April 10, 2013

A Call to All Teachers

I've worked in many, many schools since the start of my education career, both as a substitute and a teacher. I've taught preschool, high school, and everything in between. While middle school is definitely the right fit for me, I can't help but notice how much of the teacher behavior in these settings mimics our students.

Cliques, gossip, judgement, and even bullying. I've seen it all (sometimes by administrators). It truly breaks my heart that I find myself defending my coworkers to each other on almost a daily basis. I've recently stopped attending a weekly happy hour gathering because I refuse to take part in the maliciousness I've seen and heard.

I'm asking you, fellow teachers, to stand with me against this behavior in the workplace. We don't tolerate it from our students, and we shouldn't tolerate it from our peers.

You don't think that teacher's instruction is up to par? Try offering your lesson plans. Or, even better, donate your time to help that struggling teacher learn to write better plans!

You think her classroom management needs some work? Help her tweak it, using tips from what's working in your own room! She's likely overwhelmed and in need of your suggestions!

You're frustrated about something she said/did/didn't say/didn't do? Talk to her about it directly instead of talking about her to everyone else. You have to address a problem if you want to solve it! Maybe there's something you can do to help her help you!

Because when we let a teacher fail, we're really failing the students!


  1. Amen! And it's not just teachers. I see it with moms all the time. All the judgement, I'm better than you, or can you believe she's doing/not doing that sort of talk.

    Why do we expect our kids to do better if this is the way we as adults act and treat each other.

    I'm with you. Let's stand against this behavior EVERYWHERE!!

  2. Yes, that happens in my elementary school also.

  3. I was on the receiving end of bullying/pettiness/harrassment by a teacher in my department a few years ago. Her "suggestions" regarding my work came in the form of criticisms in front of other staff members and students. The worst part was the rest of the department (being her BFFs) didn't do anything to stop it. They participated as witnesses, and as we all tell our students, that's the same as bullying. I was surprised to see this type of behavior amongst adults. Guess once the popular girl, always need to remain the popular girl.

  4. Hear, Hear! A great post, Erin, and sadly, something that I feel we will need to remind ourselves of as our profession becomes more and more competitive. Between careers being made and broken as a result of test scores and many, many districts resorting to merit pay to motivate teachers to "work harder...work better"(as if money was why we went into teaching in the first place), this is going to be a continuing issue. We, as teachers, are always asking what we can do to affect change in education...perhaps being kind and supportive of each other sounds simple, but refusing to play into the divisive stage that is being set may just be part of the solution.
    Middle School Matters Blog