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Difficult colleague next year(5 Posts)
We found out at the end of last week where we are for next year, and I'm a bit worried about my new co-teacher. I've worked with her before, and she's not organised, doesn't do all the work she's supposed to, asks me to do things for her (!) and on top of it is really REALLY patronising, which is a bit rich! Even the children find it too much.
It's to the point where if it's that bad next year I want to say something, but it's hard because there's not something specific. You can't really go to the head and say "they're really patronising and their planning is shit", can you? It just feels really non-specific. I know their co-teacher this year did say something about her being challenging to work with at the end of the year.
Does anyone have any experience of handling this sort of situation? I am excited about my class and my year group, but this is like a giant shadow hanging over it!
Just do the best you can and try not to get bogged down in how she is would be my advice to you. You’re not going to change her and maybe she has misgivings about you.
Do you have to do lots of shared planning?
That would probably irritate me, but I think if you manage your expectations and focus on your own class, you will probably find it easier. When faced with someone whose planning is not to my taste, I just do my own without making a big deal out of it. So do what you need to do to share with her, accept her poor planning and then sort out your own. I know it seems unfair but is possibly the least stressful. If she is so bad as to leave you withoout work or is so last minute that it effects what you need to do, you could be more assertive and simply say that you prefer to plan all your own work as you have different approaches. You can guarantee that SLT know perfectly well that she is hard to work with.
We do all our planning together or split up the subjects between us. The previous year I worked with her I did end up planning a lot myself. That year group was three classes, and I and the other teacher just stopped giving her planning to do after the first term, because it wasn't worth us having to manage it and check up on it. Her being 'challenging' to work with is well known in school. It's just hard because it's not anything serious enough to complain about, but it is serious enough to have a huge impact on my work-life balance and my stress levels!
I doubt she has misgivings about me, given how often she asks me to bail her out! I'm not talking about normal helping out colleagues - I do that all the time. It's literally like "I forgot to do this, can you do it - thanks!". And on a personal level she'll ask if you know something, you say yes, and then she'll proceed to explain it to you at length. Whatever the female version of mansplaining is!
Perhaps I'm a soft touch. I'm more experienced now and more comfortable setting boundaries. I guess the answer is just to see what happens and then say something to her if it's unmanageable. I just don't feel like I should have to double my workload. I'm certainly not sharing my planning with her if I have to re-do it. Petty, maybe, but she seems blissfully unaware when other people are having to go out of their way to do her job for her.
Sorry, a bit of a rant, really!
Lecturer here and I share modules but thankfully usually where we teach our own segments; this can mean that students complain that X is organised and Y is not, though.
Can you rigidly share out planning and explicitly write what each person will do (I'm not clear if you have a third teacher this year or not?).
Then ask for an update "because I'm done with A" or "because I just wanted to look ahead to B". If no response escalate to copying in a line manager in an email maybe? Or asking for a sit down to manage workload "because we aren't quite where we should be", again with line manager?
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