should have called her first to make sure it was ok.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:16 PM
 
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I hate that this woman is driving your friend loony. First. You are going to have to work with this woman, so,you have to be careful. Second, I think an email statin, " I understand your eagerness to get into your new room. Because it has been my room for many, many years, I would like an opportunity to go through my things, because I have some things that I think you could use (&#128526. Unfortunately, due to a situation in my family, I am not able to get into my room to start packing until______. I really appreciate your understanding at this difficult time. Have a great summer and I will be in touch with you later."

She should send a message with a clear date to move, then move on. If the woman persists in bounding your friend, she can just reply with the original email.

I've been in the position where I've had to move rooms after a long time. It's such a pain and it is hard when the other teacher isn't out yet. There are some extenuating circumstances here that she needs to consider.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:20 PM
 
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Just curious-why did your principal move them
from their previous assignment??? How are you partners?? Could it be that she's acting this way because she got her assignment changed??? Either way your friend needs to STICK to the district policy!! it starts with this and then she will just keep doing things her own way. Bottom like is that I would send her a text letting her know that you will be planning or whatever you need to do together when you have to do it officially- otherwise she will be expecting you to work weekends!!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Wow Really?'s Message:
It is interesting to see the input from others about the situation, but this is merely a vent as an upset friend. The advice given for my friend, I'm not going to tell her what she should and shouldn't do. However, at the end of the day, what my friend decides to do is her decision to make regardless of anyone's opinion.
But if you are her best friend, as you stated, you can give her advice and if she is your best friend she will LISTEN to your advice, not that she has to take it.

Ok, so I'm just going to say it. To me you're getting a little defensive about this whole situation and your 'name', Wow Really?, is a little over the top, don't you think?

You also stated
Quote:
Wow Really?'s Message:
It is interesting to see the input from others about the situation, but this is merely a vent
Do you really think you can post on a message board and not expect people to reply and to give advice? If that's not what you're wanting either a)state that from the beginning or b)don't post it.

It's not even your issue, and not one that you're wanting to help with, so why involve yourself and get so worked up over it?
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Drama = stress
Old 07-05-2017, 06:49 AM
 
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It is difficult to see friends hurting from personal tragedy and from professional issues too. It is impossible to avoid the stress involved with the situation because you think about it. I find if I think about it, I am involved in the drama. Good luck. Teaching is stressful enough all by itself. When home life becomes stressful, it can become very difficult to think straight. Good luck with the transition to having a new partner this next school year. Sometimes all that is needed from a friend is to be an ear. It is amazing what happens when you talk out your problems to someone else. You are helping your friend just be listening.
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New Partner
Old 07-05-2017, 09:10 AM
 
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First of all, I am sorry for your partner's loss and difficult family issues. It's difficult to cope with that on top of teaching and drama at school! You are grieving, too, because you lost a good working relationship. Your friend should definitely respond with, "I am available on (date), and please do not move my items"). She also needs to document every conversation, text, email, etc. because it could be construed as harassment. Does your friend have a good relationship with admin? Or is she being moved because admin doesn't like her?

Completely apart from your friend's issue, I see a big red flag (flags?) here. The new teacher (NT) is being unprofessional in a variety of ways that will not endear her to you or to the rest of the staff. Just curious, does she have relatives in District or school admin? School Board?

You need to document every communication you have with NT. If admin is expecting you to mentor her, YOU could have a problem if that doesn't occur. Cover your bases and document every phone call, text, email, conversation, etc., especially when it involves her refusing your help.

Once you have done that, let her fail! OK I will be kinder and more current by saying, let her experience growth. She sounds like the stereotypical, "I learned this and you're doing it wrong"-type of NT. They can be hard to work with, which is an understatement, I know! My suggestion for you is to close your door and do what you know is right for your kids. She can do the same. If she struggles, you can offer suggestions, but it sounds like she won't take them.

Good luck. Find something that you like to do to take your mind off the loss of the partnership.
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One last suggestion...
Old 07-05-2017, 10:51 AM
 
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My sister (who works HR) brought this point up.

In the non union/non teaching world, what this new teacher is doing is SAP. You get a jump on a new project, new position, new whatever. Even if your contract states (X) , you are still expect to go beyond the call of duty. This might mean coming in for a few hours on your own time. It does mean reaching out to team members during off hours.

My family is heavily involved with the United Auto Workers Union. There is absolutely no wiggle room in those contracts. If your job ends at 4 pm, your behind better be out the door. Otherwise the unon rep will be all over you like white on rice. If you have off time for model change over, you better not be anywhere near the plant. The company can face fines if workers come in during non scheduled hours. My husband got in HUGE trouble working over time and not claiming it.

