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The Unsupportive Co-Teacher: What is the Root?

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Teamwork: one of the values that we, teachers, always impart to our students. We always insist the importance of its value when dealing with students in and outside the class. Everybody must agree that everywhere, teachers sometimes struggle because of team work issues in the faculty.

The lack of teamwork is a common problem that school faculty deal with all the time.

  • ‘a teacher bringing down her fellow teacher’
  • ‘a teacher unhappy for her colleague’s promotion’
  • ‘a teacher giving disagreeing remarks to her fellow teacher who has just received an award’
  • ‘a teacher giving no support of participation in a school activity proposed by her fellow teacher’

The situations listed above are just among the hundred concerns that we often hear about.

WHY IS IT HARD FOR OTHER TEACHERS TO SHOW SUPPORT TO THEIR FELLOW TEACHERS?

Teachers are different from each other. We all have our own personal issues and we all have our own griefs and our own success and failures that contribute to how we will behave or get along with our fellow teachers at the workplace. There are teachers who get along with each other and there are teachers who don’t. Why? Well, this roots to many things like:

1. INSECURITY and ENVY

SITUATION:

Ms. Angel has been teaching for a year in LLEGO ACADEMY which is the first ever school she has worked in. This academic year, she will be working with some newly hired teachers in the Science department. Ms. Mae, one of the new teachers has been in the field of teaching for 5 years and it is very evident that she can share so many ideas and teach what she has learned in her previous job experiences to the teachers.

During the faculty meeting, teachers were asked to suggest activities for the opening of the new academic year. Ms. Mae have proposed several suggestions which the teachers agreed on. Everybody was impressed except Ms. Angel who frowned at the corner. On the opening day of the school, all the teachers were assigned to finish their own task assigned to them during the meeting. Ms. Angel and some teachers closest to her chose not to participate and didn’t do their task as they hated how Ms. Mae took over the last faculty meeting. They thought that Ms. Mae was bragging her experiences and was trying to tell all the teachers that she is excellent in everything she does.

As the result, the activity on the opening day of the school turned unsuccessful− as the other teachers didn’t do their task. Because of this, Ms. Mae felt bad and some members of the faculty even gave her comments that emphasizes how the activity didn’t work. Though some still encouraged her. Ms. Mae then decided not to voice out ideas every time they are asked to suggest good activities for the school.

Whenever I encounter such situation, I wince deep inside me, not because I can’t take criticism, but because of the lack of support we show to our fellow teachers- especially teachers who want to think “outside of the box” the public put us in. This type of pessimism toward teaching isn’t good for teachers and it’s the same behavior that allowed people with no experience in education to come in and make policies that has made teaching more difficult.

2. TALENTS AND ABILITY

We don’t support our fellow teacher because we see their talents and ability as a threat. We are afraid to admit and accept that they can do better than us so as a mechanism, we say that his/her talent or ability is lacking so our colleagues will think that there is more to improve on her talent.

Of course, being a teacher means showcasing your talent and using it to the point that students are being influenced to mold the talents they have. In our field, being able to do many things is plus point. Not only students will be impressed but also the superiors. If you can sing, dance, act, write and speak in front of the public, then you are the perfect person that program organisers in the school look for whenever there is a particular school activity. Sadly, when you are always chosen, some of our fellow teachers start to think that you are the favourite and that you are a grandstander or a show-off. This kind of mentality is very common and it is unavoidable. It is a shame there are teachers who know nothing but to criticize someone who is on stage but cannot do even better than the person they criticize.

To deal with people who has a very big issue about favoritism or envy, you just have to keep quiet and it is better not to talk about your assignments to anyone except to your work colleagues that you trust the most.

3. STUDENTS APPROVAL

Some teacher do not support their fellow teachers as they are afraid that their students might like their fellow teachers more.

Sadly, some teachers consider themselves effective based on the number of students who like them. It is so wrong as all teachers and students are different. There are teachers who are willing to cry in their class and open up to the students their problem with their co-teachers just to get the sympathy of the students. Not knowing that they are already wrecking the reputation of their co-teachers. This will result to distasteful consequences. Involving the students will ruin the image of the teachers. It’ll make them think that it is just alright for them to fight with their fellow students as they see the same thing from their teachers.

With this, I’d like to leave a simple message: TEACHERS ARE MODELS. EVERYWHERE AND EVERYTIME.

4. SENIORITY ISSUES

What I despise the most is the “I-AM-BETTER-THAN-YOU-BECAUSE-I-AM-MORE-EXPERIENCED” mentality. Of course, we, teachers must not think that we are better than anyone else. Even our students can be better than us. We can learn something from everyone so we must always be open to the suggestion of others. We must support the others when they suggest things which will obviously help the whole school community. Even if it means that they will get more applause than us.

Teachers must work as a team. If we always emphasize the value of teamwork to the students, we to must exercise it. Working as a team means considering the benefit of all. So if we want a better working environment, we should all support one another.


