About Ginny Hoover...
Ginny Hoover took an early retirement after 31 years of teaching in Kansas public schools. Her experience spans the 5th through 8th grades. During the last ten years she has functioned as a trainer of teachers in a variety of areas in her district, surrounding districts, professional organizations, and teacher service centers. At the state level Ginny is a state trainer and a writing assessment grader for the KS State Writing Assessment (based on the Six Traits Writing Model), a member of the Kansas Social Studies Committee for writing the social studies standards, benchmarks, and indicators, and the lead trainer for the state in government and civics.
Recently, Teacher TimeSavers has published a variety teaching units and tutoring hookups that Ginny wrote and designed. These include a literary unit for Taming the Star Runner, Hookups for Language Arts, Transcripts of Trials for Goldilocks, The Wolf, and Mr. Dad, and Tactile/Kinesthetic Activity Patterns.
The Gifts of Children by Hoover and Carroll Killingsworth, a book about recognizing, acknowledging, and refining the gifts of children, is scheduled to be published some time this year. Visit Teachers Helping Children--The Gifts Project for additional information.
Ginny's Eclectic Middle School pages
The Gifts of All Children
by Carroll Killingsworth and Ginny Hoover
The Eclectic Teacher|
by Ginny Hoover
The Life of a Teacher
A list of possibilities in a couple of given situations comes to mindÖmay I share them with you?
Ways to Relax Under Pressure
- Dine out or take some other type of break with a friend or group of friends.
- Engage in a physical activity like walking or swimming.
- Read a "no-brainer" book---one that lightly engages the mind and entertains.
- Set aside some time for a favorite hobby.
- Rent a local hotel room and indulge in an "escape from routine" day.
- Hire someone to do (or help with) the house cleaning (i.e., high school student).
- Announce a one-day strike and do nothing but rest and relax.
- Take a mental health day from school.
- Take time to do something youíve wanted to do, but havenít.
- Treat yourself to a massage, new hair do, a pedicure, a new outfit, or something else to spoil yourself just a bit.
Ways to Deal With Unkind Co-Workers, The Happy Haters
- Use non-confrontational replies as necessary . . ."How sad," "I understand your opinion," etc.
- Avoid contact with the undesirables as much as possible, without limiting your access to others.
- Avoid any gossip being distributed by the "happy haters" and even more important for your survival, refuse to talk about them to co-workers especially groups of co-workers.
- Put what is said by "happy haters" in perspective. Remember others on the faculty are just as likely to be a victim of their venom. Usually anyone is fair game to "happy haters." You donít have to feel alone.
- Keep a professional demeanor, and if possible at times greet the "happy hater" professionally. That will help keep speculation down about your relationship with the "happy hater." There is no fun in "picking on" a person who refuses to be a victim.
- Try some of the items on the "Ways to Relax Under Pressure" list to relieve tension caused by actions or words of "happy haters."
- If a confrontation is unavoidable, parrot their words back to them . . . "Let me get this straight, YOU think blah, blah, blah." It is totally amazing how many "happy haters" flinch when their cruel words are attributed to THEM and not distributed by others as fact!
- As hard as it may seem at times, remember you are the master of ceremonies of your life, donít let others make your life less. What is the saying? Be the master of your life, donít let life master you.
- Sometimes documenting/journalizing actions of the "happy haters" will help. You may never use it, but just the act of writing it down may provide relief. If you do that, keep it in a private place.
- Have a life other than school. It will help you keep perspective. Get involved doing things you like. Be with your family and/or friends. Oftentimes teacher burnout happens because teachers forget to "let go" of school related problems.
Questions for the Victim
Although there are so many people out there who may be innocent victims of "happy haters," perhaps there are also some factors that the "victim" can rethink. Here are 5 questions that may be helpful.
- Do you send off "victim" signals? It's almost like have a "V" carved in your forehead. Victim signals include over-reacting to factors in the school environment, misinterpreting innocent remarks, etc. Don't react, act. Reaction is a knee jerk response that usually isn't appropriate.
- Do you, in pride of your accomplishments, share just a little too often how successful you've been? Pride cometh before a fall I believe. If you are successful, let your work speak for itself just a little more...be careful that you are not perceived as a braggart. Also be careful of one-upmanship. Someone shares his or her great idea and you know of a way to do it better. It may be well intended, but may be received as a put down. Some people do this without even realizing its effect while some do it on purpose. Intentions are hard to measure, but the results are the same. . . hurt and anger and you very well could be the target when their hurt and anger are expressed.
- Have you made enemies of someone on the faculty? If so, patch it up as best possible in a professional manner. It is amazing how many others will get involved with a conflict if you have "insulted" their friend. The enemy list grows to include their allies. You don't have to be friends, but must act professionally for your own sanity. Courtesy is essential for survival.
- Are you really so successful that jealousy just finds its way to you? That happens. You don't brag, but others are always saying what a good job you do, your students are very successful, etc.--that will sometimes put you in a position for criticism. Consider quietly sharing with others and let the jealousy blow over. If you don't respond in a negative manner, in the long run they will be the ones who look foolish.
- Are you looking for justice or revenge for past grievances? You'll not find it. "Happy Haters" are often feared and others will not stand up to them either as that leaves them wide open to be the next victim. Revenge, though sometimes a pleasant thought, will only make the situation worse. It will just keep you in the spotlight as a victim or put you in the position of BEING the "Happy Hater."
Visit Ginny's Educational WebPages!
Ginny Hoover is a frequent contributor to the Teachers.Net Gazette. Other articles written by her are;