Dysfunction Junction

This post is dedicated to a good friend and colleague.  I’ll call her Mrs. Cool.  Mrs. Cool and I met at work. She is one of the most enthusiastic and talented educators in my field of teaching.  Our jobs are hourly, with no full time opportunities looming in the future and of course, benefit-less. 

I took the job to continue to acquire professional experience during graduate school. Mrs. Cool took the job to contribute to her family’s income.  However, we have experienced some troubling dialogues with our Primary Boss, whom I will call Mr. Looneybin.  Mr. Looneybin has taken it upon himself to manipulate Mrs. Cool in a way that rattles my bones. 

I have come to realize that after talking to friends who are employed in different industries, that the supervisor is the main individual who sets the tone for the workplace climate.  Sadly, the workplace suffers when incompetent people are hired and they by pass the radar of detecting major character and sometimes mental illness issues that slow down the productivity and ruin the morale of the employees. 

There are always going to be problems between supervisors and employees. However, toxic elements that a supervisor brings to the table can lead to problems such as high turnover, employee deviance, and unproductive practices.  A toxic supervisor in a school environment, where educational staff are providing direct services to students will ultimately hurt the students in the long run. 

I am not a certified counselor or therapist, but I have compiled a list of toxic elements in a school that can be generalized into a non-education environment.

Signs of a toxic school work enviroment

1. Administrators and staff shift blame to the wrong people on a consistent basis and receive little or no disciplinary action as a result.

2. Administrators and staff are verbally, and/or physically abusive towards coworkers, parents and/or students.

3. Administrators and staff withhold important information or resources that staff/administrator needs in order to get his/her job done.

4. There is little or no recourse for detaining, suspending, or expelling students who consistently disrupt the class.

5. Staff and administrators are “encouraged” to remain quiet about factors that contribute to a negative work environment.

6. Unions are not allowed to function as organizations that advocate for the rights of staff, but are rather secretly controlled by school administration!

7. School personnel that engage in sexual activities with students, especially minors, are allowed to continue working in that school. Big conflict of interest.

I only came up with seven, but if you can come up with more – please write some more in the comments!


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