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Bitter older teacher is being mean!



I know that description sounds like a whiny 5-year-old, but it's true. :)

Here's the story: I'm young (24) and in my second year of teaching choir at the high school level. I think I'm a pretty good teacher--I have a lot to learn, I'm sure, and I'm still pretty green, but the students like my class, enrollment is up, and so is achievement and ability among the kids. So in general, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing.
There is an older math teacher in the school who makes it very clear that she doesn't particularly like kids, doesn't like teaching, and would rather not be here. She's one of those who constantly has a huge stack of detentions on her desk and, when a kid misbehaves, will just write him up without making any effort to get to the root of the behavior or understand WHY the student is acting the way he/she is. She doesn't like the kids, and they know it.
None of this would be any of my business, except that this woman will very often find ways to accentuate how young and, in her mind, what a "baby" I am in the field of education, or make fun of me in little, elementary-school ways. For example, I was in the staff cafeteria and, as I left, I thanked the lady who was working and told her good-bye and to have a good day. This teacher said, in a really sneering, high-pitched tone of voice, "BYYY-EEEE!!!" WHAT was that?!?? And if we're sitting at a table and I'm sharing my personal viewpoint that kids will behave better if they know you care about them, she'll make some kind of allusion to the fact that I only think that because I'm young and naive, and when I have some "experience" I'll think otherwise. Sorry, but I don't think I'll ever change my mind on that particular point! Treating students with respect is pretty much a non-negotiable in my book and hopefully always will be.
So ANYWAY--have any of you ever dealt with a teacher like this? How do you STAND it? Do you just nod and smile? I'm afraid that one of these days, I'm going to really let her have it, and then I'll regret it. :(

cicny teach

The grouch

Don't parents complain about her? We had one like that in our school. It was really bad. THe parents got busy and went to the board. They even got an advocate. It took years but she went out on disability. This is our first year without her and it's a much nicer place.


Your "friendly" colleague

Unfortunately, I think she is probably biding time until she retires. You can always take her aside and express to her that her comments hurt your feelings or rub you the wrong way. I am sure in her own little way she envies how young you are and expressed that through rude comments. She sounds like a very unhappy lady. Avoid her if you can, but if she crosses the line again about your age, let her know it.


Dealing with negative teachers

I, myself, am a new kindergarten teacher. I was pretty positive when I began teaching in August. My mentor, who should be a big support to me, does nothing but whine and complain. I am a very impressionable person when it comes to people's attitudes around me. Most of the kindergarten team is negative. It is hard to be around that everyday, especially when you are new. However, I have tried one thing. At the end of the day, instead of going over to get advice from her, I just shut the door between her classroom and mine. I have a friend who teaches 1st grade. Anytime I need advice or just a pick-me-up, I go to her. My advice is try not to hang around her much. If this is impossible, just realize she is not a proper model to follow...she is bitter. Try talking to someone more positive. You can always try the smile and nod approach. Don't say anything, but think in your head, "This teacher is not very positive, and anything she says is coming from the mouth of a person who should probably not be teaching." I wouldn't suggest getting in her face, seeing as how you have to work with her everyday. She could probably make your life h-e double hockey sticks (hey, I'm a kindergarten teacher, so no swearing, ha!ha!) Hang in there! You sound like you are a wonderful teacher. Don't let some bitter person ruin your good vibe.



It's best to ignore this and not let it get to you. I have been teaching three years. I have always felt the way you do that if you care a student will behave better. However, I just am not seeing it this year. In a way I think she's right. Don't be too overly confident in that theory or any theory. I do agree you should always be respectful no matter what or who it is. Remember education is a continuously changing field. This lady has probably seen hundreds of strategies for dealing with things or teaching. Flexibility is the key and she has maybe tried to be flexible for many years. However, my other grade-level teacher does talk about hwo she is frustrated with how everything always changing and it all works pretty much the same way.


Senior Member

Don't let that sourpuss ruin your day. She is probably just jealous that you are not having the problems that she is. Yes, the students will do things on purpose to rock the boat, see how far they can go, etc., but EVERYONE deserves some respect, if for nothing else as simply being a member of the human race. Keep your professionalism and don't let her get to you. Every school seems to have one; don't stoop to her level.


New Member
In Every school

I too am consider young and naive!!! ( second year teaching and older than people think I am) Think there is one or maybe two of these kinds of teachers in every school. I teach multi-age self contain. I have chosen to meet with a fourth grade team for staff development. This teacher always seems to poo poo any ideas I bring to the table. She often tries to get me "in trouble with principal by complaining about my students, One day a student of mine was in line for lunch right in front of her class. this student became ill in line ( new meds upset his stomach) and vomitted. She caused total ruckus. She sent my students to very back of long lunch line to punish them for situation ( I was not there because I had escorted student to nurse) then in teachers lounge I walked in to hear her telling the principal of my total lack of control of my class and because of my student there was a huge delay in lunch room. She thinks because my classroom has the title of multi-age that my students are total behavior problems. When in actuallity only 3 students are in there because of behaivior problems, one in which was placed in her classroom in beginning of year (inclusion ) and she could not handle having a SPED child in her class. They have cooties you know, seems to me her reaction to students who learn diferently. I can not stand this teacher. I know one of these days we are going to have words. I hate how she treats students especially my students. My class is way better behaved than her class. Anyway i feel your pain just had to vent LOL, Just know that there will always be those old world teachers who just do not understand. They are not all like that, I had a wonderful mentor teacher but she was always open to new ideas. good luck


Senior Member
I would just ignore her

You are doing fine, by the sound of it. She's the one with the problem. Don't let her ruin your day.