Why is it so hard for fellow teachers to support one another?
Why do we respond negatively to a positive thing done by our co-teacher?
Why do we feel envy when our co-teachers achieve something big instead of feeling happy?

How many times has a student in your class found a way to make her classmates solve a problem or understand a reading text? What would happen if another student (upon hearing his answer) rolled their eyes and shot down what this student had worked on to think about? I don’t know about you, but I would have pulled the negative student in the hallway and given him or her a nice little “talk”. So, if we can correct this behavior with students, why is it so hard for us to do the same with our fellow teachers?

Please remember to share this post with your colleague’s on social-media sites! You can also leave your questions and comments in the box below. Your opinion counts! And is appreciated. Thank you!

Read:

  1. Why Teachers should Travel?
  2. Single pa rin si teacher
  3. “I Love my Principal” (Weeeeehh ‘Di Nga?)
  4. What Teaching Has Taught Me

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13 Comments
  1. AJ Dalma-Bunag says

    Teachers must really lift each other up! I have always gravitated towards teachers who are collaborative, and I am so grateful to all who have helped me through the years. They have made my life and work much easier, by sharing their opinions and ideas. Teachers who can’t work well in a team limit their growth and learning.

  2. dahina says

    I guess all teachers who had been in the field for many years experienced this when they transfer to sa new school because old teachers in the new work place just don’t welcome the idea that there are many good things outside that they didn’t knew of. I can see myself in mis Mae.

  3. Rlyn says

    An article worth reading. Being in the academe for almost 20 years I can say that Public or private schools, the isssue raised herein is present. I hope those who will read this will be able to reflect and check on themselves. The education sector should be a community of open-minded and progressive individual believing that teaching and learning is a continuous process. God bless all teachers.

  4. Jennifer says

    i love it. so interesting and very informative.
    all i can say,” NOW I KNOW”. Thank you so much.

  5. AGNES M. HUBAHIB says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST, I REALLY WANT IT TO SHARE IN MY FB IF IT’S OK TO YOU SIR, I EXPERIENCED ALMOST THE SAME THING. I UNDERSTAND NOW BETTER, I AM JUST NEW IN OUR SCHOOL BUT ONE THING IS FOR SURE I DID ALL THE POSITIVE THINGS IN MY SCHOOL FOR GOD’S GLORY AND BECOME A MODEL TO THEM TOO. IF WE REALLY LOVE THE LORD WE SERVED THEN WE DO THE RIGHT THINGS WHERE GOD PLACED US. AS WHAT YOU HAD MENTIONED, YES WE’RE REALLY DIFFERENT, BUT I REALLY DID MY BEST TO UNDERSTAND AND MORE COOPERATIVE WHEN THEIR IDEAS WILL BE EXPRESSED!
    GOD BLESS AND MORE WISDOM TO YOU SIR!

  6. Yazdskie says

    Nice article…I have experienced this too…well, everyone in the school thinks that I always think “outside of the box”…well, I just did my thing…criticisms did not stopped me from voicing out my opinions. I respect my seniors, yes, but I never think that my ideas are of less value than theirs. But definitely, everytime we have school activities, I am always supportive gusto ko man o hindi ang idea kasi it’s part of my job.

    On the other hand, in school, for an activity to be successful, everyone must cooperate…if not, the school head must see to it that s/he got everybody’s commitment for the said activity and must enforce full control on everyone’s attitude no matter what…or else s\he failed in this aspect of being the head. School activities are not like those any “one man fight” endeavors.

  7. LEVMAR ALLIV says

    Nice Sir!
    An eye opener to everyone.

  8. LEVMAR ALLIV says

    You Hit it Sir..
    This will be an eye opener to everyone.
    Thank you for sharing.
    GOD BLESS.

  9. Maria Lolita Ungab-Buquia says

    Thanks for this worth reading article! I hope more teachers can read your article sir. Truly, it is. How we wish such negative attitude towards other teachers be eliminated because it can sometimes lower our stamina and it can hinder the teaching force of a school to become productive. But, as they say…influence others by doing good. It is so nice to work with people who have positive attitude towards work, whose goal is not motivated by promotion, but to respond to our call of duty as teachers and the willingness to work for the good of everybody. Let’s continue to influence others and become a blessing in our respective workplaces… God bless us all!

  10. Vi says

    It is not only in DepEd that you see these characters. We have also the same at SUCs. Thanks for posting.

  11. Mark Llego says

    Post updated: may kunting typo error lang :))

  12. Myra R. SABEROLA says

    Super nice Sir Mark…i think i will start evaluating myself and try my very best to be more positive this coming sy…
    ☺????✌

  13. anabel mejia says

    Thank you with this article!It helps me to understand and motivate more my teachers in the dept,being a new leader in the Science dept.Kudos Sir Mark! Keep on posting significaNt article..