Beware the insidious bully

7th November 1997 at 00:00
Congratulations on your important article on bullying (TES, First Appointments). It should be studied by all teachers and all heads.

Never say it cannot happen to you: it can. It can happen to a man, it can happen to a highly-experienced teacher, and it can happen in a church school.

The key word in the article is "insidious." Each little demand or criticism may be nothing in itself, but over time they build into a devastating undermining of a teacher's self-confidence. The clever strategy is to attack you in the areas which you believe to be your strengths, until you feel that you have failed even there. I realised too late what was going on, and I was too loyal.

I do urge all teachers to note where they can get help from, and do everything in their power to ensure it doesn't happen to them.

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