If this woman has NEVER worked a union job, she has no clue how things roll. If your union is very strong, and everyone understands you never talk shop on off hours or come in, it might be worth having the rep contact her to drive the point home. Otherwise, this will be a thorn in your side the whole year.

I get HR should have expained it, but usually HR is not union. And while you are filling out the 80 forms for employment, the seriousness of the union contract gets glossed over.

I get you'd wish NewTeacher would DIAF, and have everything go back as it was. Why I suggest the union rep is 1) this woman may be that clueless how union contracts work and 2) it will back off the crazy for suggestioning off hours meeting/weekend nonsense.

My sister has the opposite problem of people coming from a union background, and not getting the memo things are handled differently.

The union probably can back off the NewTeacher, giving you and your co worker a little peace.

You shouldn't have to do it, but it will save you grief later on.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:54 AM
 
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I am sure the new teacher is getting pressure to move out of her room as well? These things tend to have a domino effect. I personally don't think your friend is obligated to move now, but why not just get it over with? My father died at the end of a school year, but I was perfectly capable of coming in and taking care of business.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:03 AM
 
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I feel for both ladies. I lost two uncles, an aunt, and my mom in a two year span. Two losses in a two week period. Then after loosing my mom my dad's home flooded and was a total loss in the huge flood of 2016 in Louisiana, he is 76 and can not physically do much of what needed to be done to get him moved. I still had to to do my job and move out of my class, during the school year, so another school could move in as a temp army location. I would in no way want to wait two weeks or so before school to move and set up a class. I would suggest that your friend at least make room for her to move in around your fiends things.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:51 PM
 
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Wow.. this is a pretty crappy situation.

I can see the new teacher wanting to come in and set her things up, I would not want to wait until the beginning of school.

I can see your friend being upset by getting all the pressure to move.

I can see you being upset, having lost a great working partner and hearing what your friend is going through.

I think it is crappy for several reasons. The biggest reason I see is that this woman is going to be your grade level partner, you are going to have to work closely with her this year and it is already starting off on a bad note. Could your friends perspective being influencing yours? As a friend I would not put someone in this position especially if they are going to have to work together next year.

I also see how it may be frustrating to this other teacher, sending emails and trying to get something done and being given the cold shoulder. I totally get her grief. I lost my dad, my grandfather and my uncle/godfather in a 3 month span and then my grandmother 2 months later. It certainly would not hurt the situation to send the teacher an email stating that it just can't be done at this time. Ignoring her is not very professional, imo.

FWIW, I was moving classrooms a few years ago. We were told the custodians were moving things on July 10th. I went in on July 7th to finish packing. When I got to my room, it was full of the new teachers stuff. She and her mother had dumped all my stuff into the middle of my new classroom! It was a huge mess to deal with.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:13 PM
 
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I can definitely see your friend's POV. She should not have to worry about packing up her room in the summer. I would respond one time and say the stuff will be moved by whatever day she thinks is reasonable and then I would not respond again.
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Professionalism
Old 07-05-2017, 06:50 PM
 
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Some of these posts just blow my mind. (Starting with the strong union post). I work in California and have CTA, which is a VERY strong union. My district's union is very strong.

However, in my three decades I have never seen anyone work to the contract. Mind you, if we're having trouble negotiating a contract, that would be an option to do just before we strike.

Honestly, I don't understand the mentality that's going on here. Teachers put in whatever hours they need to in order to meet their obligations. Those extra hours include voluntary time during the summer and before school. IT IS A FACT, if you put in the needed before school time, your class will run smoother, both teacher and students will remain calmer and your room will be efficient.

True, sometimes colleagues have different POV and personalities, but in today's world, you put that aside and collaborate and maintain professionalism.

I CAN NOT imagine ignoring a colleagues email in this situation. We aren't just obligated to our own students, but we're obligated to our entire school community..to all the kids and to each other. Having resentment and being passive aggressive because somebody offended someone is very immature and really isn't a character trait a teacher should have.

Every year I have taught, teachers have been sick, some have died, families are sick and people die. I watched three women with cancer who ultimately died teach and give it their all until the end. That this woman can't come in and move her stuff just doesn't ring true. It's actually the PERFECT time to move and get her room ready. Nobody is there at school to distract or bother you.

