Tuesday, February 05, 2008

co-worker schmoe-worker

I'm having this little issue with a co-worker of mine. Recently she's taken over a team leader position in my area of teaching. Within this team she is the most experienced teacher, however she is not the most experienced in terms of having taught at this level before. There are two other teachers who are more experienced in teaching this grade than her and one of those teachers is me. This is a rather important point because kids at the level I teach at are unlike any other grade in the school. They are so far beyond what would be considered normal that you can't even compare it to teaching in any other grade. I know because I have taught other grades and the first time I came to teach this grade I was so unprepared for how different it was that it wasn't funny.

Anyway, this new leader is, I think, feeling threatened by the fact that this is all so overwhelming to her and in order to lift her own profile she keeps making condescending comments to me. In fairness she hasn't known me in any other role except as the art teacher and obviously I was sensitive about that perception when coming back into the classroom, but I've had enough of it now. Today she made a rather obvious comment about needing to enter names into the database - I mean, no shit right? - but it was something, incidentally (and rather surprisingly) she needed clarification about herself. I guess she felt embarrassed about not knowing how to do this herself that she wanted to appear more competent than someone else so ...why not pick on the art teacher? Unfortunately by that stage I'd had enough of little children crying at me all day that I just snapped Yeah I know, I *have* been working with his program *in the classroom* for about 5 years. rrraaow! I totally called her out and ...well, was a bit awkward after that. Now things are weird. I hate that.

For the most part I'm a rather easygoing person to deal with in real life. I do call people on their bullshit, don't get me wrong, but I rarely confront people with anger, especially in a work environment. I'd rather check my own ego if it means keeping the peace - which is what usually ends up happening. This is so at odds with how I deal with things on the internet where I'll just say exactly what I think at all times. If I don't then it's not because I respect you so much that I can't possibly say what I really think, it's just that I think you can't handle a discussion/comment beyond a 'yes ma'am' or 'yes sir'. Basically I think you'll pussy out and I'm don't care to deal with the wah wah bullshit that goes along with that. But in the work environment I will take one for the team - not if I truly believe something to be wrong - but when it comes to little disputes then yes.

Now, I'm not so sure of how to handle this one.

Do I keep on asserting that yes, yes I've been there done that - I'm much more experienced in teaching a grade than I am teaching art?

Do I just ignore the whole situation?

Do I go to her for the answer to a really obvious question that will re-establish the - you leader, me pleb - role?

Do I say fuck it and take the whole school and all the children down with me in a blaze of glory?

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