View Full Version : ideas for responding to a difficult worker

Zoe Girl
3-9-11, 9:56pm
I have an actual concrete interaction to examine to help me with a difficult person, and maybe you can help.

Background is that I supervise afterschool care that is paid for by a grant. At each of my schools there is also a site coordinator paid for by the grant who makes sure all the programs like tutoring and scouts and Shakespeare club are coordinated. My staff has a lead teacher and assistants and are not supervised at all by this person, at 3 out of 4 sites they work very well together each with slightly different styles based on the programs and schools.

At the last site S is the coordinator and A is the lead teacher and not many people can work well with S. I heard a solid example from A today that is helping me clarify the issue. So S was working with some kids, then she went to A and said "see I got down on eye level with the kids and really engaged with them. I want you (the whole staff) to see how I do that," and the implication is that A will say thank you or adopt what S is doing or otherwise take direction from S. Hmm, no. That is my job and I see they are engaging with the kids, sometimes on eye level and other times in another way. I am just trying to figure out if there is anything possible here besides the polite way A has been treating her and the eroding patience for some of this. It is not beyond S to email 3 people to say how everyone needs to learn how to be on eye level with kids.

My ideas so far are these:
* I can see that works very well for you.
* I would love to share ideas on how we all engage kids at our next meeting, I saw M doing something great with the kids yesterday.
* I hadn't thought of that but I will see if it works for me/my staff.

Basically giving A and the other staff who are at the same school each day with her a few more tools and phrases that help move on, not open the door for her trying to jump a job category, and keep everyone sane.

iris lily
3-9-11, 10:02pm
Zoe, I think that's a nice summary, and assuming that I've read this correctly and that both A and S report directly to you, you should remind S that she doesn't direct the work of others including A and that she appears bossy and overbearing to her co-workers. PErhaps you could invite her to share some of her insighta at a staff meeting and that might fulfill some of ner need to show others how to do things.l

And the phrases you suggested for A and others in her boat to say are good.