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What would you do?
Old 11-24-2017, 07:35 PM
 
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I took a position in a new district this year. I have nine years of experience. I moved to be in a district that has more technology and is closer to my husband's job (not a school job).;I left my old position on good terms and the principal told me if things did not work out that I could come back.

The first month was rough, but with the help of family and friends I made it. I enjoy my students, but do not like the curriculum especially the math. I find myself dreading planning and feel frustrated because I am outside the loop. One of the teachers at my grade level does their own thing...and the other two (women)do not usually include me even though I try to give input and offer to help. Two or three days will go by where they do not even speak to me. I greet them each morning and try my best to interact, but they go out of their way to exclude me. I have accepted that fact and feel like a lone ranger.

The past few weeks I am beginning to feel like I want to quit at the end of the school year whether I have a job in another district nor not. I am not a quitter and have been through some tough things in my life. Our technology person has noticed the way they treat me and talked to me about it. I was rather low key with her because I did not come here to make waves or cause problems. She told me that I should tell the principal. She also informed me that this has been a revolving position for the past two years. Most people have stayed one, but no more than two years. I do not think talking to the P would improve things....it might make it worse.

Anyway, I have lost confidence here and dread teaching. I cry alot at home and am questioning my teaching ability. I have excellent references and reviews from my past district and received a really good one for my first observation here. I keep asking myself...what can I learn from this experience? Should I stay or go? Have I given it enough time? I never thought I would be so affected by "mean girls", but I do not want to teach with them another year.

Here is an example of what they do... create grade level assessments without my input, make copies, and leave them on my room with a note saying I need to use them.. Maybe they think this is helpful? When I make suggestions or share a method I use... it is met with silence, eye rolling, and sometimes outright criticism...I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture here.

I need some advice or wisdom of how to proceed. For now I am persevering and working on my own, but I am really unhappy. What would you do?


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Old 11-25-2017, 06:03 AM
 
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It sounds like the ladies who are excluding you are nervous about your experience and ideas so they treat you poorly to make themselves feel better. I'd continue to close your door and do what you know is best for your students. If it is these ladies treating everyone this way, maybe just moving to a different grade level would help?

I would suggest that you do what makes you the happiest. Life is too short to be as unhappy as it sounds like you are. And if you decide that you want to leave this job, you have plenty of time to begin looking. (I think...job searching in my area generally begins around Feb/March).
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:29 AM
 
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Quote:
One of the teachers at my grade level does their own thing
The 4th person at your grade level has figured it out. I am guessing she doesn't let them get to her--they know it and leave her alone. Follow her example.

I know how hard it is to feel your teaching neighbors are hostile. Maybe you can form an alliance with the 4th teacher?
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Mean girls
Old 11-25-2017, 07:19 AM
 
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We have a similar dynamic in our school. These women most likely feel like you’ll only be around for the short term so they don’t want to make an effort to get to know you. Maybe in the past they’ve been told they need to support the “newbie” by sharing resources so they’re giving their stuff without wanting or expecting your input. They may resent the fact that they have to share with you??? What if you spoke to the team member working on her own and see if she’s willing to collaborate on your next unit. Let her know you’d like to distance yourself from the other two but enjoy collaborating (maybe that’s why she’s hanging back). I’d rather work alone than deal with the rude and immature women you’re describing. Who knows maybe she stood up to them and they’ve had words. If she agrees to collaborate, let the other women know, thanks but no thanks, you’ve got this covered and you don’t need their handoffs.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:22 AM
 
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It's not uncommon for a pair of teachers to become close co-workers and exclude any other teachers at their level. It has nothing to do with the other teachers on the team but it rather it involves their need to feel connected, superior and insulated. They have no room for other thoughts or ideas because it threatens the bond they have. Strange, I know. It's not you. It's not you at all.

Continue to do your best on your team.
Keep your eyes open for other positions in the school or district that may open up.
Remember their behavior isn't about you.
Document any times they leave you out or are critical. If you should leave, share with your P the behaviors your co-workers. There is a reason teachers are leaving your position and the P needs to know.


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Old 11-25-2017, 08:08 AM
 
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Well, this wouldn't last in my school as teachers are required to plan together and all our assessments come from the district. Not that that would solve your mean girl problem. Just ignore them. I know it is hard, but you are lucky in the respect that you apparently are not required to interact with them. Do you HAVE to use these assessments they create? If not, just toss them and do your own thing. As other posters stated, the fourth teacher has figured it out. Either buddy with her, or go it on your own. Yes, it's nice when everyone gets along and works together, but that is not always realistic. This is a job, they don't have to be your friends. Go to work, enjoy your students, then leave. Your life is outside of school.

On a side note, the principal is an idiot if he/she doesn't realize what is going on. Those two need to be split up.
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Stay Strong
Old 11-25-2017, 10:07 AM
 
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You've received excellent advice and insight from others here, as summed up by readerleader. Doesn't sound like a very "professional" workplace, but not unlike many other schools. Some teachers can be even worse than their own students!

