Friday, September 25, 2009

A day from hell... and it's only September.

I love my job. I'm glad I went through 6 years of not-so-fun schooling to get to do what I do. I love interacting with the children, and I love to see them succeed even when they don't believe they can. I even love working in a school... I get to wear comfy, but cute clothes and get off around 2:45. But there's one thing that I hate that I'm sure is a part of most workplace settings -- drama.

Today I got verbally attacked by a tenured teacher who has a reputation of clearing out rooms with her obnoxiously noisy, boisterous behavior. She loves to be a part of anything and everything, and you better believe she needs a power trip to feel important. Being a newbie, I suppose I was an easy target. Except she doesn't really know me and the fact that I don't mind a bit of confrontation, especially when I'm in the right.

After my kids got on the bus, I went down to check out my new digs. It's a small room (about 7"x 10") that's currently full of wooden cubbies and a cardboard shelf of extra kleenexes. I was surveying the room trying to decide where to put everything when this teacher came in and told me that everything could go except for the cardboard shelf. It needed to stay. After asking why, she replied that it was hers and that it had to stay there.

Hm. My room. My stuff needs a place. In a small room, a cardboard shelf of tissues really doesn't have a place. So, I told her that I would not throw it out, but instead, I would put it outside my door, so that she may find a new home for it.

I guess that set her off. She went from 0 to 60 in no time. In my face, at the top of her lungs, she began berating me and telling me the what for. I perhaps wouldn't have minded so much, except her whole entire class was behind her waiting for her to take them to the bus. The children's eyes were wide with fear, as she stood yelling at me, a fellow professional.

I calmly asked her to lower her voice, refrain from speaking to me in such a tone, and stop being so unprofessional in front of children.

Guess what seasoned teachers who think they are entitled to do whatever they please because they are tenured hate? When new teachers half their age tell them to act more professionally. Yep, she really didn't like that because she escalated her ranting and raging.

I then tried to rationalize with her. "But Mrs. Crazy, you have a whole classroom to store your kleenex, and I just have this small room. I need to have space for my speech materials, a table, and chairs."

There was no reasoning with her. All was lost. A few more spouts of anger was spewed my way until it was over. The teacher went on her way with scarred children in tow.

All the while, I hiked myself up to the principal's office to have myself a meeting with the principal and vice-principal. To my surprise, they were well aware of similar activities. I soon learn that Mrs. Crazy is quite the bully around school. She likes to berate people and push them to see how much she can walk over them.

Well, after filing a report and speaking to my mentor (which also happens to be a union rep), I feel much better. The principal, vice-principal, my mentor, a fellow teacher friend, and my c0-teacher are all on my side and were very comforting. I think in the end, I'm most proud of how I handled myself... it sure made me look better than it did Mrs. Crazy.

And on Wednesday, when the room becomes officially mine, there will be a nice cardboard shelve full of kleenexes sitting outside Mrs. Crazy's door.... with a mental note attached to it saying "It's my room... back off."


waitingforcider said...

eeks. welcome to workplace drama! what a pain in the a$$! hope none of them have access to this :)

Jen S. said...

Wow! That's unbelievable. What's up her butt? It sounds like you handled yourself in a more-than-professional manner, which, I must admit, would have been difficult had I been in your shoes. Good for you! And I'm so glad to hear that you're loving your job. It gives me hope that when I'm finally done with school, it will all have been worth it.

jb.little said...

no, I made my blog unsearchable to search engines and is unlisted on blogger

jb.little said...

Jen, I'm excited for you to go back to school! My husband has started that process, too. It can be a bit overwhelming, but it's over before you know it.