I get the vents. I do. Because I have been subjected to just about everything in my journey. My Dos and Don'ts: Don't gossip. Don't gang up on a teacher. Don't take another teacher's inventory (like say what's wrong with them) Do Be generous to a fault with each other. Do Be Nice to EVERYONE, whether you like them or not. Do put Principles before personalities. If you are offended, Do let it go. Most essential, Don't Gossip.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:02 PM
 
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Wow, it's interesting that everyone has fallen into one of two camps. I hope that you will follow up later and let everyone know what finally happened with the room switch. I wish you, your old partner, and your new partner the best.

Here's a quote for food for thought:
(By the way, it posted waaaay larger than intended )
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:56 PM
 
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I think this is admin's fault for the late notice. Both teachers have the right to move when they want in this circumstance. Normally, one would move at the end of the year and one at the beginning. However, like someone else said there are other people moving as well. This is the principal's fault for not facilitating when the moves needed to happen, IMO. In my district, we get two extra paid days for a last minute move. Admin should have suggested when those would take place.

My story was a job share story. Way back when, I got hired mid-year to teach half time K in a room that was already in use in the morning. The room was FULL and the teacher wasn't thrilled (I don't blame her) for having to clean up and rearrange to make room for me. The principal paid me to come in for two days prior to winter break to "set up the classroom, meet my students, and show them their new space." However, he didn't let the other teacher know that and she was counting on moving stuff (on her own time) right before break ended since she was just told my start date with the kids. I ended up having to rearrange my visit to family over the holidays and bring my stuff in right as she was moving hers out. It was not a good situation! We made it work and managed reasonably well the rest of the year, but it was never particularly friendly. The reality was that the problem wasn't me, it was admin ignoring the effect this had on her!
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:33 PM
 
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I've read all the replies.

Obviously there are hard feelings about the move.

Obviously the new teacher is not well liked.

This is drama that if not handled will affect everyone next year too.

The truth is, your friend should have answered the first inquiry with a short friendly reply letting her know when she would be available to make the move. Then your friend wouldn't be feeling pressure from the new one.

I think the Golden Rule applies here more than professionalism.

The way my mind works is that I would think your friend would feel better once school starts if she had already done the purging.

No matter what, it will take your friend a long time...probably all of next year to deal with the loss of the mother and go through the holidays all all the other times that will the first time without her mother. I surely hope since her dad is really ill, that he doesn't pass away because that will be the last straw for her.

I hope your friend heals somewhat during the summer and that you can have a reasonably cordial relationship with your new partner.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:03 AM
 
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I am a little surprised the room wasn't emptied at the end of the year. If I was moving into a new room, I would want to do too. Perhaps she is being too pushing, but your friend should also have the courtesy of giving her an answer so she doesn't bugging her. Getting the admin. involved sets a bad tone for the coming year and any working relationship you might have with her.
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I 100% agree with TheTrunch.
Old 07-06-2017, 03:35 AM
 
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I was thinking the same thing, but could not have expressed it so eloquently.
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IMO, and from past posts
Old 07-06-2017, 04:55 AM
 
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Could the underlying factor here be that the poster and her long time partner are having trouble accepting the change in assignments/the fact that they will no longer be teaching partners?
Just my thinking...
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:33 AM
 
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I've decided that this is the last time I will post in this thread, but when the school year starts, I might an update post on the situation. With that being said, I would like to clarify some things.

Am I upset my friend is no longer my partner? Yes, I am.
Do I dislike my new coworker? No, I don't.
Do I like how she talks to people? No, I don't regardless of face-to-face, text messages, and voicemail. She talks very rudely to people and talks down to them like they are children.
Do I like how she is texting and calling my friend constantly? No, I don't.

We always empty our classrooms, but the closet is where we store everything. My friend did not find out until the very last day of post-planning that she would be moved to a different grade level, so she wouldn't have had time to pack things anyway. We put our materials in the closet and leave for the summer. Even if we move classrooms, our things stay in our closet for the summer until pre-planning week.

She doesn't want to worry about that right now.
I am not by any means discounting anyone's family losses or their professional obligation during said losses, but you can't compare your experience--or what you would've/did--to hers. Everyone goes through grief differently. Everyone goes through depression differently.

I suppose that is what's bothering me the most about some of these posts basically saying that regardless of her mother's untimely death and her father's serious illness, she needs to do XYZ.
Yes, as educators we do work beyond our contract hours, but summer vacation and we don't have to do it. That doesn't mean that the teachers who go in early are dedicated and the teachers that don't aren't.

Through my posts in this thread I have stated that my friend is spending time with her family and I kind of left it at that. However, I guess since this is my last post, I would like to clarify that when I said she's spending time with her family I meant that she and her family is in her birth state visiting her ill father and her other siblings for the summer. She's not returning until that weekend before she's to go into the classroom early. Which is why she couldn't have gone in early like my new coworker would've wanted anyway.

