Those of you who do teach in levels below HS, how do you deal with your co-workers? As a man in an "elementary" setting, I get so frustrated with many of them. I feel they are very weak minded, don't question ANYTHING, and then bitch about the circumstances they find themselves in. Then you have the opposite, those who are so strong minded that they don't care what anyone tells them, they do what they feel is best, get reemed out when things don't work out, and then bitch about the circumstances they find themselves in. Even the men I work with. I wind up spending most of my time alone preparing instead of collaborating with these people because they drive me up a fucking wall. Its like there is no middle ground for them. There's also such underlying cut throat competition at staff meetings where if a teachers makes a suggestion that administration likes, that teacher is ostracized by his or her peers. There's also a sense of "my job is harder/more important than yours" where I work as well, which I know is due to the standardized testing and promotional criteria (have to pass Math and ELA) and in my school the two lead teachers in those subjects (and the entire grade's ELA staff) are not even certified in those areas. Is this something that is just in my school (I've worked in only one school for ten years - aside from summer school) or is it throughout? Sorry, just needed to blow off a little steam and hopefully hear some useful tips on how to deal with it. Yep, sounds about right.