Are you friends with your coworkers?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by lucybelle, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Same here. A family, for sure.
     
  2. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Yes and no. I am careful about awkward connections (like if a teacher also has her kid in my class, or another teacher moves up to Principal). But I am a naturally friendly person so I always end up with dear friends at work. Usually, they are 1:1 friends, not often a group, even though everyone knows each other. I mean I can talk with one person and get very close to them, but not so in a group. I always wonder about politics when I'm in a group. Probably paranoia from my business life when you couldn't talk about work in a restaurant because your competitor might be listening from the next table. :)
     
  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2012

    If it weren't for my coworkers I'd have no social life!

    ** I typed a much longer reply, but the above is all that posted. I'll try to recreate the rest here: **

    That's not exactly true, but most of my closest friends are people I work with. I was friends with many of them before I started working there, though, so I don't think it's weird.
     
  4. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    :yeahthat:
     
  5. alioxenfree

    alioxenfree Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2012

    No. I used to go out with some coworkers for happy hour from time to time, but I don't really consider them friends. At my school there are two major cliques, which were formed long before I started working there. I get along with everyone, but the leader of Clique #1 and the leader of Clique #2 dislike each other and talk about each other, which makes me uncomfortable when I hang out with either group. For example, when one of them asked if I wanted to go out with them, she said, "Only certain people are invited." I think it's supposed to make me feel "special," but ugh! I understand that not everyone likes each other, but the cattiness is ridiculous. I always say it's like high school, but I didn't even have this experience in high school!

    I usually avoid the cliquey social events, but I attend all-school events (end-of-year party, holiday party, baby showers, retirement party).

    I do meet individuals (non-clique people) for lunch or to plan during the summer. I don't consider them friends, though, at least not yet. I've always been strangely picky about how I use the word, though.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I haven't really been friends with my co-workers but that's mainly because there is no one in my age group that I work with.

    The few people who are even close (I'm 23 and they're 30!) have very different interests and somewhat clashing personalities with me, but I like talking to them and we are on good terms.

    I do want to build stronger work relationships. I felt like I didn't talk to my co-workers enough about things outside of work throughout the year, and they really only saw me if I needed help. I think one lunch a week at least with a co-worker would be nice.

    I don't really have many actual friends either (especially after moving), so my social life has been kind of lame lately.
     
  7. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I would say that I consider about half of our staff as friends, and the other half as colleagues. The "friends" are people who will go out for drinks after events, or they have parties and include me in their guest lists. However, there are about 10 people who are close enough that if I called them in the middle of the night because I needed help (for example, car trouble), they would be there to help me out.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I think for me it was less about age and just the fact that many of my older co-workers were in totally different places. I was 22 when I started. My first year, one of my absolute best friends from work was 36. We hung out all the time outside of school- but this year, she had a baby and things changed drastically. Of course her whole world is now about the baby and she doesn't have the time to really do much socially. We still talk all the time- but things are very different now. Even for teachers who were parents of older kids, I felt like all they talked about were their kids- and frankly, I didn't have anything to add to that conversation. I stopped going to whole-staff happy hours b/c everyone was literally bringing their babies and toddlers- that is not the purpose of happy hour! This year I felt like I really only hung out with the few people that were my age (within a few years- I've always been the baby of the staff :)) because of that. I'm not sure I really even want kids, so the whole kid-obsessed thing was just too much for me. Actually, one of the people I got along with the best was by far old enough to be my mother- we really got along well b/c she didn't want kids either! She and her husband decided to go for pets instead!
     
  9. roxstar

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I think it depends on the person. I have one co-worker that I have added to my FB account, but I am with you that I like to keep it separate. I think it's smart. I think you just have to be pretty selective.
     
  10. Lionteacher

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Same for me, one of my coworker's children call my aunt lionteacher. Many of my best friends are coworkers or former coworker. I have always worked in a small private school so that might have something to do with it.
     
  11. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I'm friends with some of them, but my closest friends are still from college. I think I'll make closer friends at work if I stay in the same school for longer.
     
  12. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I love my co-workers... Particularly at my previous school where I was for nearly five years... they came to my wedding, and sang a song for me, and backed me up so I could sing a song there as well.
     
  13. PinkCupcake

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I have a few coworkers that are also friends; two of those also teach the same grade as I do. We're close in age. We like to hang out together outside of work when we can. We'll go to dinner or go to each other's holiday parties. The last week of school we planned a celebration where a group of us went out for drinks and dinner outside of the "school zone" of course. I have coworkers on Facebook, but not on Twitter. I like to have fun but nothing over the top and I never post anything I wouldn't want family or friends to see.
    I feel fortunate to work with a group of close knit people. The literacy specialist recently got married, and there were 10 people from school there. I've gone to my principal's house a few times for Mary Kay things and it's been very relaxed. I enjoy getting to know my coworkers outside of a school setting.
     
  14. Jayneorama

    Jayneorama Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2012

    My bestie is one of my coworkers. A few others are shopping/crafting/concert buddies. We work and socialize in a community, though, so we are intentional from the get-go about being a community. I also had a major surgery, and my children were cared for, taken places, and my family was fed by my coworkers. I couldn't have been more grateful to them, and it really exemplified the community we strive for. :D
     
  15. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I'm 37. My closest friends from school range in age from 25 to 62. Age makes no difference to me. They are kind, funny, dependable.
     
  16. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I love my co-workers, but I'm not sure if I consider many of them "friends." Acquaintances is probably a better term. In two years I've been in two different buildings (possibly a third this year) so it kind of makes making friends tough. During my first year I was one of the youngest in the building. Fortunately, I did get the opportunity to work with a close friend of mine. Still there was only myself and another girl who were single and we always tried to get together, but it never would work out.

