Teachers Who Bully Other Teachers

Dear Teacher Bully,

This letter has been a long time coming and I have ignored this situation long enough.  I am tired of teachers who bully other teachers.  I have been a victim and seen too many friends go through it to just sit back anymore!   In the past, your actions have made me feel inferior, and I am ready for it to stop.   I am NOT inferior!

In true teacher fashion, I made a list.

For the love of teaching and teamwork, please stop doing these things:

An open letter to teacher who bully other teachers! Enough is enough!
  • Stop sharing your opinion all the time.  Everyone knows how  you feel, so constantly stating the same opinion again and again is not going to change my opinion on the matter at hand, even if I choose to just sit silently and let you speak.  I have no energy for things that are not constructive.  If there is a conversation happening, and you believe differently, just stay out of it.  We know how you feel.
  • Stop speaking for others.  ‘This person said this’ or ‘this person said that,’ as a means to justify your point is more than obvious.  If those people wanted to share their opinion, they would share their opinion, participate in the conversation at hand.  Guess what? They are not in the conversation, so your second hand pieces of information are not valid in your constant explanation of your own opinions.
  • Stop speaking over me.  I can tell by your body language that when anyone else speaks, you are completely uninterested.  It’s rude and it’s not professional.
  • Stop speaking at me.  If you want to talk about teaching, learning, or the business of education then let’s have a conversation about it.  Don’t exert your opinions on me again and again, and then dismiss the opportunity for a conversation.  Your approach to communication makes others feel as if they cannot have an opinion for fear of what you might say or do next.  People engaged in conversations with you fear you. Let that sink in for a few moments.  People. Fear. You.
  • Stop talking about yourself all the time.   I know your lesson was perfect and we know that administration loves you.  You do have some amazing lessons and teaching practices, but that does not make you the be-all-end-all of teaching. It also does not make your ideas any better than anyone else.  Sharing is of course great, but it’s a two way street and if you are not open to listening to other people’s successes than we don’t want to hear yours.
  • Stop saying each year your class is the best or the worst class ever.  Why does it have to only be both extremes?  When you have 4-5 other teammates, it’s highly unlikely that your class is the worst/best behaved or the worst/best at reading every single year!  It puts others down and devalues that the struggle in our profession is real. We all feel it – trust me.
  • Stop running and telling administration everything that happens.  I am not admitting to doing anything wrong, but if you have an issue with me, then talk to me.  I should not have to hear from my administration that so-and-so says I am in violation of the handbook.  No one likes “that teacher” who constantly has their nose up administration’s rear-end….and to be honest it is contributing to my feelings of you being a bully because I can’t talk openly around you.
  • Stop teaching the same thing again and again and again.  Guess what.. it’s not 1984 anymore and there are all sorts of new concepts and learning approaches out there!  Don’t judge me for graciously accepting your “binder of resources” that has been handed down again and again and then not following it exactly. I am a professional, and I choose to create resources and teach concepts that are up to date.  And I won’t judge you for teaching the same thing for 32 years.  For the record, I have shared, and you have not been open to other ideas outside the binder.  {Whoa – that was a little more passive aggressive than I normally am.}
  • Stop criticizing others for trying new things.  Best practices change, and you have to be able to ebb and flow with them!  You can’t pass judgement on others who choose to have an open mind about new ideas.  Of course, you can challenge new ideas, but don’t be closed off to trying them.
  • Stop excluding others.  It’s just not nice and although it may not be considered bullying, for example,  to buy 2 out of 3 teachers a soda on your team it is just not nice.   And on a wider level…having groups of people that openly or secretly meet is just rude.  What are you doing that is so secretive that others cannot know?  Do you really think you are that much better than the rest of us?  Because in my opinion, this very approach makes you weak and dependent and it’s not for the good of all!  #counterintuitive  I don’t know what ya’ll are talking about at your secret cocktail hours, but I really don’t care so stop going out of your way to make sure I know.
  • Stop throwing me under the bus.  Seriously.  We may not be best friends, but we are in this together. We don’t all have to be the exact same.  We can respect each other and work together without having to tattle and talk negatively about what others are doing.  If we are both a minute or two late for duty – you don’t have to tell everyone you were there first.
  • Stop telling me what and how to teach.  We all went to college and we all have a boss. We all earned our places in the classroom!  I can sleep at night knowing that I am a professional, and I take my job very seriously.  Again – I can sleep at night knowing that what I am doing is right for me and my career.  Not to say that you don’t, but I like to lift people up, encourage, and help others, and not pass judgement or throw stones.  If there are any REAL issues with how others choose to do their jobs, it’s an issue for administration.  Not an open issue you should talk about.  So I will continue to do my work in dynamic ways and if there is an issue, someone with the authority to do so will inform me to stop.
  • Stop talking about other teachers or professionals.  If you have a problem with someone, go speak to them privately.  Otherwise accept how they are and move on.  When you talk trash about others, you are only making yourself seem weak!
  • Stop being unwilling to change. If there is one thing that is constant in education, (and in life in general) it is that things change. If you can’t get with the program and change with how your professional environment thinks you should, then maybe this is not the profession for you.  We are tired of hearing you complain about it and others feel as if we have to be on your side in order to not become the target of your negativity!

Enough is enough.  We are all here for the students, and we all have different viewpoints and beliefs on teaching, learning, and the business side of education.  We as professionals need to find a way to get along, respect one another, and not make anybody feel inferior because of our differences.  We should celebrate those differences the same as we do with our students!

To say someone is a bully is a big deal, and doing any one or combination of these things surely does not make you a bully; it makes you human.  But what I am referring to, is those people who do these things in such a way to put others down in an effort to make themselves look better.  People who do these things again and again without any regard or concern for how others around them feel or react.  People who create a hostile work environment by their repeated negative actions.  People who should know better because you have hinted through subtle statements, body language, or even a direct statement of “I don’t like it when you do this or that”   This is directed at those people that you are afraid to reply to or avoid because of their negativity towards everything.

For me, I have no problem standing up for my friends in person.  (Although online attacks are harder.) This has gotten easier as I get older.  But standing up for myself is a challenge because I ultimately know that nothing good comes of many of these interactions, so I save my energy for things that bring good to the world.  I go about my business the best way I can.  I make decisions based off what I know as a professional.  I don’t have time for drama, shenanigans or people who are constantly creating or participating in it.  I have been through enough in my life to know when to listen and when to realize that people are being self-serving at my expense.

I choose not to associate myself with bullies.  I choose not to associate myself with you and I will continue to keep my interactions to a minimum with you.  It is a conscious choice I make, and it’s just not healthy to associate yourself with crazy.  I guess that makes me an easy target as well.

And for the record, I sleep just fine at night.

Best Regards,


What to do when your principal is the bully.

PS – Is your principal the bully?  Click here for some ideas to help your make it thorough the year.

Looking for way to deal with the teacher bully?  Head on over to Education to the Core!

Ways to deal with teacher bullies from Education to the Core!

Please note:  this article was written as a means to just bring light to an issue that is happening in many schools.  It is not directed at any specific teacher or situation.  Any rude or inappropriate comments will be removed.

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