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Ex mentor trying to undermine me constantly

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by MonstieBags, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    I was taken on in the school in which I trained but was given year 6 - the year group previously taught by my mentor and they have been moved to lower down the school.
    This person is still a subject lead and at book looks and meetings praises everyone else's books but derides mine - very quick to find fault in everything and even takes it on themselves to discipline children from my class if they misbehave at lunch time and then makes a big show of how they stepped in.
    Finding this wearing - its obvious this person resents having been moved from year 6. HAs this ever happened to anyone else and if so how did you overcome it?
  2. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Make sure your books are really good and shove them under the nose of the HT.
    Flanks, Curae, pepper5 and 4 others like this.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Senior commenter

    Do as @Pomza says. Make sure you behave impeccably. I know it's easy to say - but someone this resentful and bitter will overstep the mark. Do not stoop to their level.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I imagine this person is feeling very put out and hurt that they have been moved from year 6 to make way for the NQT they mentored. Who knows how it was put to them and what was said. Perhaps they are desperate to show they are a great teacher for reasons you aren't party to.

    Disciplining your class at lunchtime is great...leave them to it as it saves you a job.
  5. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Hi I do think this person is hurt and put out - I was very keen not to take this person's role. Thank you - I think I may have to move schools because I feel bad about it and can see no way round this.
    pepper5 and jlishman2158 like this.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I don't understand the suggestions above, that you must make yourself unimpeachable and also not say anything, because this implies that you are in fact giving this person a little rope with which to criticise you.
    But you are not. That is the whole point of your post. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. You portray somebody who views you with a lack of parity to others, and to that extent it will make no difference how squeaky clean you are.
    My angle would be this-say it as it is. If you feel the criticism is biased against you and in front of others as you describe, then at the next such occaision you need to look them squarely in the the eye, and also in front of others ask the question "why are you always so quick to criticise when in fact I am doing a pretty good job?"
    In some ways, this person is thriving on you not doing this.
    Do it just once and watch things change.
    Don't present a bully with a person who accepts their bullying.
    And no-don't make yourself flawless so they have nothing to get you with. Instead, make yourself flawless as a matter of your own personal standards, for yourself and to the benefit of the kids. Not for her.
    Maybe she can'thelp it, maybe she doesn't know it, maybe she's been treated badly. I don't care. She's a bully, but of the most innocuous sort. She needs to be told what she is doing.
    Flanks, sabrinakat, pepper5 and 7 others like this.
  7. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Established commenter

    Can you say to them, “do you mind if o send all my misbehaving children to you throughout the day because you’re so good and this behaviour management thing. And can I take some of your books to go through so I look in detail at the marking. Then I can have a better idea of what to do! Oh and by the way, can I come and observe you teach too? Maybe once a week? I’ll get back to you if there is anything else :D

    I’m sure this person will soon stop if every action is followed up with “can you?”

    The posters are right though, these people aren’t worth it and it shows there is something wrong with them. They may already feel inadequate and perhaps think you are much better than they are. Xx
    sabrinakat, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  8. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    Are you sure you’re not being a bit over sensitive and anticipating there being an issue because you ‘took’ the colleague’s slot? Maybe they are feeling resentful, but maybe they asked to be moved out of the stresses of year 6 and are ok with it. You probably don’t actually know for sure the reasons behind the move.

    Is there definitely nothing to improve about your books? If you are a NQT, it’s possible that you do still have things to learn.

    Perhaps the ex mentor is targeting you. I’m drawn to consider an alternative point of view.

    By the way, from your other post it seems your school is horribly stressed. No one is likely to be behaving or feeling their best, which might be clouding your and your colleague’s behaviour etc.
  9. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Have a word with your current mentor as you are presumably an NQT and have one.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Thanks you are possibly right.
    I am one of only two full time staff in a year 5/6 mixed class. My workload is horrendous. My mentor is now in early years so I can't have a look at books .
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  11. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    Poor you. Sounds tough.

    EDA - they’ve moved her from year 6 to Early years! Jeepers! I hope things settle down for you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. elfinamerica

    elfinamerica New commenter

    Both myself and a good teacher friend of mine have been in a very similar situation to yourself. *Really common!

    ***My friend did this one.
    If she/he tries to undermine you again, speak to her at the end of the lesson (not in front of students), look her dead in the eyes and say something along the lines of '....Is there an issue/have I done something to upset you, because I feel that you are constantly undermining me. Please do not undermine me in front of the students.'

