Insubordination gossip in the educational workplace
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Insubordination: Gossip in the Educational Workplace. A Professional Development Plan for novice teachers. Before we get started. What is our Professional Development Plan?

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Insubordination: Gossip in the Educational Workplace

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Insubordination:Gossip in the Educational Workplace

A Professional Development Plan for novice teachers.

Before we get started

  • What is our Professional Development Plan?

    • Our PDP includes information necessary to educate novice teachers of detrimental actions within the Educational Workplace.

  • You will be able to…

    • Identify potentially harmful forms of gossip

    • Recognize the best ways to avoid those situations

    • Take the steps necessary to CYOA.

  • Here are some slides on gossip before we get started…

Gossip: What is the harm?

  • Potentially hurtful to others

    • While you may be friends with many fellow teachers/administrators, you are in a professional environment. If you have to think twice about the content of which you are about to speak, it is better to just keep it to yourself.

  • Doesn’t look good

    • You never know who is listening. It could give others the wrong idea about you if they know that you talk badly about other colleagues or students.

  • It’s not professional

    • You are the foundation of the future. Students need to have role models that maintain professionalism even when they believe that no one is watching.

That doesn’t seem so bad…

  • Let’s paint a picture real quick:

    • Imagine that you are talking with a friend (co-worker) and he/she says, “Man, that teacher at the end of the hall stinks up the place when they bring their steamed asparagus up here for lunch.”

    • Is that harmful?

      • While it may not seem harmful, just think of who could be listening. What if a student had been walking by the room at that moment, and heard parts of what was said?

    • What are some ways that a student could possibly misinterpret that statement?

      • Take some time to think about this… remember the phone game when you were younger?

That doesn’t seem so bad…

  • Now that you have thought about it…

    • How could that statement be taken out of context?

    • What if the student only heard a few of the words, like “That teacher at the end of the hall really stinks!”

    • What if that student is close to that teacher, and tells that teacher what he heard? That could end up being a lot more trouble than it needs to be.

  • So, when engaging in conversations with co-workers think about the….

Stages of Gossip

  • Talking with a friend/colleague about something going on in school. Major issues could be mentioned.

  • Someone overhears this conversation, and goes to tell a friend.

  • Rumors spread to the administration.

  • Administration gets involved, and could potentially be career suicide.


  • Awkward!

    • Sometimes it can be awkward to escape a situation such as “Teachers Lounge Talk.” It is important that you are never the one leading or participating in the gossip. While it may be potentially awkward to ask a fellow teacher to stop, it could potentially save both of your jobs in the long run.

  • We’re friends!

    • If you are really friends with the person leading the gossip, then it should be easier for you to ask them to stop. You don’t need to be rude about it, or talk down on them. Just let them know that it makes you feel uncomfortable, and odds are… they will stop.

  • Worst-Case

    • If a particular teacher is continually displaying harmful gossip, and they persist despite other staff and faculty politely asking them to stop, it may be time to talk to a higher authority. You should be able to do so in a clear conscience as long as you have made your feelings clear beforehand. Give the faculty member a chance to correct it on their own before involving a boss.

Checklist: Avoid getting caught up in Gossip

  • Maintain confidence

    • Believe that your colleagues will not go spread rumors about what you talked about.

  • Leave out the big-man

    • Do not talk about administration

  • Stay Positive

    • Only bring up negative things when absolutely necessary

Checklist: Avoid getting caught up in Gossip

  • Assess your Risk

    • If you would not want certain people (other teachers, the principle, etc) to know about it, then do not confide in a colleague.

  • Set Boundaries

    • Do not gossipabout personal lives.

  • Finally




  • The Association of American Educators

    • Code of Ethics for Educators

      • This Code of Ethics for Educators was developed by the distinguished AAE Advisory Board and by the Executive Committee of AAE. It contains four basic principles relating to the rights of students and educators.

    • The professional educator strives to create a learning environment that nurtures to fulfillment the potential of all students.

    • The professional educator acts with conscientious effort to exemplify the highest ethical standards.

    • The professional educator responsibly accepts that every child has a right to an uninterrupted education free from strikes or any other work stoppage tactics


  • The professional educator acts with conscientious effort to exemplify the highest ethical standards.

  • Principle III: Ethical Conduct toward Professional Colleagues

    • The professional education, in exemplifying ethical relations with colleagues, accords just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession.

      • 1. The professional educator does not reveal confidential information concerning colleagues unless required by law.

      • 2. The professional educator does not willfully make false statements about a colleague or the school system.

      • 3. The professional educator does not interfere with a colleague’s freedom of choice, and works to eliminate coercion that forces educators to support actions and ideologies that violate individual professional integrity.


  • Now that you know a bit about the basics:

    • We will dive further into the area of gossip within the educational workplace.

    • We will include various activities, assessments, handouts, etc. designed completely to inform you of:

      • The dangers of gossip

      • Ways to stay away

      • Ways to get rid of it

  • If you have any questions, feel free to ask…

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