Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Temperature rising

AAARGH! What is going on?

I feel like I've angered everyone that I work with. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what it is.

I had my feet up in a chair the other day and when a teacher called me out on it, making me feel like one of her students, I got frustrated and said things that would have been better left unsaid. She's still mad at me and I'm o.k. with not talking to her.

Our curriculum coordinator had us doing some work that she herself said was just for her and that we probably wouldn't see again. When one of the other teachers asked why we were doing it, I responded that it's bullcrap work that was for the person coming to do our accreditation check. I know I shouldn't have said that, it was profoundly unprofessional and I later apologized, but that's what it is. Noone will ever use it for anything. We were told that we can make up what we put on it. And in a few months someone is going to come in, take a second to glance at the paper as he shuffles through binders worth of equally useless pages, and that will be the reason for our extra hour plus of work. What is the point in that? I left the states in large part due to it's push for loads of papers just like this one. Why not have teachers spend that time coming up with authentic assessment for the kids? Or work on grading? Or putting up announcement boards? Or something that is actually going to benefit the students?

My aide was mad at me today. After the meeting about the useless papers she asked if she could talk to me alone for a minute. She said that she didn't sleep last night because I had embarrassed her yesterday on a field trip. I had incredulously asked her, probably louder than I should have but I was a bit flabbergasted, if she was eating one of the student's lunch. She was! Just walking through the students, parents, and drivers, casual as you may, eating one of the kids lunch. I admit that the best course of action would have been to pull her aside and quietly ask her why she was eating a kid's lunch. But again, with the surprised thing, and it wasn't that I was yelling at her, just asking in a loud and, again, incredulous voice why she was eating a six year old's food. She went on a bit while we were talking about how rude that is and how they do things differently here, apparently they would take food from a "suckling baby" to teach them the benifits of sharing and she felt she wasn't in the wrong. When I tried to sit down and talk to her about this and about the "other" times I had done something similar in front of the kids she mumbled and said not to worry about it. INFURIATING!!! If you are going to bring something like this up, and if the person with whom you have a problem wants to sit down and figure things out so they don't happen again, WHY ARE YOU GOING TO MUMBLE AND WALK AWAY FROM THE CONVERSATION??? She is the one that has a problem. I am the one trying to find out what I can do to make the problem go away. WHY WALK AWAY???

I guess I've forgotten a bit about my mantra of patience is a virtue this week. It could be that we are all a bit tired and need a break. Or that I'm tired and need a break, whatever. I need to stop and look at things from other people's perspective. That's what I'd try and teach my kids anyway. And I say all these things and yet it is still difficult to do.

So I'll say my sorry's, and mean them, because if I make someone upset I really am sorry about that. I don't, for the most part, run around trying to make people mad. That was me half a lifetime ago and I'd like to think I've learned a thing or two since then. This week it's kind of hard to tell though...


Jessica said...

Uy. I'm sorry, Justin. For what it's worth, I would have been flabbergasted that someone would take food from a 6-year old, too.

AND, guilty though I am for doing the same thing sometimes, I hate it when someone brings something up and walks away. It's almost like they want to bring it up to make me feel bad, but then just want to keep feeling bad themselves AND want me to feel bad, because they don't want to fix it. Misery loves company, I guess. I think sometimes the confrontation goes differently than we thought it would in our minds, and we're unprepared for the actual discussion of the problem. I know I usually get myself all in a tizzy thinking the other person is going to bite my head off or not be willing to talk about it, so I go in ready to be defensive and angry. When - in a bizarre twist - they actually want to talk it out and work through it, I'm unprepared and think it's easier to just avoid the whole thing than to tr to figure it out and sit through a long (and potentially awkward) conversation. I'm just passive agressive and nonconfrontational enough to prefer being unhappy myself than to draw someone else into it if I don't have to.

I don't know if you're looking for advice, but take this as insight from someone who does the same thing: Keep trying to talk to her about it. She might seem mad, and she might seem to actually resent you for it, but I think in the long run she will appreciate that you wanted to work it out that badly. She'll hate doing it, but I think she'll feel better afterwards.

Of course, that's simply from my American point of view. I really have no idea how things are there and how people see things. Take my advice, or ignore it. Either way. =)

If it doesn't work, think of it this way: God is preparing you to move on.

Sandra's Latest... said...

I know how you feel. Why is it I get frustrated/irritated/annoyed so quickly here???

some days are definitely better (or worse) than others.

about the 6 year olds lunch...nothing here surprises me anymore. Today I was frustrated with parents for giving there newborn WATER ONLY for the past 2 days. How would they like it if they only had water???

Anyway, I understand...