To speak or not to speak… that is the question.



So tomorrow will be a week since I had ‘the talk’ with Steph. I didn’t feel like I could write an update immediately as I wanted to see how everything panned out. On Friday I would have said I had opened a can of worms and I should not have said anything.

Basically, Steph took ‘the talk’ the wrong way, got very defensive when I said I didn’t really appreciate her talking like that to me in front of other people (she said there was no one else in the room), I kept saying it wasn’t what she was saying, it was just the approach. Again, lawyer Steph came out and was twisting, turning and batting back the conversation. She did apologise (half heartedly) then flounced out of the room. I thought that was that, until she came to see me at lunch time. She said she was a little offended about our ‘meeting’ that morning and was annoyed that I had made her look stupid by talking to the headmistress about that bloody form. I was trying to diffuse the situation as I could feel the situation getting out of hand, and something was being made out of nothing. I kept saying, ‘Steph, I agree with you…You are the expert here, I’m only an NQT…’ She was going around in circles so I just said, ‘look, we spoke at 8am this morning, it’s now dinner time. We’ve had the talk, it’s over now.’ To which she replied ‘it’s far from over.’

Cue me thinking about it all weekend, regretting telling her how she had made me feel. Everyone I spoke to said I did the right thing- but I was brave, because they wouldn’t have the guts to do it (both teachers I confided in said they were intimidated by Steph). Sunday night, I felt like that school kid who is scared to see the school bully in school. I was nervous and kicking myself that I had gone the wrong thing. I love my school, get on with everyone and thought I had messed everything up. I saw her Monday as she had to go through some art plans as she took my class for art during my ppa this week. I was slightly shaking when i spoke to her and straight after I went into the staff room to find Steph and another TA. The room went quiet as soon as I walked in. Wonder what (or should I say who?) they were talking about?

Anyway, with each passing day, the tension was diluted. After avoiding each other all week, we actually sat on the same diner table in the staff room today, and we communicated- yes, we actually talked. About coleslaw. And it’s slowly getting back to normal and yes, with hindsight, I am pleased to say that speaking up this time was the right decision. I set my authority. I set my expectations of how I wanted to be treated and I am proud of my confidence.

One thing is for sure, Steph knows that I will not take her belittling me and talking down to me in public ever again, and for me, after how crap I felt after she spoke down to me last week, is only a good thing.


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