    This year I feel very well supported by my coworkers and while although we are very friendly I wouldn't say I have any really close friends there. I'm still a younger teacher (youngest of the Sp Ed teachers) but not the youngest. Majority of the teachers are older and married with kids. I teach in an area where there's not really a ton of places to go for Happy Hour and not many teachers around here seem that into it. I do have a small group of younger teachers that I will occasionally go and grab lunch with on teacher workdays and things like that, but we don't necessarily call each other up out of the blue to hang out. As far as Facebook goes a lot of my coworkers can't even find me since my Facebook profile is my first name and middle name. I give it out to teachers who I'm closer with and want to keep in touch with over the summer.
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I'm still very close to teachers I taught with ten years ago, but barely talk to teachers I taught with five years ago. The schools had very different atmospheres so I think it was just natural that I became closer to the "cozier" school teachers than the school where people were friendly but not necessarily close to one another.
     
  18. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I am good friends with a few co-workers and we are on facebook together. We don't really hang out though. I do go out with some former colleagues and asst. principals quite often. I know of a situation where a prin is on facebook and is friends with some of the staff, but not all. I think this is HIGHLY unprofessional!
     
  19. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Jun 20, 2012

    I am friends with many of my coworkers. I teach at a small school and we all love each other :)
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 20, 2012

    Total hijack, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I just got off the phone from booking hotel reservations for me and three of my school friends. We range in age from mid 30's to mid 40's. The two youngest are single, my divorce will be final a week before we go, and the other has been married so long that she does what she wants. :lol:
     
  22. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oh man, have I been where you've been. Being gay, both children and marriage prospects are out of my radar. It's rather hard to hang out with my friends when all they talk about is marriage preparation or their children because there is zero way for me to relate.

    It just ends up being an awkward conversation.
     
  23. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's true. One of my good friends is actually around 80, (and he is paralyzed and struggling with cancer now), so friendship can know very few bounds. It's kind of like a chemical reaction though. There is that certain activation energy that you need to overcome. I am friends with that particular person because he was my landlord, and we actually lived WITH him in the same one bedroom apartment in very close quarters.

    At the school I just taught at, I think not only are the teachers older, but I don't live in the community (I drove 45 minutes each way every day), I am new, and wasn't coming back next year, so there was probably no reason for either party to invest in a friendship, and I was coming into a very well-established school, so most friendships and groups are already well formed.

    Being of a similar age is simply like a catalyst that lowers the activation energy of the friendship reaction. Lol, I'm having too much fun with this analogy.
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

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    This was the first year that I've had a group of co-workers who were actually around my age (early 30s). It was awesome. I'm certain we're going to be lifelong friends.

    In the past, though, most of my colleagues were around my parents' age. Thankfully, though, I've never had a problem making friends.
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    How fun. Just don't get into too much trouble!
     
  26. MATgrad

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    Jun 21, 2012

    nope. I've always been isolated because I teach self-contained special ed and it doesn't really seem to get any sort of respect from my coworkers. I've tried. I really have. I ate in the faculty room during my lunch but always ended up alone. I'd help others out with their events but just about always ended up in the corner (and yes I mean that literally!). I'm hoping that next year will be different for me since I'm moving to a new grade level but I'm not going to force it. I'm not asking to be best friends but it would be nice to not always eat alone.
     
  27. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Jun 22, 2012

    That is awful. I hope this year goes better with your coworkers recognizing you as a person and not just someone to go to for help. I'm working on my masters in special ed and this seems to be common. Wrong, but common. :(
     
  28. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    I saw people posting ages, I guess I never gave much thought. My closest friend at work (not on FB) is my mom's age. I trust her and confide in her, she is a true friend. My FB friend/coworkers are between 20 and 50+. I'm 30. I don't think age is that big of a deal if there is trust and at least some things in common. 20 friends are coworkers. 40 friends from Kinder to college, 44 family and church. 2 people I know for a fact I have never met. 2 people are former coworker/friends of my mom. I do trust my FB friends by would only go to the 44 family/church, 2 school, and 5 coworkers if I really needed help with something.

    On a side note the "school" category includes two 15 year old students (in the district). Both sent me the request. I accepted their request. We (my family) has been in constant contact with the two families for a LONG time. My mom used to take care of the girls while their parents worked. The girls go to different schools and always have. They have been friends since they were 6months old. We took care of them from that time until they turned 5 and started kindergarten. (I typically would not accept a request from a student--I think it violates district policy. The students parents are on their FB too so they know about the friendship, though it is very weird to see them as "teenagers")
     
  29. MATgrad

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    Often times I have to give people the answers they don't want to hear and that definitely doesn't help. Special ed has so many little intricacies involved and many areas of gray. Part of it I think also comes from having fewer students and full-time paraprofessional help whereas they have none. I swear I thought heads were going to explode when it got out that I was not doing special ed next year. :lol:

    My fabulous mentor told me my first year to never forget that "you are here for the kids. You are not here to make best friends."

    It helps immensely to have a social circle outside of work, exercise, take care of yourself.
     
  30. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jun 22, 2012

    I moved to a rural community in another state for my first job. My coworkers (all 10 of them!) were the only people I knew in the area. They were great about having me over for dinner, inviting me shopping, etc., but all of them were married with kids. While we are all friendly, enjoy chatting together, and have a ton of fun at conferences, I don't do a lot of socializing with them outside of school anymore. That said, I know that we all would drop anything to help each other (and have, in the past few years--like the time I locked my keys in my running car in the library drive-through on a Friday evening...:blush:). However, a few years ago we got another teacher around my age (who does not have kids), and we have become very good friends and do a lot of things together outside of school.
     
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