I tend to like my advice quick and to the point. Sure, there’s a lot to be said for learning theories and understanding how the advice came to be. But in the end, I just want something practical that I can use tomorrow. That’s why I like this short video. It quickly explains points and tips that I can use to help avoid letting all of that negativity affect me.
When I needed help dealing with negative teachers, I didn’t just want to avoid them. I wanted to make the situation better. I wanted to know what I could actively do. Although I just recently found this article, the second half (“Eleven things to keep in mind ....”) hits just that. I especially love how asking people about their outside interests can put them in better moods and make them easier to work with.
Ah, “negative bonding.” That term is stuck in my head forever. Before reading this article about toxic coworkers, I used to do that all the time. Get the negative teacher on my side by finding something to commiserate over. Sure enough, one teacher I did that with kept coming to me to complain about testing, students, parents, and just about everyone. I wish I had found this article earlier, as these eight tips are great advice for any teacher.
I have to admit that I’ve never got the hang of mindfulness. Even though I love this article, I just can’t help but think about the future a lot. But I know some colleagues who can use that technique to help avoid burnout and get past the negativity from teachers who don’t know anything else. But for me, I liked reading how staying focused on students can help. After all, that’s what I’m here for.
I found this article while searching for how to deal with a particularly difficult department chair. While it’s not aimed directly at teaching, I instantly found that she fit the “Chicken Little” described in the article to a tee. Even better, it gave me a tough but effective strategy for dealing with such negativity. Once I asked the chair to lighten up some, her and I had a much better relationship. I think she respected how I politely brought it up.
I normally feel guilty when I label people, especially when that label is something like, “Problem teacher.” Everyone has bad days, right? That’s why this article stood out the moment I started reading. It helped me separate people who are hitting a rough spot from chronic complainers who don’t want to succeed anymore. It also describes seven tactics negative people depend on and some coping strategies. While a bit focused on administration, they were still helpful.