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workplace bullying

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by catzroolz, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Having a few problems at work lately and I'm not sure if its bullying or trying to worm me out of my job!
    Without going into too many details, an NQT and a support member of staff have been discussing me behind my back, I only know because one of the bolshily mentioned an issue that she would only have known by speaking to my support staff.
    They are both keeping tabs on my pupils and I feel they are trying to catch me out if I don't do everything perfectly (and who is perfect?)
    The NQT decided to approach me about an issue (which isn't actually an issue in my eyes because I know what I've told my pupils) regarding a group I teach. Then she criticised how I dealt with 'the situation' and said I had undermined her, I don't feel I did, I apologised at the time because she was very confrontational but now, on reflection I feel there wasn't anything to apologise for!.
    There is a lot of uncertainty regarding jobs at the school at the moment and I think this might be the reason people are behaving like this, but it is making me feel very uncomfortable and anxious and I'm not happy with the way she feels she has to tell me how to deal with my pupils!
  2. This doesn't make sense, let me rephrase!!
    I only know because the NQT mentioned an isse she would only have known by speaking to my member of support staff.
    Also, another issue, I'm part time so I have a few early finishes and they have accused me of skiving and sneaking away from the school premises!
  3. = bullying. Comes in many shapes and forms, gets dressed up as harassment, but it's all the same.
    Don't ignore it. Firstly make a confidential timeline and diary of what's going on. This includes not speaking, glaring, putting down as well as discussing you.
    Ask your line manager in confidence if this person has any management position over you. Explain that she is monitoring your classes and you'd just like to be clear about who you work to.
    Ask the NQTs line manager and mentors the same questions, and ask if the NQT has been given the impression that she should be advising fully qual teachers on their classroom practice.
    The reaction of the managers of these people may push the bullying into the background for now. But bullies never actually stop, they just go quiet for a while. So use this time also to put down a marker with your union rep (your written timeline) to say what has gone on and ask advice.
    It is your line manager's initial responsibility to resolve this, most don't, but setting things down in writing provides evidence to support your case that is useful later on.
  4. Thank you old grey wolf, good advice and a nice reply just in time for my journey into work!
  5. This is excellent advice from oldgreywolf. I do believe that what is happening to you is bullying because a similar situation happened to me when I worked in the health field. At best it is highly unproductive passive-aggressive behaviour on their part - backstabbing you in this way is hardly helpful or professional to anyone.
    Aside from the excellent advice above, I can only advise you to trust your own perceptions of what is happening - that you are being treated badly (that 'on reflection' eureka moment you had was your instincts talking - listen to them) And then smoke them out at every opportunity. By that I mean address hints and passive aggression with open honest communication and negative enquiry. Take the initiative to meet with them and air any grievances that appear to be festering. When hints are thrown about your competence, put the onus back on them and ask 'So what are you trying to say?' or 'What do you mean by that?' Show them that you are assertive, confident and are not afraid to confront them because you are all professionals, right? Turn the lights on darlin, and they will have nowhere to hide! Gaslighters thrive in secrecy and darkness - switch the lights on! [​IMG]
  6. Confrontational as she was she effectively bullied you into submitting and you became passive. In future dealings with her, hold your head up high and be assertive. Don't be afraid to fight fire with fire! In a professional assertive way of course - meet her aggression with assertiveness. Don't let her bully you by submitting too quickly and too easily. I know it is hard though, because a) you want to take the moral high road and 'be the adult' (Most targets are the same!) b) You second guess your own perceptions and worry you may be interpreting her behaviour incorrectly!
    You can still be assertive and remain the kind person that you are.
  7. Tell her to mind her own business...then when she gets confrontational burst into tears and then leave early in an obviously distressed state (C'mon girls - you know how to do it; smudging the eyeliner wins every time). Use the time to go over every little bit of her planning, paperwork etc etc and then issue a list of her failings and/or the issues you have with her approach to teaching (this is easy - just download some educational bs off the net). The dossier should be very very thick. She'll get the message. [​IMG]

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