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A "downer" teacher


New Member
What do you do about a fellow teacher who is a real "downer"? She's had some problems in the past with people saying some pretty nasty things behind her back, and I sympathized with her because I thought that was a very rude thing for people to do. Well, now she comes and talks to me ALL the time about EVERY little thing that's bugging her. She especially likes to complain to me about her problem students and problem parents.

Here's my problem: I think I've tolerated her coming to me like that for so long that now I get a bad attitude about teaching after she comes to talk to me! I don't want to be that kind of teacher. Now when I hear her come down the hall I just want to run and hide so I don't have to deal with her yucky attitude. I also think that she feels I'm the only one she can come an talk to. Now, I need to vent about things sometimes, but she's in my room almost EVERY DAY complaining about something and it's usually in the morning when I'm trying to get stuff done before the kids come. I'd like to get some work done instead of listen to her most days.

Any suggesstions on how to deal would be greatly appreciated!


Junior Member

If you can, whenever she enters your room to vent, change the subject to something more positive. If she doesn't take the hint that way, just politely explain that you need to get some work done before your students enter the classroom.


Tricky situation

I sympathize with your situation. I feel the need to vent myself but I don't consider myself a constant complainer. (We had one last year and she left to go to another school) If this person is making your life at school rather miserable you are going to have to say something.

I would keep it easygoing and polite. If she comes to complain don't sit and just listen like you've got nothing to do. If she comes in say something like "Oh hi, sorry I don't have time to chat this morning I've got to get this done! YOu know how it is - always something to do!"
If she continues to talk just do your work while she's rambling. Make a polite head nod now and then but at least get some work done (sometimes I shut my door and turn off the lights and work because no one will bother me if they think I'm not there!)

If you two are friends then I wouldn't feel it would be a big deal to comment on what seems like you to be constant misery with teaching in general. Say something like " You know I've noticed lately you really seem to be unhappy with teaching. have you thought about changing grades or schools? Make it point to say how sometimes teachers need change to get back on track with their profession. That's really not far off the truth. The lady at our school recently emailed everyone and she seems to truly be happier at her new school.

I would talk to her about this because one day your going to blow up at her and that won't be good. We can only take so much. I absolutely hate our lunchroom lady. Shes the world's biggest ***** (rhymes with witch). Not the same situation but I one day I think I might blow up - some teachers already have.
Good luck


Junior Member
Re. Downer teacher

I had a friend like that, she was nice but very, very, negative. The only thing I could think of was to change grade level positions. Be careful because her negative attitude can start to effect you.


Full Member
My Advice

Get AWAY!!!! I've been there and gone through it and it brought me so far down. I was caught up in it - and it's just a whirlwind. I had to catch myself and draw a personal/professional line. My co-workers didn't like it and then of course all they did was b*t*h about me! Now, I don't let things like that bother me, but it took a long time for me to not let it.

I realized that I just had to put on a happy face. Whenever anyone gets negative, I always try to comment on the positive. If you do that, those people usually won't want to hang around you anyway. Misery loves company.

DEPEND on this board!!! I love this board because I can be negative when I feel like it and not get a bad reputation at work for being negative! I can vent and get positive ideas and advice. As far as co-workers go - I don't ever say a word about anything going on at school. I talk about movies, tv, news, etc.

And I purposely stay away from the venters and complainers.....they will never be happy!