I don’t talk a lot about teaching (probably because I get enough of it at work and home) but, this week is going to have more than one post about the subject. Usually while I am working with students, mainly the junior high ones, I try to add in little snippets of wisdom that students could use in their everyday life, even if I am teaching math/special education/language arts.

Here my mind goes blank. Just like the last post said I started talking about one thing and got completely off subject in my head and now I can’t remember what the advice I was going to talk about was….Oh…ok ANYWAYS

The advice I’ve recently shared with the 7th grade students, who have had a lot of drama going on lately, is that you can’t choose who you are going to be around in work or school and you have to learn to live with that. If the person you go to school with or work with is getting on your nerves because they are doing something you don’t like ask them to stop or if they could do it a different way. If that doesn’t work then do the bare minimum of interaction with the person that you can. I tried to explain to them in life you can’t choose who you work with and you have to work with them if you want to keep your job.Let’s just say that advice didn’t stick in their brains very well because they still acted the same way toward each other.

Here’s the problem with me giving that advice though, I don’t actually follow it. Since I’m a special education teacher I work with a lot of different people. Not only do I work with the general education teachers but, I also work with the school counselor, psychologist, administrators, outside resources, personal aides, teacher aides, parents, students, and numerous other positions I don’t even want to think about right now. I get along with almost every single person that I work with. I mean I had some problems with the psychologist because he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing but, I just picked up the slack and it was fine.

Here’s the thing though I have a personal aide in one of my classes and I thought we got along but these past couple of month have been torture. At first I thought it was just my class, the subject, or me. Then I find out that she chooses someone each year to act like that towards. I don’t know why she started acting like this toward me now but, I’m so over it.

I can’t even remember when it started but, she would start sighing, walk out of the classroom, and then come back with some modification she had made. She would give it to the student she was a personal aide for, sigh some more, and then interrupt me and ask the other students if they wanted the modified paper. Don’t get me wrong I would have loved that kind of help at the beginning. I mean a teacher isn’t going to get everything right and other people can have ideas that I might never think of. My problem was the way she went about doing it. She acted like it was making her go out of her way yet I never told her to do these things.

Then she started doing even more. She would sigh during class, interrupt me while I was teaching to tell the students something different, shake her head if something I did didn’t work, and on and on and on. Then she did something that made me so angry I refuse to talk to her (I adult real well) unless she speaks to me.

Let me precede this by saying the class she is in is so big I have to use another teachers room and that teacher was in the room at the time During the class as we going over our end of the year projects and making all of the pieces she had the nerve to look at the other teacher and say, “I’m not of fan of math and I don’t like this class. I like history though.” (The other teacher teaches history) To which he said, “You’re only saying that because I’m in here.” She replies, “Nope, I said it in front of her (she points at me). At least we learn something in History unlike in here.”

Let me tell you this right now it took all of my strength not to say how unprofessional, rude, a bad role model, and disrespectful she was being. She could have said all of that but in front of the kids? Not only did you basically tell them that there was no reason for them to try in my class because you don’t learn anything but, you also helped to reinforce that they don’t like math and it isn’t useful. This after I’ve tried to make them like math by doing fun activities throughout the year and teaching it as a life skill.

She did the same thing today. We were playing a math dice game which, I’ll admit isn’t the most educational thing to do. We only have a couple days left though and have already done our semester exams. She walked into the room said the sound was annoying, they weren’t learning and she wasn’t going to listen to it. She then proceeded to walk out.

I can’t tell you why she has acted like this toward me and why she feels the need to be so rude. Maybe it is because I’m so young and she has kids my age I don’t know.  I can tell you that when you work with a co-worker like that it makes the class go by slower and makes you dread having to work with them. My students might have gotten to do a lot of hands on activities but they also learned to measure liquids, measure distances, reviewed adding/subtracting/dividing/multiplying, can figure out discounts, add money, find change, create a budget, and a lot of other math that deals with life skills. I’m sorry that I refuse to teach them algebra and geometry but they are in my class for a reason and if I can teach them life skills about math that’s what I’m going to do.

Have you ever had a co-worker that you dreaded working with?




9 thoughts on “The Co-worker that Grinds Your Gears

  1. I so wish I was in your maths class, it sounds so fun actually applying the knowledge to everyday situations instead of sitting around and doing questions from a textbook. We should at least be given an opportunity to apply it more practically and maybe then I would enjoy it more

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried to make it a fun learning environment because so many people hate math and it doesn’t have to be that way. My class is for special education students so it makes sense for me to show them how to practically apply it in every day life more so than a regular algebra or geometry class. Although, we just shot off rockets yesterday and used the Pythagorean theorem to figure out how high the rockets went so I guess you could practically apply it a little in other math classes too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My mouth dropped reading this. I’m one to keep comments to myself as well. I would say you should talk to her but the truth is, I wouldn’t say anything either. I don’t like anything that can cause conflict.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are two reasons I haven’t said anything to her. The first reason is that she is on a lot of committees with the school and the one person I’ve told about it said she could do a lot of damage. The second reason is that I’m leaving and I don’t really care. I’m going to mention everything that has happened to the principal on one of my last days and whatever he does with it is his business.


  4. You are a stronger women than me 🌹 Thank you for your hard work and for devotion to special needs children. I have one son on the autism spectrum and he is my challenge. I can’t imagine the patience you have to teach a whole classroom. I am sorry your co-worker was being unprofessional. I would ask her for a private meeting and talk to her about how you feel about her behavior. Maybe you will open the door & build a relationship where you both are able to work together happily.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like you do amazing work! No one deserves to be treated the way your co-worker treated you–being rude, disrespectful, and intentionally undermining the hard work you’re doing with your students is completely unacceptable! It really sucks to be stuck in a situation where you feel powerless to a bullying co-worker, but I think you’re doing the right thing by telling about your experience on the way out. Maybe documenting her behavior might help you make a stronger case… but it’s up to you how much you want to get involved!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. She sounds like a bit of a bully, and definitely has something on her mind that I don’t think has anything to do with you. You’re just the closet person to her during the day that she can pick on. Personally, I would have a private chat with her. I wouldn’t do any pointing of fingers, but I would tell her how she makes me feel. It’s typically best to start with “I as opposed to “You.”

    You may also ask her what you can do to make her day brighter. You might be surprised when she answers. She’s so stuck in her current place she may have never realized how “dark” she actually is. I couldn’t imagine working with a coworker I didn’t get along with everyday without finding an amicable solution for both of us. This is your career. It’s her job! Maybe she wishes the roles were reversed. There are colleges for that!

    Something lies beneath all of her stuff. Aren’t you curious??? I tend to be a huge Energy buff. Do you come into the room each day before or after her? I’d suggest setting the Energy gauge in the room with your Energy first thing. That way “her negative stuff” will have a tougher time breaking through. She may just decide to move herself and her negative Energy on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some days she is in there before me other days I’m I’m there before her. She just doesn’t like her job. She was at the junior high but they cut her position and moved her to the high school. I’d like to tell her to go back to school and get a degree in teaching if she wants to do so much but I’m leaving and not starting things right before I do.


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