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Dear Sara/Anybody else=How do you know if you're being bullied?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by MysteryLion, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. I started as a Year 5 NQT in September in a really nice Catholic Primary School. I really enjoyed the first two terms but it has become increasingly difficult. In a recent staff meeting a question was raised by the Deputy Head who asked for responses to what she called 'a problem' in school. When I disagreed with what she had said, she screamed and shouted at me in front of everyone, the Year 4 teacher tried to step in (NQT last year) and we were both told we were on thin ice and to act our age by doing as we're told. I was completely shocked as I've always got on with the DHT. I've since had meeting with my NQT mentor who suggested that the DHT has always been like that but it's just because she is passionate about her ideas and that I shouldn't disagree (even if asked) because I haven't 'paid my dues' yet.

    Really unsure about this. My placement schools were nothing like this they were all very much about everybody sharing ideas and working together for the pupils but this school seems to have a divide with Senior Management making lots of the decisions, nothing gets communicated and then we get blamed when the LA come in and want to know why nobody knows about the new marking policy etc.

    Any advice? I probably sound stupid for complaining and I do understand the importance of the Deputy Head position, I want to stay at the school as I love the rest of the staff and my class (while very difficult - 3 statements and 7 SEN) are brilliant. Please help! I feel sick on going into school at the moment, worried that she'll walk into my class at any moment.

  2. <ol style="MARGIN-TOP:0cm;">
    <li class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0cm 0cm 0pt;TEXT-ALIGN:justify;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">someone who needs to put others down in order to raise their own self esteem
    <li class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0cm 0cm 0pt;TEXT-ALIGN:justify;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">
    The second type is more common but the first is more dangerous. Your DH sounds more like the second - this is a stressful time of year.

    Assertiveness training is well worth considering ? even if you just read a book on it. There are four behaviour choices that you have in dealing with difficult situations. You can be:

  3. While a lot of the previous post make sense there are some aspects where I have a different viewpoint.

    Clearly, the first type of bully described above should not be working in a school -- unfortunately many do. Further, i'd suggest that people in senior positions in schools should not be in those positions if they use stress as an excuse to abuse others (What is described above as the second type of bully). Further, while its fine for a narcissistic toddler or even teenager's bad behaviour to be explained / excused because they were 'angry' no one should accept that a senior person 'seeming' angry is at any time acceptable for that persons bad behaviour.
    People with narcissistic personality disorder routinely use a narcissistic rage to control others in the same environment. 'Normal' people believe that what they see is real 'out of control' anger but often it is feigned anger. Effective bullies will often combine their show of anger with projection whereby they project their own shortcomings onto those they are targetting. e.g. suggesting that they think they have all the answers or that they want involved in everything. Further, they can fling in suggestions that they have had complaints about the person they are targetting - this is often total lies but both the projection and the suggestions of complaint provide an indication of both their self doubts and their intended next move -- i.e. for the previous scenario, they think they know best, that they want control of everything and that they will get others to complain about you.
    Workplace bullies are excellent actors and when in position of relative power have significant advantage re manipulating others. THey rely on people making excuses and allowances for them e.g. that's the way they are, just ignore it etc. - We shouldn't. These are adults with resopnsibility for their own behaviour and for the physical and psychological wellbeing of those who work for them - Their behaviour should not negatively impact on how others feel regardless of any suggestion of lack of intent.
    With workplace bullying, as with domestic abuse, the difficult part comes when you recognise that you are being bullied - Its not as simple as simply being more assertive and at times, the power imballance is so great that a show of assertive behaviour will be seen as a challenge by the bully and will trigger a move form simply controlling behaviours to victimisation and discrediting of the target (or worse).
    Mediation - is also often suggested as an appropriate way of dealing with bullies in the workplace - With adult bullies, the norm is for them to see mediation as a sign of weakness and while they will say what is required to seem reasonable, they will become more devious and predatory. They know that the person being targetted is reasonable and that they simply want the bad behaviour to stop and that they will believe what they are told by the bully (e.g. I didn't realise that you were upset etc further they will contrive excused for their behaviour land will rarely apologice or admit fault. THey might even feign concern. -- After a day or two they will use others as enablers to discredit the target to blame themselves for the way they are being treated.
    It is impoerant for all teachers to understand how important it is for them to recognise that they must make a real effort to understand the psychology which is required to understand both how bullies operate and how they manipluate normal 'good' people into bullying others. The definition in the previous post does not cover the people who act as the 'henchmen' for the bullies who pull the strings.
    Bullies like the status quo where most people think that they understand bullying and that they would be able to recognise if they themselves were being controlled or targetted by a bully. THe reality is that we mostly don't understand what we need to and that we are simply not as smart as we like to think we are.

    In the NQT position where you are 'getting out', it is often worth looking at survival techniques to get through the year and this often will require that you look at damage limitation techniques - i.e. let the bully think that you are under their control and therefore provide them with their narcissistic supply and pose no threat to their position. It requires that you don't always do what you really should in all situations.However, you should never allow yourself to be manipulated so as to damage others. Its important to get the balance right.

  4. Thank you very much for the responses particularly the links to those other threads. One of the threads particularly shone out to me that described the situation where a DHT/HT had been very accepting of ideas initially, using them for her own gain and then criticising the ideas that come from the 'victim' in a quick turn around. This is exactly what I feel has happened to me. Initially it was very much 'You have great ideas, you really think outside the box' etc. and there were even discussions of me taking over the lead in Literacy from January and going on Leading Teacher training. Then suddenly I'm being shouted at in meetings, being told I'm 'weak' and the training has been passed to another teacher. I don't think I'm perfect but think the way things have been done could be considered bullying particularly as everything has been played out in the middle of a staff meeting, being called 'weak' and then being told by my NQT mentor/Headteacher that they've got no problem in assuming that I will meet the standards in my end of term review! All very strange!!
  5. This is n important thread for raising awarness of a very real problem -- please have a read and encourage others to do the same.
  6. Its a good title for a thread - and there's some good informaion here.
  7. Some links that are worth a look.
  8. I'm really impressed by the analysis above, very thorough and accurate. I was bullied during my NQT year. For me behaviours included.
    Pressure to conform to excessive workload. (Really excessive so that it was impossible to do anything well).
    Negative / harsh comments in front of other members of staff / children.
    Fits of temper. (In front of staff, children and parents).
    Being excluded from unscheduled meetings.
    Being excluded from social events.
    Being the 'victim' of rumours.
    Being told that there was 'nothing good' about my teaching. (I've never been told this before or since).
    Contradictory advice given resulting in SMT 'covering each other's backs'
    On the advice of my union, I got out. I've been doing supply since. I almost got a job on Friday (second choice at interview) so I know there's hope for me. I've built up my confidence again since almost having a nervous breakdown. 2011 has been a shattering year career wise but I'm getting better. I strongly advice you to get out. All the best. x

  9. Its important that people take more interest in understanding that workplace bullying is often not recognised for what it is. There are many god people who's careers and sometimes lives have been destroyed as a result of bullying yet they have never yet recognised that what has happened to them was in fact bullying.

    By being able to recognise the patterns of behaviour being used, informed individuals and groups then have a chance to challenge and or expose the behaviours. Bullies do not like people to understand bullying!
  10. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Some of us realised it alright but when the options are
    a) Stand your ground and get a reputation for 'trouble making' so early in your career or
    b) Try and just get on with it until your NQT is completed
    its not easy to decide which to go for. Everything is always easier in hindsight x

  11. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Sad, but very true...

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