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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Teacher Being Bullied :(

I started a new teaching job and from day one, people have been horrible to me. I'm constantly ignored, excluded, and set up to find myself in the line of fire, but there's nothing concrete, and no proof. The atmosphere in the place I'm working is terrible, and I just don't know how people put up with this on a daily basis. There's a real shortage of jobs, so I can't change just yet. I feel like I'm going to be in this situation forever!

Comments for Teacher Being Bullied :(

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Help For The Teacher
by: Rosalea

It is regrettable that you ended up with such a horrible job. Someone recently gave ma tip for another issue that might just work with this. Find time to speak privately with each person and ask for their ADVICE on what they think you should do to improve the situation. If they still shut you out, it's time to move on. But most people respond well to being asked for their opinion, and I bet you crack the ice! Please let us know!

Bullied by Team Members
by: Anonymous

I experienced the bully tactics of my "fellow" teachers when I tried to enforce campus expectations of dress code and behavior of students. My fellow teachers disagree with the dress code and think students in Middle School should "express their own style." They say students should be allowed to wear whatever they want. When I gave the same consequences to certain "pet" students whom my fellow teachers allow to ignore any and all rules, I was branded a racist and every four letter word in the book.

You can not weed out the bully culture among students until you do so among the teachers. From my experiences, schools with high bully incidents among students also have several teachers and other staff whose bully tactics are ignored.

Also being bullied by staff
by: Anonymous

I am in the exact same situation at my school. Completely undermined by a staff member so I complained. Since then other teachers have turned on me, spoken rudely to me and some even ignore me. Some teachers have even been rude enough to discuss the incident infront of me in the staff room at the same table. I hear them and look at them and they stop. There is no antibullying policy at my school. If I could find a new job I would leave immediately.

I am in the same situation
by: Anonymous

I am in exactly the same situation and have been miserable in my current school since day 1. The LSA I work with is particularly difficult and constantly undermined me. When I raised this issue with her, she became worse and started turning the majority of the staff against me. I tried to mention my concerns to the head but I found that as this LSA had worked at the school for years, she took her side and gave the 'there's no bullying in this school' I ended up being off for around 7 weeks with stress. I did go back but nothing improved, infact, this week I found out that she had been gossiping to parents. I have had some members of staff tell me privately that they aren't part of the 'witches coven' but of course none of them will speak out because they don't want to risk their jobs. I even had to attend a health and safety audit where the head sat there and denied everything that had happened. She even had the nerve to say that she wouldn't deal with the bullying incidents because they were all in my head! It's a horrible situation to be in and has affected my previously successful career. Fortunately, I only have a few weeks left in that school. Nobody should have to suffer workplace bullying.

for me it's ove
by: Pat

I was severly bullied by two teachers at my last school. WHen I complained. When the director of our school section (pyramid) came to talk to me..the other teachers found out somehow and pulled me into a restroom right before I was to meet this woman and threatened my kids (we know who your sons' teachers are so don't say anything or else>..) eventually, I was fired... (name of school removed) has a culture that allows this..It's been 2 years and I am still fearfur aI am suicidal over the loss of my career and income...

by: Anonymous

If it wasn't because of the bills I must pay, I would definitely not go to this job in which I feel bullied especially by my students who are so unmotivated to work or even try to learn anything in ESL class. This is the worse job I've ever had. It's not easy working overtime everyday and being undermined, underpaid, and to top that off-- even bullied by the students! I hate it. As soon as I have the opportunity, I'm leaving and forgetting about retirement. Nowadays, students have the right to do as they please in the classroom and those that want to learn have no rights from what I see. And the laws even protects these students that disrupt continuously. This has to be lived to be understood. What ever happened to vision and mission of education? Absolutely makes no sense whatsoever!

The shell that was a loved one
by: Anonymous

My family member works for a Massachusetts school district.
The bullying that has taken place on the part of the principal is disgusting, but it seems that until a law is passed, there are little/ no rights for the employee.
Horrible, just horrible

Bullied by administration
by: Anonymous

Recently I received an award and someone called the organization to ask why were they rewarded a teacher an award who was up for review to be dismiss. I was so confused because I had no idea. I informed the principal. He asked if I could come in for him and I talk about it. When arrived in his office he had an administration . He said the reason he brought her in because I was a female. That was not the case. The district administrator asked how did I get this award. I stated it came from the president from my organization. She said why wasn't the principal at the school asked to give a recommendation. I stated that I could choose an administrator or a parent or students. Since the students know me well on how I teach and the parents I asked them. I stated that I was still concern with the caller calling the president of the organization making a false statement. She stated that I should get over it. The principal said he was worried that I was so upset. I said I am much better. I had put it all in Gods hands. The administrator said that Not talk about God it's me who the tweet concern with. They continue to say things to me that had nothing to do with the call. They were very rude to me. Staying they was going to move me out of my room and lab. I am an culinary instructor how can I not have a cooking lab. I left the office and immediately called the NEA. I have 5 weeks until school starts and hoping that I get things resolve because I feel they will be harassing me. I know that the other teacher has complained about not being able to use the lab when she wanted to. She only teaches 1 class but she has caused problems from day one. Of course they are on her side.