In addition, I spoke to my friend this morning and she told me she's so overwhelmed with depression and grief that she doesn't even care if my new coworker decides goes into the closet and throws all her stuff away within these next two weeks.

I'm more worried about my friend's mental health than my new coworker's need to decorate her classroom a month early.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer.

Farewell for now.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:37 AM
 
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NewTea'cheer, fortunately, PT has a membership that, while opinionated. offers their insights with consideration and decorum. Itís been a safe place to share events and the bumps in our road with out the harsh evaluation of other. Stick around with us and youíll begin to appreciate the professionalism.
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A little suggestion...
Old 07-06-2017, 08:05 AM
 
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It might worth it for your friend to look into a FMLA or a LOA.

That is a ocean liner of feelings to deal with. I don't know if her father issues are a long slow slide (how it played out with my mom) or is the something like months.

I'll be honest, the first year my mother died, I was a brain dead zombie. My mother and I were not good friends and barely tolerated it other. The saving grace was having a two year who really didn't care. I can only imagine how horrible it is if you you have kind, decent loving parent.

If she can burn up vacation time, sick time, short term disability for depression, I know I would do it. Only she knows if she can fake it until she makes it. Every place I worked figured you were truly good to go once you came back. There is nothing worse dragging yourself around work seriously depressed (for a good reason) with people expecting you to function, and having things unravel a state away.

You have a strong union. Maybe you can find out what is offered time off wise, and just let her know. If I felt the way she does now, no way would I would feel all shiney and happy come September. First crazy parent whining about some nonsense would send me over the edge.

Gentle hugs to you and your friend...
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:20 AM
 
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The solution seems simple to me. Your friend needs to send a quick email stating she is out of town and will not be back until ____. Ignoring her is making it worse! How can this person argue with the fact that she is out of town???
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I'm sorry for your friend
Old 07-06-2017, 09:26 AM
 
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I know you've decided not to post here anymore and I DO NOT BLAME YOU!

Evidently, you can't vent here anymore, without posters telling you that you are defensive, in someone else's business, not professional, not a good team player, need to move your friend's room, and the kicker: your signed out USER NAME is "over the top". REALLY???

I started reading this thread the day you posted it and have been thinking about it off and on. So many gave advice that I did not see a reason to post, but I just wanted you to know I wholeheartedly disagree with the posters who have made you feel sorry you posted in the first place. While I have opinions and see both sides (minus the rudeness of the new colleague) the bottom line is that your friend is not obligated to come in and move at this time. Furthermore, your admin CAUSED this mess and if they want the stuff moved, they can do it.

, I guess I shared my opinion (in part) after all .

Anyway, you are a good friend to listen to your friend/coworker and give her a place to let off steam. Since she wants to be the one to pack and move, I would let her have that and just be around to assist (I might enlist a few other good friends and maybe even dhs) when the time comes, IF this is feasible and what she wants. Otherwise, you are good to just be there for her. I'm also sorry you have to work with this new, know-it-all team member. Your admin sounds horrible and I am sorry for that, too .

Since I gave part of my opinion, , I will add that I do think she needs to email her ONCE and just very briefly say she is out of town and the room will be ready by ____ date. I think you can give her that advice as her friend. She doesn't have to take it. I have friends and coworkers who become 'frozen' in times of stress and there is not much you can do about this. While I disagree with some that your friend OWES it to the new coworker, I believe it would relieve some stress all around and be better for your friend in the long run.

I hope you can relax somewhat and have a good rest of your summer .
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:59 AM
 
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I've been moved and I've moved by choice. Reality is that the number of rooms is set. Overlap in moving is inevitable. All you can do is make the most of a bad situation.

If I read this right these two are switching rooms. Thus there is no way for one room to be emptied for the other to move in. They both have to move at the same time. And since the move is involuntary the situation is ripe for anxiety. Add in your friend's personal situation and it's inevitable that there is going to be tension.

My opinion, and it's only mine, is that while your friend has a lot on her plate and doesn't want to come in early, she is setting herself up for an exhausting disorganized beginning to the new school year. She's going to be trying to sort through her personal items while simultaneously setting up a new classroom and planning for the first days in a new grade.

