Tag Archives: people

No 34. Dealing with a difficult person with the word ‘feel’

difficult conversations

Unfortunately from time to time in the world of teaching you can encounter another member of staff that seems to be making your life difficult. This may include

  • talking to other people about you behind your back.
  • deliberately putting your ideas down during a meeting.
  • criticising you by e-mail and copying other people, often senior people into it. The cc and bcc are rarely used carefully.
  • greying matters by telling half truths.
  • talking to the students in their classes about you. A false and wholly inappropriate way of them gaining respect.

If you think this is happening to you then the worse thing you can do is to do nothing. You must confront the person directly and take the following steps

  1. Ask the person that you would like to talk to them privately – don’t do this by e-mail, keep it all face to face.
  2. Tell the person how they are making you ‘feel’. The key word here is ‘feel’. They won’t be able to argue with a feeling but can argue with facts which they can say are not true.
  3. Say that you would like it to stop otherwise you will be taking it further. Stress that you wanted to deal with the matter informally first.
  4. Keep things short and to the point. Keep it firm but friendly.
  5. Keep a record of it yourself in writing with a date but don’t send it to anyone.

I think it is really important to deal with the matter yourself. Don’t tell other people that you are going to do it or discuss extensively with other colleagues. You may end up being as bad as them! Make sure you are professional at all times.

difficult conversation 2

Incredible!

The images in this post are from here and here.

No 27. Improving students’ grades and behaviour by opening up communication at home

motherTalking2Son

This image is from here.

I would like to offer a tip to help students improve grades and behaviour. The challenges students face are often symptoms of a bigger issue. For example, bullying, suicide, drug and alcohol use and even eating disorders and obesity. Schools engage the students and schools communicate with parents but the missing link is the lack of connection between students and their parents/families. Studies show when kids feel a “real” connection with their parents/families, their behaviors improve across the board. FamilyeJournal.com helps open the lines of communication and get the conversation going again and in a meaningful way. Our data shows each online Q&A session takes only 5-7 minutes and all families can use the site for free. We hope you’ll encourage your students AND their families perhaps as a class project like some universities are doing.

The above post is a guest post  and is a tip to help students improve grades and behaviour.

No 21. There is no ‘Indispensable Man’

indispensable

The image above is from here

Next time you agree to give up your weekend to do go on a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition or drive a minibus on a Friday night in heavy traffic to take students to a debating competition think about this poem called the ‘Indispensable man’. It’s also a good poem to think about when you are in a meeting and you are about to thrust your point forward at the expense of everyone else. I remember once in my previous school a teacher that had been there for 30 years said to me “I don’t know how they will find replacement for me, they will need to find two people to replace me”. Well they did replace him and the school moved on. Usually you’re only as good as the next person. Enjoy your life and don’t let your work rule you.

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego ‘s in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You’re the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.  

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining,
Is a measure of how much you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.  

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

Incredible!