Power Struggle
by: Anonymous

I was hired at a private school as a full-time substitute. After another teacher quit, I was offered the position and began to set my classroom up two weeks before school started. I met my "team," and quickly realized that the teacher who had been at the school the longest was the head of our team. Not until the school year started to roll did I realize how much power "A" (that's what I will call her) had. "A," was very controlling, outspoken, gossipy, and had deep connections with administration. I listened to this lady tell story after story about others. I became her target when she realized that my class was producing better test scores and grades. She saw that I wasn't struggling anymore after a couple of months. When I started to contribute to the group, I often got shut down, so I stopped sharing and was told I wasn't being a team player. My goal as an educator is to give my students the best education possible by recognizing their individual needs and fulfilling those to the best of my ability. Even though each classroom had to be same--same content, same materials, and later I learned--even same delivery (literally impossible!), I began to teach according to my students' needs and I produced positive, solid results. "A," resented me. She started snitching on me to administration and just before the end of the year, I was in offices for "meetings," (more like me sit there and listen to their criticisms) left and right. She kept telling me to look for another job since our principal was ready to leave and our new principal would be tough. But really, "A," was just trying to get me out. "A," had so much power that administration had given me a demotion on the last day of school without any reasoning toward my teaching methods. It was merely based on the idea that I wasn't a team player--which is silly because I did my part, I picked up the slack where needed, and looked out for the members of my team. Because "A," ran the school, it was her word against mine and I lost. I have since left that toxic workplace and am much happier to pursue my real purpose in being an educator--not to sit around and gossip, but rather provide my students with a loving, nurturing, and challenging environment to create lifelong learners. If you are in this situation, I am praying for you and urge you to stand up for yourself. Get advice, listen to those who have walked in similar shoes, and know that you deserve better!

feeling trapped
by: Anonymous

Any of you allocated subjects that you have to teach without being cosulted

teacher trust has diminished
by: Anonymous

I have seen gossip, gaslighting and miscommunication become extremely problematic for teachers in education lately. This negative behavior seems to have resulted in the changes that have taken place with the leadership model over the past 8 years. Unfortunately the current leadership model seems to creates division, displaces children as top priority and has created a system of communication where much is lost in translation. The current team leader model makes it hard to suggest opinions without backlash.

After teaching for 20 years in elementary education, I have seen positive and negative changes take place. I have seen the pendulum swing back and forth, mandates come and go. I have witnessed struggles and growth. Of all the changes, I find the model that has been least effective to education is the team leader model accepted by most districts. I say this as a teacher who has been leader on and off the teams so I view it from both sides. Before the team model, the entire school was a team, all were leaders. We were friends across the grades, we lunched as one team, our team was our school, each equal members. Our goal was to improve our school for children. Grade levels would meet and discuss plans. There was not one chosen leader, all were leaders, voices were equal, and conversation were natural as the politics of the meeting were not predominant, rather the problems occurring in the classroom at that moment.

Team models where there is one leader automatically create division. Pecking order is established, survival is the goal rather than the issues in the classrooms. Becoming friends with the leader so you have a voice is the underlying concern. Rather than focusing on problems at hand, there is a natural propensity to constantly speak in a manner that will be well perceived by the leader who then has discussions with the coach and principal. This is not always the case because there is the occasional team that works, however it is a shot in the dark where we assume positive intentions at all times from every member, there is no flexibility there.

This system automatically takes away transparency. The team members can't be transparent, and the leader must speak in a way that is acceptable to the administration. This is a system where control is not in the hands of the teachers. The leadership meetings become a place where conversations are had in privacy and only the chosen are invited. We need to go back where meetings are had as one team, where all are invited. As it stands the concern of what is happening to the school that used to funnel through a unified system has been replaced and thrust through a bureaucratic machine no better than an elaborate creation of Rube Goldberg. With the past team model, all were team leaders, the conversations, leadership and objectivity were organic and student driven. On given days, different members lead due to natural changes, good days, good plans and organic dynamics that could be called into action depending on the situation.As it is, the team leader is in a position that is precarious if she does something either the team doesn't like, or administration, conversely, if there is a stellar teacher, the lead teacher can feel threatened...all scenarios oppressive and hostile.

Schools need to return to the traditional team model where we are trusted to discuss topics we see as problematic. The micro management must be removed so we can see what is happening in our own classrooms at the moment instead of being forced to be bobble heads in survival mode. Our power as teachers has been diminished through this current model I am afraid. We are gaslighting each other because we are in survival mode as opposed to being trusted to be the professionals we were trained to be. We need to call this for what it is and work towards a system that gives all voice and respect so that we can once again return to the immediate needs at hand, see each other as supporters rather than adversaries and become the actual teams we were without feeling oppressed or resentful. Veteran teachers and new teachers must have equal voice as it used to be and problems should be taken to one person, the administrator, so we are no longer playing a game of telephone but actually addressing the needs of our students.

by: Anonymous

Since December I have been talked rudely to in front of my students, been bullied and harassed to the point of being placed on medications for panic attacks. The union has not represented me, I write letter letting them about school conditions. Instead of getting a warning I was immediately going to be placed on administrative leave. Again, no union member present. I went ahead and resigned but wrote I was due to bullying. Do I have rights?

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