I do agree that your friend needs to send an email saying when she will be in. Its the courteous thing to do.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:26 PM
 
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I think the OP should ask her friend what she REALLY wants moved the most and go move it for her. Heck, move it all for her. If it was my friend with all those problems I would find time to do it for her.
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Better get ur stuff
Old 07-06-2017, 03:27 PM
 
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I wouldn't make this teacher wait until preplanning time. First it will take a very long time, days probably. Second, she may start without your friend removing her stuff, and move it out of the way for her. Things may get lost.
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It really is more complicated
Old 07-06-2017, 05:25 PM
 
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I missed some of the drama in the middle, I guess I should have responded to your original post.

It is extremely pushy and unkind of your new teammate to harass your old teammate. I saw a teacher who was moving into a retiring teacher's classroom act so nasty about it, I still can't believe it. She was literally moving stuff in while kids were still there. So after seeing that, I have a feeling I know how you and your friend are feeling.

Second, you cannot move your friend's things unless you have her blessing. Me, I would not care at all. This year one of my good friends was moving to another classroom and I offered to help her but she would not let me help her. She had even helped me pack up when I ran into a timing problem with my kid's doctor appointment. Teacher's stuff is personal. The hoarding is embarrassment. Who knows?

I hope you can keep your cool and this won't tarnish your relationship with your new teammate. I guess keep your head down and try not to make waves. Anyone who acts this crazy about moving in probably wouldn't hesitate to throw you under the bus, too.

So I completely understand your feelings.
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Think Outside the Box
Old 07-06-2017, 05:53 PM
 
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A few ideas:

Can the new teacher have access to PART of the room, i.e., the walls and empty shelves? Maybe you can suggest that she begin with her bulletin boards, library, decorating, etc...

Also, why not give your friend a gift, since she's a BFF. Hire a handyman for a few hours to move boxes (when your friend is ready). This should speed things along giving the new teacher some extra time, as well.

Of course, compromise is always best. No one person should have it all their way. That being said, the default decision-maker is the official calendar. Nothing trumps that.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:06 PM
 
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I agree with many posts that state that your friend should just email your coworker and kindly tell her she is out of the state dealing with family matters. She is not required to go in, but it would help if she understands why your friend can't go in and move her things. You could also ask your friend if she would mind if you got a group together to move her things. If it is ok send a mass email, order pizza for lunch, and move everything for her. Make it a party. I think both of your coworkers would appreciate the help. When you are suffering from depression you can't even think clearly. I lost my mother this year so I do understand how she's feeling, but she does also have the fear that her father will leave her. (My father has been gone 25 years.)
Do not give up on PT. Sometimes posts don't come across as they are intended.
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Honestly?
Old 07-07-2017, 12:01 AM
 
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I'm a little surprised your friend was allowed to sign out for the year and leave a mess in her classroom. The teacher who is moving in has every right to have all the time allotted to her to prepare HER room, not have to wait until the last minute to try to get everything completed. It's a domino thing when teachers get shuffled around. I need to move my stuff, but I can't because my new room isn't ready, and nobody can move into my old room because my stuff is still sitting there, and so on. Everyone needs to work together. Would it be possible for your friend to recruit some helpers and maybe be able to just go in a day or two and take care of cleaning the room so that the new teacher would be able to get in there? There's got to be a way to be sensitive to the needs of both teachers.
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:55 AM
 
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I think the friend was right in not replying. Not only because of the rudeness of the new teacher, because the new teacher no right to seek out her personal phone number. None. The OP said there was alternate working phone that was listed, but the new teacher felt it was her right to violate a coworker's privacy/personal information. In my district, we would be written up for asking anyone else for someone's personal contact info. I know because a coworker got one for asking around for the principal's personal email address. If anything happens in the future, I would reply with "Who is this?" pretending not to know who it was. When they explained, if they were rude, I would lie and say they had the wrong number. If they were polite. I would ask them not to contact me in such in a manner and tell them I will be in the room when I return to work. If the friend wanted to, she could call the cops for harassment. Little Miss. Eager will have to wait a real long time to fix her class room if the OP's friend wanted to file a restraining order due to harassment.
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Wow
Old 07-18-2017, 11:04 AM
 
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We have to pack everything every year and move it into the halls before dismissal, moving rooms or not. Tag everything with our name and hope it makes it back to us, which typically it does. Typically everybody knows room assignments before dismissal but sometimes things change over summer and you may be shuffled around.

As for the situation, I'd definitely drop her an email or text that you all can't come prior to the date you have set due to family issues and summer obligations. Apologize for the inconvenience and leave it on a respectable note. Otherwise you may be creating a bigger headache for your future. You aren't obligated to like everybody you work with, but you do have to work with them so creating some kind of professional rapport is needed.
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