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Dealing With Difficult People at Work

June 21, 2010

Let’s face it – as teachers, that’s pretty much what we do.  We work with people – intensively – all day long.  It can be really rewarding, or it can be exhausting.

It’s not just the people in our classrooms with whom we need to concern ourselves, though.  Sometimes work relationships can be just as demanding, whether rewarding or draining.

One of the findings in my research that really stood out was the event of having worked with an administrator or co-worker who was inept, incompetent, or a bully.

I think it’s a real shocker for teachers when they enter the workplace, expecting everyone to have the same good intentions – the same goal.  The fact is, unfortunately, education work places are not all that different from other work places  in that the employees are all coming to this place with different goals, and different ideas of how to accomplish them.  It’s very disappointing to discover that some educators aren’t all that secure about themselves, and don’t always act like adults when resolving problems.

Of the folks I interviewed, the vast majority ( and I’m talking twelve out of thirteen) reported administrative or co-worker behavior as a factor in their decision to leave.

That, unfortunately, is one of education’s dirty little secrets.

Ok.  Now what?

It doesn’t hurt to have some tools for dealing with difficult co-workers or supervisors.  That’s what I’ll be addressing this week in my postings.  Stay tuned.

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