Teacher Advocates: My Colleague Is a Bully


Imagine you are in a school environment where educators are supposed to support and nurture the development of young minds. This is the picture we all want to believe, but unfortunately, it’s not always the reality. A growing and hidden problem lies beneath the surface – teachers bullying other teachers. In this article, we will discuss the issue of teacher bullies, their impact on colleagues, students and school culture, and how teacher advocates may help address this situation.

Identifying a Teacher Bully

A teacher bully is a colleague who uses their position of power or influence to intimidate, belittle or sabotage other teaching professionals within the school community. They often exhibit behaviors such as constant criticism, gossiping, humiliation in front of others, undermining colleagues’ work and authority, blaming others for problems they caused and isolating targeted individuals from decision-making processes or group activities.

Knowing the Impact

Teacher bullies can have a profound impact on victims. Beyond emotional distress, it can lead to decreased job satisfaction, increased absenteeism and a decline in professional performance. Additionally, this toxic environment created by an abusive teacher can affect students as well. Students may feel overwhelmed witnessing their favorite teachers being treated poorly; they may lose respect for education and authority figures when exposed to bullying.

Addressing the Problem

So how can this issue be addressed? One solution lies in becoming a teacher advocate. A teacher advocate is someone who stands up for the rights and interests of their fellow educators when they face unfair treatment or prejudice in the workplace.

1. Speak up: If you witness bullying behavior among colleagues or experience it yourself, communicate your concerns with the bullied individual and find out how they want to handle the situation before taking any further action. The objective is to be supportive without aggravating the problem.

2. Document incidents: Keep a detailed record of bullying incidents involving dates, times, locations and any witnesses. This documentation can serve as evidence when discussing the issue with school administration or other necessary parties.

3. Communicate with administration: Bring your concerns to your principal or other administrative personnel. Present the facts and any documented evidence that supports your claim of bullying.

4. Provide emotional support: Assist the colleague in coping with the bullying by offering a listening ear, advice, or a shoulder to lean on during tough times.

5. Seek outside help: If addressing the issue internally fails to bring about change, utilize outside resources such as professional associations, legal counsel or support groups to help resolve the situation.


A toxic work environment caused by teacher bullies can be detrimental to both educators and students. By recognizing the signs of bullying, understanding its impact and becoming a teacher advocate, you can contribute to creating a more positive environment where all members of the school community feel valued and respected.

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