Hey Rosie!
January 29, 2010

Pull-down mentality

Hi Rosie,

I am a teacher who doesn’t like nonsense at all. When we have staff meetings, a lot of it is about criticising teachers. One particular teacher spearheads the criticism. He seems never to be able to see positives in other teachers. He gives parents the impression that he alone does all the work at school, that other teachers are simply worthless.{{more}} Some parents have repeated such sentiments in our village. The negative teacher used the school’s ink to type the project of his daughter who attends Secondary school, yet he criticises other teachers when they use the ink to do their classwork. What hypocrisy! I hate such pretense! I feel like exploding! I feel like changing my job. At times I cannot sleep well when I think on the utter nonsense at the school. Please help me with some anger management ideas before I do something very serious. Thanks.

Disgusted Teacher

Dear Disgusted Teacher,

First off, let me salute you and all the teachers out there for what you do daily for our children. Moulding them, enlightening them, teaching them so many life skills. What a gift you are to society in general! Your profession continues to be one that is underpaid, sometimes not always recognized, but brings the best out of our children daily. So I will simply take this opportunity to say “Thank you and keep up the good job!”

Having said that, let’s address this issue with this particular teacher undermining the efforts of his fellow co-workers. This is simply ridiculous! Let me say this, we all need criticism. Without it we will not continue to grow or even see our unintentional errors. It can be a great learning tool as well. However, one can tell when the criticism comes from a petty and demeaning place.

I firmly believe that this individual has personal issues that he is letting bleed into his professional life. So many times I’ve met people who are very negative and overpowering in their place of work. But outside of work or in their home life they are struggling to assert themselves, or they may even suffer from low self-esteem. Whatever it is, they should seek help in order to keep their behavior in check.

Now let’s talk about you for a moment. I can feel your blood BOILING! So feel my hand as it gives you a pat and stroke on the back. I understand. You can’t stand to see this two-faced person in action. Pulling down others so he can look good. You want him to be revealed to everyone to be the fraud that you think he is. Even worse, according to you, he is letting the parents think that he is a one man show. His nonsense will soon come to the light. Believe that.

First of all, even though this comes off as a personal attack, I promise you that this person will soon self-implode. I say this because it takes a lot of energy to keep up this level of criticism and self-righteous behavior. I used to want to take revenge on people that wronged me a long time ago. But my mother taught me that leaving people to their own destructive devices was the best defense. Essentially she taught me to actually pray for them and leave them to God. In fact, when ignoring people with this type of behavior, you would begin to see them in a totally different light. This is such a difficult lesson, but once learned, a powerful one. You may have to even turn around to help that very person because of the payback for all the chaos they have caused. Karma is something else!

I am taking this approach with you because I feel that you are in the midst of a lesson. I also feel that there are other people who are watching what your next move will be. Take the high road. Continue to do your job. Do it well. Defend yourself in meetings when you hear this person distort the facts. Clearly and calmly state your facts as you see them. Explain that it would seem that everyone should be on the same page, because the overall goal is the success of the team as a whole. There is no “I” in Team.

Again you are truly in the middle of a life lesson here. Embrace it and take from it what you can. Life has a way of repeating it self. Also taking deep breaths before walking into the building daily and repeat some positive affirmations, such as “This fool is not going to rob me of my joy and success today!” Keep repeating it…feel free to modify it to fit yourself (smile).

You are in control of you and your emotions. No one can ever take that from you. You have students, parents and other teachers who are looking up to you. I feel that you have that ability to be Principal or even higher one day. However, let us get past these hurdles. The good Lord puts these people in your way in order to see your coping skills. Stay strong. Stay focused! He will eventually be a blip on your radar of life.


Send questions to Rosie at: heyrosie24@yahoo.com or P.O Box 152, Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.