    Log everything date/time - speak to union rep/close confidant.

    If it happens again (second time) 'I'm still feeling an underlying tension here, can we resolve this as it is not a conductive environment'

    OR *If you don't want to confront her - I, personally did this and the result was immediate!

    You write a letter to your line manager (not someone that she is close knit with) and ask for a meeting. Mention that she/he is undermining you *with dates and times of any incidents - put everything in here!

    Mention that it is causing you distress and ensure that the letter is factual (with dates and times) not emotional.

    PM message me if you like ;)
  13. iyetd

    iyetd New commenter

    Have you tried speaking to your old mentor about the way s/he has been acting? Maybe at a time where they are free? Sometime there may be a miscommunication?

    I had this with a trainee once (heavy workload, not enough time and me being stressed) and once we talked about it, it made me realise that actually I was in the wrong but it wouldn't have been resolved if we hadn't had a conversation and made me reflect on the situation.
  14. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Sorry, I've got to look at this from another angle. If I was the ex-mentor I would be really miffed to have lost the class that I wanted and was used to teaching. (Unless she requested the move). I am also a bit of a perfectionist and convinced that no-one can do the job as well as me. The truth of the matter is that someone in their first year of teaching will simply not be as good as someone who has been at it for some years.
    I also got fed up of helping newbies and giving them help and advice only for them to stab me in the back and try to get ahead at my expense. I am not suggesting that you are doing this but it may be her perception.
    o.k. book scrutinies: ask for feedback. What could be better? What do you need to do next? Act upon the feedback and then shove it under her nose and point out what you have done.
    Discipline: are you a bit friendly and not strict? Keep on top of the little blighters - you will be doing their year 7 teacher a favour. Watch what the ex-mentor is pulling them up over and make that a target for improvement. Point out to ex-mentor that you are doing this "I've had a word with little Johnny with regard to his noisy disruptive behavior. I'm keeping an eye on him."
    Keep smiling:). I don't think it's time to consider a change of job yet.
  15. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Hi thank you. I am actually a fifty odd year old who has been teaching in FE and working with children out of school for various reasons for about twenty years. I have very high expectations of behaviour and will not stand for nonsense. The behaviour this mentor is dealing with is the the sort where two or three girls come to find you at lunch time to complain about one of the other girls - I have quite a few queen bees in my class and their behaviour towards each other leans towards bullying by exclusion quite often. I have been in the process of training them that I will not stand for this trying to get others into trouble and they are now beginning to realise that it won't wash with me. My mentor on the other hand is a different matter and they are now focussing on her to tell their whiny tales about each other.
    Since I tool over the class, the children are a lot more independent and behaviour is much calmer, quieter and conducive to work. As someone who has a lot of experience with older children, I do have a slightly stricter approach but I understand where you are coming from and thank you for your advice.
  16. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Thank you - I will try this.
  17. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Thank you for this. Obviously Ii agree with you - I think too many people are trying to sort things out by working even harder - I am beginning to think that an awful lot of school bullies became teachers lol.
  18. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    Thanks - this is good advice - will give it a try
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It could also be that the girls don't feel listened to by you and so are going to a teacher they know will listen and understand. This is very common behaviour among girls of this age and requires a lot of time, effort, tact, delicacy and understanding. It drives many teachers mad, but seeing it as 'bullying', or 'getting each other in to trouble', is not going to help. As you have seen, the children merely find a member of staff who will listen and care if their own doesn't.
    Which could well be why you are finding things tricky with the person who taught the class before. You are in a very small school, where things tend to be more caring and informal and children are less used to the approach you are clearly using. If it works for you and children and parents are happy, then stick with it, but don't expect to be popular with colleagues. Certainly not with one who has clearly used a very different approach before.
  20. CWadd

    CWadd Senior commenter

    To the OP - if you're the same MonstieBags who has posted two threads on this forum about resenting being asked to lead RE, perhaps you should think about moving on. There seem to be a lot of issues at this school which you are clearly unhappy about. I would like to stress that I don't think its you - I think its them.

    I would also move on due to money. Anyone who has 20 years' experience in education should be on a higher salary than M1/2. I worked with a colleague who moved into Secondary after 15 years in FE two years ago - he was straight onto UPS1.

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