Bullying in the U of L Education Workplace Kurtis HewsonUndergraduate Society Faculty Associate October 16, 2012
Spot the Bullying• You walk into the staff room just as a colleague is finishing a joke you find offensive• A colleague tells a parent that they wouldn’t want a child in your class• As you go down the hall, an aggressive colleague “bumps” into you, and smiles as she walks by• As a staff, you watch a funny video showing an ineffective teaching practice and a colleague remarks “Kurtis, I didn’t know you did movies!”
What is Bullying?• Intentional or Deliberate• Disrespectful (Imbalance of Power)• Repeated
Consider This…• UK Study: – 15.5% of teachers stating they were currently being bullied – 35.4% bullied in the past five years• 1 in 4 teachers will suffer workplace bullying in their careers• Not a gender issue (prevalent with both genders)
What Does It Look Like? Doug applies but is not successful in the VP position you receive. He begins to covertly share with other staff members your incompetence.
What Does It Look Like? Martha finds every available opportunity in staff settings to drop sarcastic sentiments about your teaching.
What Does It Look Like? Elaine starts a rumor in the community that you enjoy coaching girls volleyball “a little too much, if you know what I mean…”
What Does It Look Like? Philip is consistently arranging “staff functions” at his house but never invites you.
What Does It Look Like?• Typically not physical• Isolation and exclusion• Rumors• Negative remarks to parents and students• Criticism• Unreasonable workloads• Cyberbullying
Impact of Staffroom Bullies• Stress symptoms (anxiety, headaches, nausea, hypertension)• Sleep problems• Irritability• Depression• Suicidal thoughts• Loss of self-esteem• Loss of job
What to do?• Laugh, ignore, avoid?• Act if impacting your professional reputation• Document and keep any evidence• Contact the ATA• Speak directly with the person – Share concerns and try to find a way forward• Be courteous, non-confrontational, keep social contact to a minimum
What not to do• Reciprocate• Change who you are as a teacher• Allow yourself to be a victim• Be bullied into silence• Share concerns with other teachers• Share concerns with your principal (without talking to the other person)