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Teachers bullied by 'colleagues'

margaret1
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member


If you’re a teacher being bullied by HOD/ Principal/ colleague I think this may help you. It helped me a lot. I couldn’t understand why when I
was such a good teacher I was having such ridiculous, hurtful, nasty, petty, time wasting, health destroying problems at work.

Anyway here you are; this is why we get bullied:

Teacher bullies in schools “fear exposure of their perceived shortcomings, such as inadequacy and incompetence, and these people bully not
for fun but in order - they think - to survive. Competent colleagues fuel the bully's fear that shortcomings in their capabilities will surface, so they tend to select targets who fulfil some of the criteria below.

Being competent, that is being good at their job, often excelling; being willing to go the extra mile and expect others to do the same; being successful, tenacious, determined, courageous, having fortitude; being imaginative, creative, innovative; being able to master new skills;
thinking long term and seeing the bigger picture; being helpful, always willing to share knowledge and experience; being diligent and
industrious

Being Popular with colleagues, pupils, parents, Being regarded as an expert and the person to whom others come for advice, either personal or professional, having a sense of humour, including displays of quick-wittedness

Having strength of character displaying integrity, honesty,intelligence and intellect; having a well-defined set of values that they are unwilling to compromise; being trustworthy, trusting, conscientious, loyal and dependable; a sense of fairness: willingness to tackle injustice, low propensity to violence and strong forgiving streak, refusing to join an established clique; being sensitive, having empathy, concern for others, respect, tolerance, being slow to anger, showing independence of thought or deed, refusing to become a corporate clone and drone, having high coping skills under stress, especially when the injury to health becomes apparent


69 Replies 69

Well my emails to the Department were professional.....but today they issued me with a Fair warning / Fair Action.

ie be quiet....

Hey FF;

Whew! You've really got it tough. What they've done isn't 'fair' action. It's industrial action and as such, you'll need representation. Placing you so far from home when there's somewhere closer needs appealing. If you do this on your own, they'll use every tactic they can to keep the pressure on and wear you down.

Badger the PSA for help. As you're in a major city, there has to be a delegate, surely. Regional areas aren't as well equipped unfortunately. Fair Work could be an external place to visit and discuss their 'fair' actions/warnings as well.

I've said it many times; this isn't for the faint hearted. I'm here ok? Please take care of yourself to be the best you can for your kids. I know it's hard, but at the end of the day, your role as Dad is so important, and so is your income as a single parent.

I hate this; I really hate it! All this bullshit about case management, individual planning, blue sky thinking...it only works when it's used. It's all fine with our clients/pupils etc, but when 'our' lives are affected, all the positive thinking goes out the window. How are they supporting you? They're supposed to follow their own policies which includes supervision and mentoring!

I'm sorry to rant, but it stirs up very painful memories. My career went down the toilet because of their inability to admit wrong-doing and deal with the hard basket. Gives me the shits to no end.

Heartfelt support...

Sara

margaret1
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I am out. I am on salary until retirement and got a lump sum tpd plus medical for life. I have you my dearest darling to thank for it. The information you provided saved me from falling for their tricks. I came back to forum to thank you. I wish I could send you flowers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

What a wonderful surprise Margaret! I've thought about you periodically since we last communicated. It seems you've been busy; lol.

I can say I'm more than a bit envious of your amazing outcome. Hindsight's something useful if it can be shared. I'm so happy you made it as we both know how draining and bloody horrible it was for you to go thru.

The flowers you've offered up are gratefully accepted. To know I've helped you is a blessing and reminds me of what can be achieved on this forum if we put our heads together to weather the storms.

Thankyou for letting me know Marg. Sending heartfelt thoughts your way to add to your beautiful life.

Kind and gentle regards;

Sez xo

EeeDee
Community Member
Hi All, I am also a teacher, your posts have been such an eye opener, comforting but frightening. Currently I am on sick leave as a result of school changes that were rushed through that will affect my position at the school next year. I have been at the school for four years, building relationships,doing a good job so I was led to believe and then BAM an announcement at staff meeting to say my position will no longer be offered. There was no heads up or counselling, no private meetings about what I can do next. Nothing. The feeling that you are no longer valued at a school,or that you were not even worth a private conversation on the changes was soul destroying. I have moments of hiding beneath my blanket at home, wondering aimlessly around my property lost in thought and weak from not eating. I sleep now only with the aid of anti-anxiety pills. Even though I have battled anxiety all my life I have never been medicated before. I hate that the schools off-handed treatment of me after four years of dedication and love for my job has driven me to medication. I feel valueless, worthless and I yo-yo between despair and anger. I thought I had support and good relationshipss with the staff at the school. I don't want a compensation package I just want to get well but I want to know that while I do this I am not losing an income. I have a contract with the school that ends at the end of the year. I also miss the kids so much but it sickens me to think of walking back into a school that held little value to what I did and who I am. It frightens me to read all your posts, as I did have a melt down over the phone with the principle, demanding why these changes were implemented when our school was going through an unsettled time. Why did no one think to talk to me etc Now I'm worried my emotional tirade will be used against me. I am also worried that the letter I attached to my injury report to the department will be used against me. I was not bullied but I was definitely not the golden child at the school that had a lot of leadership support. I was pretty much left alone. Now I question everything, I haven't received any contact from the school at all. And there are so many I have a good relationship with teaching there and I'm frightened about what they were told. I'm constantly checking emails to see if anyone has reached out. But its silent. I don't know what my next move should be. Please help.

Hi and welcome ED to our caring community;

This particular thread has been very close to my heart due to what can happen when good people get treated badly and, how important it is to help people turn things around.

I'm so sorry you're feeling the way you do. I'm glad you have med support as sleep is our most precious recovery tool when it comes to anxiety/depression. Congratulations on having the courage to post as well. This is the hardest part I assure you..

