Join Rebel Teacher Academy!

How NOT to deal with a coworker's negative attitude

in-person teaching mindset my life teacher life Jan 19, 2021
Picture of sad looking woman. Title: How not to deal with a coworker's negative attitude

A couple of years ago, we hired a new math teacher at the last minute and I started the year with no knowledge of who this person was. Being my bright and happy self I bopped over (it is literally next door) and introduced myself! 

She was great! We got to talking and realized we actually lived near each other! 

I thought this year was going to be great! 

Oh, how wrong I was! 

As the year went on, this teacher continued to come into my room every day to say hi and chat about things, as coworkers do. 

In the beginning, I saw all the complaining as just being new to our very unique school and trying to get used to the new way of doing things. 

But as the year wore on, and as I tried to help and support this teacher, I began to realize that this person was just a negative person. 

No matter how many suggestions or solutions I provided, nothing was going to fix her problem. No matter what I said about how a student was just having an off day, she insisted that the kid was out to get her. 

As this pattern continued, where she would come into my room, complain, I would try to stay positive and helpful, she would reject it and eventually leave, I also began to see a change in my own attitude.

I was feeling more negative myself. 

I would be less social and outgoing and less happy basically. 

I didn't know how to tell this other teacher that talking to her every day was wearing away at my mental health and I needed a break, so I just started closing my door and hiding. 

This is NOT how we should deal with this. I now know that this is obviously not the answer but in the midst of it, I didn't want to be rude and I didn't want to upset anyone. 

That teacher has since left our school, and I have also learned better coping mechanisms! 

Another coworker of mine, who is the nicest and most understanding person ever, helped me to create a mini-script for when I see conversations happening that are going to affect me negatively. I have it taped to my desk so that I will be prepared. 

Basically, you can't run and hide from negative coworkers. You do need to face these coworkers, but be sure to prepare yourself.