Disclaimer: This article is meant for fun. We are not actually criticising anyone or their work ethic, but let’s be honest, we all know THESE people.
Think about the last staff meeting you attended. It’s time to pass around the volunteer sign up because it’s going to be a busy month and everyone needs to sign-up and help out so we can have a successful team effort. Well, that’s always the intention, but by the end of the month there are usually a lot of hard feelings and regret over glitter, balloons and most of all-missed class time (because everyone needs to sit around and listen to first graders read their research reports on goats for 45 minutes-ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)
So as the volunteer sign-up sheet rounds the corner, what are are you thinking? Maybe it will drop onto the floor and never be seen again. Maybe all the good jobs will be gone and you’ll be stuck counting light bulbs for Earth day. Maybe no one will have signed up for anything and now you’ll be stuck having to do it all. There are many types of people that you have to teach with each day. Let’s look at the different types more closely.
Signs Up For NOTHING But Has an Opinion About EVERYTHING.
This person will tell everyone how to do their job, but doesn’t actually help out with any job. They tend to be negative or sometimes can be goofballs.
Ninja Recommendation-AVOID THE DRAMA (unless they have chocolate because there’s always a reason to forgive). Don’t get into it with this person. Let them be. Smile and walk away (especially if you now have the chocolate).
This person signs up for everything, refuses help from everyone and complains about it every step of the way. They often need to “make work” to feel important, but don’t seem particularly happy about any of it. It’s not clear whether the martyr does this for attention, self-worth or has nothing better to do with their time.
Ninja Recommendation: Offer limited help and support. If you have the rapport, remind them that it’s a team effort and sometimes being part of the team means allowing people to help. And if that doesn’t work, offer chocolate.
Means Well, But Lacks Organisation.
It probably comes as no surprise that ninjas like organisation, so these people drive the ninjas a little batty. They have grandiose plans and want to save the world, but lack planning and time management skills to pull it off without stress and chaos. Granted, their events turn out wonderfully, but hidden just below the surface of greatness there was a moment in a staff bathroom no one wants to talk about.
Ninja Recommendation: Be proactive and offer to help with a specific task at the beginning of the project and then walk away. Our favourite ninja quote relating to these people is “Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency.” ~author unknown
The Martha Stewart of Teaching
These people look like they are helping, but it’s usually a mask of fancy duct tape, matching decor and perfectly arranged desks. They love to make work and make us Type A ninjas look like disorganised farm animals. They have a perfect classroom where it appears learning is happening, but dig a little deeper, and looks like shady insider trading (in the form of bribing children and co-workers with chocolate.)
Ninja Recommendation: Only work on committees with these people if you ARE these people otherwise you will all drive each other crazy. P.S. They usually prefer good wine to chocolate.
The “Thank Goodness I’m Normal” Group
If you don’t fit into one of the categories above, one of two things is true:
Either you are the perfect coworker who loves to help out others and does it in an organised and considerate manner or you actually ARE one of the above types of people and no one has told you yet.
Ninja Recommendation: Cherish these people and say thank you as much as humanly possible.
Chances are you are a bit of every category. In fact, you work your way through each characteristic of these types of people from hour to hour depending on the day (or your caffeine level). The moral of the story is to try to be a good teammate and try to give your coworkers the benefit of the doubt because we all became teachers to make a difference in the world. And if that doesn’t work, scream about them in your car on the way home to get it out of your system.