A Reader Asks… (Hide and Seek)

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A reader asks, “how would you deal with faculty on campus that hide in their rooms and will not help out?”

Good question, and a problem that most campuses deal with on at least an infrequent basis. The answer is situational. If the staff member is leaving at the end of the year, as long as that person is meeting his or her instructional responsibilities, I would most likely let time solve the problem.

On the other hand, if the staffer has no intention in leaving, I would respond differently.

First of all, I would make sure that the staffer is actually avoiding meaningful and important work. Skipping a worthless “gritch” session is understandable. Skipping team planning, not so much. I would also check myself, to make sure I am both setting the proper example and communicating my expectation. If I can’t make time to attend and monitor planning sessions, are they really that critical? Also, if I don’t communicate why team work is important and that I expect everyone to work together, then the issue really deals more with my leadership than with staff behavior.

Finally, I would have to look at the overall effectiveness of the teacher. Some people are natural lone wolves. If the lone wolf is exceedingly effective with academically fragile students, then I can tolerate the behavior for a long, long time. If the lone wolf is a prima-donna that can only teach “upper level” students, then that staff member and I are going to have a number of difficult conversations until either the behavior changes or one of us leaves.

Think. Work. Achieve.

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