Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Teachers Who Bully Each Other

Bullying at school has received a lot of attention. But not enough. That's because only one facet of this problem has been covered. What's largely ignored is the fact that teachers can also be bullies. They can emotionally abuse the children in their care. Also, female malignant narcissists who happen to be teachers can also make life quite difficult for their colleagues.

The statistics on teacher bullying are sobering, and alarming. The American Psychological Association conducted a survey of 3,000 teachers. A shocking high percentage (80 percent) report they've been bullied on the job, with the abuse coming from a variety of sources, including colleagues, principals, parents and their students. Things seem just as bad on the other side of the Atlantic. According to a BBC report, about 25 percent of teachers in the UK have been bullied by a coworker.

There are plenty of anecdotal reports as well. Talking to teachers, you realize that many are working under very hostile conditions. One now retired teacher I know had a mean principal, and was forced to flee to another community to finish out her career.

This begs the question of how in the world a teacher can they focus on her class, if she's working in a war zone.

Most of my professional life I've been a writer. But, for a few years, I interrupted my writing to pursue a possible career in education. I can assure you some of the other staff members, who worked in my school, would seize every opportunity available to undermine a rival. It was a cut throat atmosphere. In the teacher's lunch room, they also gossiped about the students and their families. The school psychologist had a mouth that didn't stop running. I'm so happy that I'm back writing.

It's good that a lot of attention has been focused on school yard bullying. However, some of that light now has to shine on teachers and administrators who misbehave.

Pixabay image top by chrystal-e

1 comment:

  1. To me it's because where I live many of the bullies in teaching and nursing and other 'caring' professions are religious. Those careers have high status for women in churches (compared with working in an office or as a hair dresser or beautician and even a STEM career or working in a creative profession) and they move to joining the in crowd in church which brings out the inner narcissist. Born narcissists are also good actors so can fake their way through training and into the professions. I had the misfortune to come across a few online now that I no longer go to church or move in those circles and they were very frightening. One was through Freecycle where a SEN teaching assistant who was also very much involved in the Catholic church attended admonished me for answering one of her offers that was a few weeks old and was already taken. I had looked to see if for a 'Taken' notice and hadn't found one. I pointed that out to her and she retorted that it was her business whether she posted one or not. I then pointed out the rules and asked why she had been so rude to me. She then turned that onto me by denying she was rude and accused me of being rude. I searched her out on Facebook and blocked her.