As you may already know, the principal sets the tone for the entire school making it either heaven on Earth or a hellish place to work. Gravitate towards the professionals on your staff and you'll be OK.
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Thanks for sharing...
Old 11-25-2017, 05:04 PM
 
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I appreciate the input. I will continue to go it on my own and look for something new come spring. I certainly do not want to be their friends....just expecting them to be civil. Things weren't perfect at my old school either, but at least people acted professional. Thanks again every one.
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wait...what?
Old 11-26-2017, 06:46 AM
 
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Huh, maybe you have the latitude to find another school where you feel more "accepted". So you're planning on going just because you're not being "included" by these two. There's more reasons for moving but I would let this roll off my back. Keep being kind and contribute whenever you feel like it. If they don't value your input, their loss. Try a little experiment, give a totally outrageous input and see what they think when it comes to sharing just to see how they might respond. If they give you something that you need to implement without your input you can do a couple of things. Implement it or implement with some modification. I don't think they're even interested with any result so you can even trash it. Don't let these two bother even if they're giving you the cold shoulder. I would definitely leave if you're not in good terms with admin but I know of some people that stick it out.
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Your situation
Old 11-26-2017, 09:03 AM
 
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This sounds just like the situation I just left. I am going back to my old district, at a different school (but one I know well). I lasted three months at the new district. It was awful. Here is another reason for the two cutting you out: They don't want to be bothered with doing anything new. That's too much work. So if they ignore you and cut you out, they won't be pushed to do anything. You cannot fix that; they will not change. As others have said, you can only learn how to cope with it. But you need to think about other things as well. For example: Do other staff members treat you kindly or ignore you? How bad is the curriculum? Can you force yourself to teach it with fidelity year after year? Is the shorter drive worth the agony? How much farther would the long drive to your old district be? And so on. Also consider pay and benefits.

My point is this: People kept telling me change is difficult. Yes, I agree. But sometimes the change is the wrong change. I knew immediately that my new district was not the place for me, even though I thought I'd done due diligence, and I told my former admin, who kept an eye out for jobs and finally spotted one that will suit me well. I would have stayed, even through the end of the year, but my goal was to get out as soon as possible. I was miserable, and the school and I were so mismatched that there was no way it could be fixed. Think long and hard. Is this the way you want to work? if the answer is no, then get in touch with your former school and ask to go back. Now.


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It is bigger than the "team"...
Old 11-26-2017, 10:38 AM
 
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If it were just the team, I would likely persevere and look for another opening in the district. However, teaching is my second career and I am pushing 50. As I get into the curriculum of the district, I find huge gaps related to the standards. The math curriculum is weak and the writing is piecemeal. The students are way behind even though many are at above average intelligence. They have little stamina or resilience. I have had a few parents comment that their little Suzie has never had a B before my class. Anyway, I really like my students despite several helicopter parents and would not leave mid-year, but I am overwhelmed by the combination of it all. Perhaps I am fixated on the team because I thought if I were a team player and kind that it would be one spot where I could gain some confidence.

I do appreciate your comments, Mikhail because it helps me think of the other side and opens more options. Trust me I am not one to bail out without a solid reason. It is just that something inside tells me that I may not be the right for this school or district. Time will tell. Thanks for sharing.
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I needed to hear this too!
Old 11-26-2017, 11:19 AM
 
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As I read through your post I wanted to tell you that I appreciate you taking the time to respond and for being empathetic. I left my old district to gain new experiences and a challenge, but this is not a challenge...it is frustration.

It is bigger than the team...there are curriculum issues, my drive is actually farther (we were going to move closer if things worked out...this school is a few miles from my husband's job so we ride share most days), and in my old school I was a respected leader. Managing one to one devices with not much support (tech help in the building for 1 1/2 hours a day only)and making sure they are online for a specific amount of time doesn't feel like quality teaching. I have learned how to troubleshoot very well on the devices though. It could be because my previous job was in IT. :/. In my old distinct I mentored new teacher and also was a resource for reading as I had previously taught Title I.
Here I am treated like a first year teacher. I even have to attend the New Teacher classes a total of 10 half days out of the classroom throughout the year. Since teaching is my second career, I continue to be amazed at what teachers expect of their students, but ignore in their own lives...like treating others right and following procedures.

I agree with your point...change is hard. I have been through many major life changes and never experienced this much regret and anguish. I did get a pay increase in the new district and it has somewhat better insurance, but what my heart is telling me is that I am (like you said) mismatched here. Your post have me some hope. Best wishes to you in your new position. I am glad you were able to transition. Once again thanks for sharing your insights.
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:59 AM
 
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I'm assuming you're a PT member signed out for privacy. If so, feel free to PM me. I'm happy to "talk" through pros and cons with you. I've been in your shoes, and it wasn't any fun. Good luck to you!
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Tough call
Old 12-05-2017, 09:10 AM
 
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I can understand how you feel. I have been the "lone wolf" in a different situation and overcame that. I did not have crying spells because my tears are for different things. My personality is a type of problem solving one.
Advice is hard to give without a "give and take" type of situation where we can exchange ideas but here goes.
1. When you go to school "get ready" with a good song in your heart or a short inspirational script. Fall back on that during the day when things seem down.
2. Ignore the eye rolling; honestly that sort of behavior is more about the negative in them than it is in you.
3. Do your best always in the classroom and accept their tips with a smile.
4. Look carefully for the least mean of the mean girls. Share a cautious smile and see the response. It takes a lot of patience.
5. Remember people who react negatively without provocation usually do so out of fear. Good luck. I would love to hear how it goes for you.
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