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Home : 2003 : Jan : 8

    By sandy

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    I wish I knew more about what this person was doing to upset you. I understand about the incident with taking over the lesson. When it is your classroom, it is frustrating to have someone else take control. I have a few thoughts (although it's easy for me as an outsider to try to be objective...I know within the situation, it can feel impossible!)
    First of all, after any of us have been in a job for awhile, I think it's natural to feel that we're important, and sometimes irreplaceable, even if it isn't true. Especially if she was with this class before you appeared on the scene, she probably feels like it is her class as much as it is yours. Maybe that's why she was continuing with the lesson?
    I remember being a first year teacher 10 years ago and the feelings of being overwhelmed and unsure much of the time. If she is a decent rational human being, I'm wondering if you could ask her to come in early or stay late one day and really lay your frustrations out for her. Let her see your feelings and concerns about your first year and then pick the one or two things she does or doesn't do that you want to focus on. It can't be everything. If you explain to her the problems you're having and come to her with an attitude of "with your experience, I know I can count on you to help..." maybe you can win her around to your side.
    I'm wondering since you came in a month into the school year and you're a first year teacher trying to figure out what's going on and feeling your way, maybe she has not gotten a clear idea of what you ARE expecting of her and therefore she's doing her own thing which is not sitting well with you.

    I know I'm doing a lot of speculating. It's hard not knowing what's going on first hand. I also know that what I suggested is going to take a lot of diplomacy and may not even be something you think she'll respond to. You have to do what you think is right.
    In the meantime, find one of those veteran teachers at the school that you can trust, or maybe contact your cooperating teacher from student teaching if you had a good relationship. You need to find someone you can talk to about this issue and other first year issues to keep your sanity.
    Best of luck to you!

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