Reply to One of Your Answers


Below is my reaction to your question and response. Dear Don’t Like Being Pushed: I expect that you will not like my answer. Your principal probably is CYA, but if you told him what you describe in your question to us, he likely didn’t see a major problem. Sure the next-door teacher is pushy to you. Sure she assumed you would cough up the money for her kid. Sure she sent a student to interrupt your class and has sent students for this and that other times. All minor irritations, that to you are major because she rubs you the wrong way.

Why should he trouble himself by telling Ms. Pushy to back off. You are an adult and you obviously have the nerve to tell her to back off again and say it more firmly. There are many and much more serious problems before you such as a classroom of students who want your attention. You can handle an occasional interruption with you simply sending a student back with the requested item or with a note: “Please, don’t send a student to interrupt my class again.” The fact is that you don’t like your co-worker. And that’s OK. You can be civilly uncooperative if you choose. Or you can be nasty if that suits you better.

Hopefully, you will not allow the woman sour your mood in such a way that you complain about her to other teachers or your students. Hopefully, you can be so excited about your students and connecting with their parents that you will surprise them with creative ways to learn. Hopefully, you will see the larger picture and not also fill your heart with anger toward your principal. Hopefully, you will find some small value in my advice as you say, “That is easy for him to say; he doesn’t have Ms. Pushy in the next classroom.” And hopefully you can laugh as you have my signature echo in your mind: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Feedback: I am baffled by your reasoning? How is it that you are sending a great employee to face up a bad employee–that you are allowing a boss to shake off his responsibility. Your answer is anything but proper. It is not this teacher job to alienate her co-worker by insulting her with a firm response. It is the boss’ problem and thus should be dealt with by the boss. And the boss should handle it without ever disclosing which teacher has the problem.

The principal could set in place a rule that sending kids to other classes is wrong. Or passing notes, asking for contribution during teaching time is wrong. Thus letting the other teacher know of the problem without confrontation and throwing another under the bus. Looks to me like that same type of situation has hit you several times. And you handled it by making an enemy. Or, you just move forward as to never acknowledge it happening.




Dear Baffling.:

Thank you for taking the time to criticize my advice. You have a valid perspective. I wish you had come across the Q&A sooner so that I could have sent it along for to that “good” teacher. My advice is not meant to be cavalier, but is one option; one that was meant to urge the teacher to be assertive and not involve the boss. Possibly it provoked the same kind of reaction that you have, and if so, no doubt that teacher rejected it and went to the principal and asked him/her to do what is expected of a principal to do. Please send your wisdom whenever you want to add it.

William Gorden