Please understand that many administrators or people in authoritative positions don't have very good people skills. They're driven by policies, personal goals, budgets and key performance indicators just to name a few, moreso than how individual subordinates cope with change in their lives.

Baseline staff are the backbone to any organisation; respect is earned and deserved well and truly, and by all rightful standards should be acknowledged as such. But, money talks a language that these old school values don't align with anymore.

I have to go to an appt but wanted to pop by, welcome you and let you know I'm here with you, so please don't worry. I'm not as angry and Gung-ho as I once was, but still very effective. 🙂

I'll be back later on this evening or in the morning so please ask questions or talk about how you're feeling some more. It can't hurt to vent..

Try not to compare your situation with Marg. Hers was a full on battle of wills, very different to yours. There's still things you can do though, ok. I'm sorry I couldn't write more. Tomorrow's another day...

Kind thoughts;

Sez (Hug)

EeeDee
Community Member
Thank you Sara, your words and support I've seen and read here is wonderful. There is so much things to think of and processes to remember that it gets a bit overwhelming. Your kind words have helped. Yesterday I went to see a psychologist for the first time. She said I needed to get back into class an accept that it wont be at the level I would like as I am a perfectionist and I will need to accept that. I'm so tired and exhausted about talking about it and explaining that I may have put up a wall. I so much want to get back into class but I hyperventilate just thinking of going back and teaching in a school that undervalued the years of hard work I put in. She wanted to put me on anti depressants so I can manage going back to teaching at the school, but away from the issue (what happened at my school) I am a lively person with so much to look forward to. I am angry that because of a mismanagement and feeling powerless at school they want to medicate me. I am not suicidal, I am not self harming, I am not moping around - well a bit when I let certain thoughts take hold, I keep busy. Yesterday I sat with a sheep that was weak for two hours until help arrived. I felt good and free and needed. I did not let my mind travel to the injustices that was shown me at my school and I was good. I still have anxiety, I tremble and don't have an appetite but I eat bananas drink tea and have soup. I know I will be fine, I just need time to heal. Is it normal to throw medication at people at times like this?

Hi again ED;

To answer your last question; no it's not normal to throw medication at people in these situations. If you're not sure, please seek another opinion. Trying less invasive practices like counselling, meditation and beating a pillow (:-D) might be enough to calm your nerves. **Letting it go on for too long unattended is 'always' the problem!

What you've been confronted with is a lack of - information, courtesy, acknowledgement and thanks. Would this hurt? Sure! Is it fixable? Probably not. However..

Letting people know how it feels to be ignored and overlooked can sometimes get thru. Doing it at a team meeting might help. **Make sure you also express how you would've preferred it to happen (as an offering) because just ranting about emotions and the unfairness of it won't be seen as effective or constructive.

This may sound a little over the top ED; but your managers aren't 'parents'. They don't actually have to consider your feelings. That's a nice personal trait to have, but if it's not there, it's not there. All you can do is speak up about it or walk away.

The main issue is getting you back at work enjoying what you do. Acceptance is a good idea as fighting change will prolong fear and interfere with future goals and opportunities.

You know the saying? When one door closes, another one opens. You won't see them thru disgruntled and hurt eyes though. Focus on what's achievable and exciting to look forward to, not what might hold you back.

It's ok to feel a little scared too. I'd be concerned if you weren't.

Take care and look out for number one! 😉 because they won't!

Keep talking ok. This site's quite therapeutic when you think about it.. How about telling me the feelings you had with the sheep. Some women need to feel appreciated and valuable more than others; it's that nurture thing I dare say. What do you think?

Kind thoughts;

Sez

IHT
Community Member

Hi Sara

Finding your post made me believe that there are other people actually experiencing my inner hell.

I am a teacher currently on approved workcover. I have been off work for about 12 months after being bullied in the extreme. I am back at the school doing two days and being micro managed to the extreme.

I am now so paranoid about writing what has happened for fear someone in my school or the department might find this thread and it be used against me.

My claim was accepted within 24 hours of the insurance company receiving it. The main bully is my principal who is effectively the workplace manager over seeing my return to work plan.

In meetings she acts inappropriately and says things to me such as your off work cause your sick in a very aggressive tone. Neither the rehab ‘girl’ nor the support person ( who has apologised to me for not supporting me before I left work and whilst I was on leave in front of the rehab girl ) said a word. I left the meeting in tears again.

Afterwards this time the rehab girl’s supervisor said on the phone to my dr “I believe we need HR involved to see if she continues to speak to you in this way cause right now she is not accountable to anyone” she also said to me she believed the mediation (which went for over 7 hours) didn’t work.. every time I brought up bullying incidents it was dismissed.

On the phone the next day after my doctor’s appointment the same person said she believed my principal has a “personality disorder” and the only way we can try to fix the situation is to involve HR etc. She then said I would be very interested to see if she behaves in the same manner in front of HR. To me this indicates that they know I’m being bullied but what scares me is the minute I’m not on work over I will be on a performance review. I’m terrified I will be performance managed out and ultimately lose my ability to pay my mortgage.

Please could you tell me if I go to another school in my RTW plan do I ultimately have to go back to my school? Is it possible to work at an alternate school for good?

The union haven’t helped me, what’s happened to me has even involved police who are backing me. If I wrote what’s happened they will be able to identify me too easily. Please please help me I’m so sad and alone. I don’t want to be “medically retired” because I don’t know what that really means.

IHT
Community Member

Hi Margaret1.

I am glad to hear you are out. Does that mean you have been “medically retired” if so could you please explain it to me. I am 37 and the rehab girl has basically said to me if I can’t cope with working under my current principal ( who is the bully ) then that is the road they may look at me going down?