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How do you deal with complacent teachers??

Carrie in WV

Full Member
I am new to my school (this is my third year) and I have less experience than everyone else. However, one of the drawbacks with the teachers I work with is no one is...technologically advanced. We are a private school, and we just moved into a building where we have state of the art computers and computer lab, and NO one bothers to use it. NO one wants to learn, either. Most of the teachers are "older"...my students all tell their parents that I am "young"...and I am 45!!! HA~!

Everytime I introduce a project (Family Reading Night, Family Math Night, auction, Katrina donations, etc.) the first response out of their mouths is, "That won't work." They are not even saying, "We've tried that before.." which wouldn't be quite so hard to take, as to shoot everything down. There is really no vision at all! No one does webquests, or powerpoint...they can barely post their grades on Gradequick.

Please don't get me wrong...I know they have paved the way; they have sacrificed a great deal for me to teach in this tremendous facility, etc., but, gee...try something new!! We are having Math Night tomorrow, and their stations are beanbag toss, basketball shooting...I constructed a castle with a drawbridge and we are reading "Sir Cumference and the Dragon of PI" and doing circle measurements, we have a country store where we are selling pie and pizza...And all I heard today was, "You're making us look bad!" I have never posed a vent before, but I am really overwhelmed by their negative outlook.

Miss C

Senior Member
I'm sorry!

I have been in a similar situation, and, you're right, it's not much fun. Keep doing your best regardless of what they do. Hopefully they'll catch the spirit eventually. Is your administrator supportive? ****HUGS**** :)

Carrie in WV

Full Member
Great administrator!

Yes, he is very supportive. But, being in a private school (read--not as high-paying as public) he doesn't really want to ruffle feathers. One of the biggest offenders is retiring this year. He has almost lost several families after they have her...but he tells them to hang on..that I am worth the wait. You couldn't pay me a million dollars for the feeling of that kind of support!

Well...maybe you could :)

Thanks for the hugs...I always find help for my weary soul here!


That's the problem

You do make them look bad - that's the problem. However, it's their problem, not yours. I direct the school musical, coach two Exploravision Teams, Mentor the Service Club and moderate the Academic Olympiad. We are also a private school - so this is all for no additional pay. I have a meeting with some group everyday after school, sometimes two in a row. I spend every Sunday at school just doing the administrative work necessary to keep these organizations running.
I do this because I want to, because it is important to the kids and because these kinds of activities make them better students.
In a school with a staff of 25, there are exactly four of us who do any extra curricular activities with the students. The bulk of the teachers rant and rave if they have to come in for an evening meeting or if a staff meeting lasts beyond 45 minutes. However, this fall a group of these teachers went to the principal to complain because those of us with afterschool meetings were not scheduled to do outside dismissal duty (because there would be no one inside to watch the kids waiting for the meeting.) One teacher even went so far as to say that she thought that if we couldn't make the outside duty roster "fair", that extra curricular activities should be canceled.
You can't fight it - so ignore it and do what you know is right and best for the students.


Junior Member
its a shame!

Its a shame that some teachers, young and old, believe that 'teaching to the contract' is really teaching. They've lost, or never had, that caring and dedication that it takes to be a good teacher. Hang in there because it sometimes only takes one highly movtivated teacher to light a spark that can turn a complacent staff around.


Carrie, although I was new once, too, and remember some teachers being that way, you really just have to take it with a grain of salt. Do what you are comfortable doing and have fun doing it! New things can be intimidating to older teachers, and that's ok! Did they actually say "You are making us look bad?" That's rather rude, but still, take it with a grain of salt, I think older teachers just feel like they are getting pushed out of the way sometimes.




This is my sixth year teaching in a public school. I put in about 8-10 hours a day, do not come in on weekends, and am not involved in any after-school activites. However, I feel that I am an excellent teacher who cares a lot about my students' achievement. Just because I am not willing to put in 80 hours a week, does not mean that my students do not thrive or that I am not doing my part as a teacher. I have a young son and a husband that deserve my time just as much or more than my students.

However, I do agree that teachers must continue to learn in order to keep up with a society that is always growing and changing. Therefore, I believe your school should hold a computer class for so called "older" teachers so they won't be so frightened by the new technology.

As teachers we need to support one another. Teachers already have to deal with difficult kids and parents. There's no reason why teachers should gang up againist other teachers. Rather than complain about them, try to teach them.


Not necessarily a problem

I'm not sure that this is a problem. You are an entusiastic, eager teacher. You are comfortable using technology and newer methods. The other teachers may not be as comfortable with technology or those methods. They may have found techniques that they are comfortable with and which they feel work well for them. Newer methods and techniques may be equally effective. Newer may just be different. But a teacher who is comfortable with the techniques they are are using will be better able to "sell" it to her students.

Over the years, I have tried a variety of new things. Some I have liked and continued to use, others I have chosen not to continue with. I use some technology but it is not my major focus. If others feel that they want to use more, that is their decision. It is fine with me. I have no need to use powerpoint with my primary students. I have other methods that work for me.

It is wonderful to want to share your excitement and enthusiasm for teaching with your colleagues. Just as you would not want to be expected to teach with someone else's style, they may not want to be expected to teach with your style. They may seem negative but maybe they just feel that they are doing a good job doing things their way. This may mean they are complacent but is that always a negative thing?


Senior Member

Many teachers who have young families at home can do little. I just got my little guy (2and a half) to the point where I can moderate the school literary magazine and that's because my mom looks after him and I can take some of it home to work on.
Are these teachers just burnt out. After years of low pay and demanding parents can get to anyone. I left private schools because the parents wanted their kids passesd for breathing in and out which the admin did it was the only place I ever taught where 60+65+63+ 60= a seventy percent. I left that June.Are they burnt out or just whining?