Do you mingle with the other teachers?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by hbcaligirl1985, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    Sep 17, 2012

    I haven't ever eaten in the faculty lunch room. I've been incredibly shy about the entire thing--I feel like I'm intruding if I go in there and eat lunch with them. However, I also realize this is the best way to network and get my name out there.

    So what do you guys do?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I think you should go and eat with them. Worst case scenario you'll be eating there in silence and no one is talking to you, but you would do that in your own room anyways.
    When I subbed at traditional schools I always ate in the lounge - every school was different. In some schools the teachers were very nice and friendly, and others, some were friendly and some looked through me, and in other schools they could care less.
    You can't go wrong, and it is a great way to network.

    A usual conversation will start with a teacher asking you who you are there for, or simply 'who are you today?' (as if we have different personalities lol), and then they'll probably ask how it's going, etc. That's you chance to make some new friends.
    Just try it :)
     
  4. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Definitely go in there! Especially since you need to network. I head in there and socialize even when I'm just observing or volunteering for a day. I didn't do it at first and I know it can be awkward, but it's not so bad once you get over the initial hurdle. Maybe you can take a book with you or something in case it's TOO uncomfortable. At least you can pretend to read! :D If you're too nervous to go in without a reason (which you shouldn't be, it's not so bad), maybe take a lunch that requires a microwave?
     
  5. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I try and go at least once. The schools where I know the teachers well I'll eat there a lot of the time depending on when my lunch is scheduled. I help run school tours at a local site and several of the schools I sub at bring their kids there in the fall. It definitely helped open up conversation with the teachers at lunch time.

    I have found it to be incredible awkward though if I walk in, nearly all the seats are filled and its obvious its a tight-knit group of teachers. When that happens, I'll sit down, say hi, eat my food, and get out of there before the period is over, unless someone starts talking to me.
     
  6. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I understand the feeling, I was always that way unless I was in the district I student taught and had an LTS in, since I knew the teachers there. It can be scary walking in there, not knowing if they sit in certain places, and knowing no one! Sometimes the teachers are cliquey too! But I once in a while I worked up the courage and usually was glad I did.
     
  7. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Very few of us eat in the staff lounge (we are often working through our lunch), but I definitely mingle after school. I would say that it's important to meet new people and try to get yourself out there, even if it's awkward at first. I have learned (being an introvert myself) that sometimes my shyness is interpreted as being standoffish or snobby...so I have to force myself to talk to people in order to show them my true personality :)
     
  8. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 18, 2012

    It depends....there is one school where I've subbed twice, eaten in the lounge both times and everyone acted as if I wasn't there. I will eat in the classroom next time I go there. There are other schools where I eat in the lounge. Then there are some where I eat in the classroom. Often it's less a case of the school and more a case of how much I want silence during lunch. Some days, that 40 minutes of not speaking at all is necessary.
     
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I don't anymore, but it's because of my own hangups. It's embarrassing to come in another year as a sub teacher. It also makes listening to the complaints: about kids,complaints about work, about their soccer-mom/new grandmother lives, that much more annoying too.
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I stayed to myself when I subbed, but now I wish I had been more social. I feel I would have had a better chance of getting a long-term placement.
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2012

    Another thing you can do is go to staff meetings, especially if you are frequently at the same school. This might work in differently depending on schools, for example you might out of place being there. But it is good to be up to date, they do discuss school wide procedures, changes, etc in these meetings. If you are planning on getting hire as a teacher then you can't be wrong by being there, it shows dedication to your job and profession.

    Also, you probably don't think of this: you need to be seen. (meeting, before / after school duty, lunch break, wherever). You wouldn't believe how many teacher put off putting an absence in the system until the last minute, often because they don't have a sub set up, they don't want to call or email someone specific they know. I have gotten so many teachers ask me if i was available on a certain day. I was there, I was a sub, they liked me, they asked me. If another sub would've been there, they would've asked them, so it was just a matter of being visible.
     
  12. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I don't know about that one, though I can see what you're saying about wanting to be seen. I'm a regular at a school... I've never even thought about sitting in on a staff meeting. I think if I did, fellow teachers would be like, "Why would you voluntarily come to this?" as if to scoff at the notion. I was a LTS and showed up at a PD day. They were dumbfounded that I showed. Even the principal encouraged me to skeedaddle, saying I'm not being paid to be there, etc.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I know what you mean, that's why I said it might work differently depending on the school. When I was student teaching I went to every single meeting (weekly, 7:30 am). There if there was a sub who's regularly working there could be seen as someone who wants to be a team player or wanting to be up to date. (not going every week, but once a month, or if scheduled on those days).

    In some school I can totally see what you're describing.
    At the detention centers we have monthly site meetings and when I was subbing I never thought about going. When I became a LTS I had to be there and noticed that the regular subs were there. It really showed that they were part of a team, and they would have missed a lot of info if they didn't go.
    Now it changed, we have to go, because it would be a half day, and only get paid half if we don't go to the meeting.
    Although today the meeting lasted from 12:30 pm - 4:30, and the same thing happened last week. But I still get to see teachers whom I wouldn't otherwise see (it was 3 schools together today, regional meeting).

    In fact yesterday I went to a union meeting. One teacher talked me into going, he's on the chief council and he said I should mingle and talked to some teachers. I'm trying to get into the main juvenile halls but i actually needed to make a face to face contact with those teachers. I went, stayed for 15 minutes, mingled, talked, gave out my cards, and we'll see what happens (I didn't stay for the meeting)
     

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