Do you sit in the teacher's lounge?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by GAteacher87, Jul 23, 2011.

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  1. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    Jul 23, 2011

    Well, do you? :whistle:

    I was always told in undergrad NOT to sit in the teacher's lounge--that this is where the tired, gossipy, pessimistic teachers sat. As a student teacher, I did experience this in a lounge-type setting, but there were also some great teachers who came in at times. I'm sure it depends on every school, but in YOUR school, do you enjoy your mornings/lunches in your room or with other teachers? How do you make teacher friends at school with the ones who are uplifting and optimistic and who love their jobs?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I walk every day at lunch and then eat in faculty room. I don't find ours to be a negative place, but I also don't sit with those kinds of people. At lunch we often discuss non-school kinds of stuff:sports, family, vacation plans...
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I tend to spend my lunch time at my desk, working. I rarely go to the teacher's lounge at lunch time. But then again my grade level is the only one that has lunch at that time. I'm the only one who brings their lunch every day. Others go out at least once a week. When we do eat lunch together it is usually in somebody's room.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think you were given horrible advice.

    Apparently, some faculty lounges are dens of backbiting and gossip; that hasn't been my experience.

    The faculty room in my school is a place where I can relax with friends, get advice and give it, learn more about my colleagues and the kids I teach.

    I normally sit at the "mom's table"-- lots of other women with lives similar to mine. But last year, I was free (well, for part of the year) at a time when none of the "moms" were free. So I sat with a different group of people and became friendly with people 20 years younger.

    We had a brutally rough year-- yesterday we buried the 6th staff member to die since Labor Day. Had it not been for the support of the wonderful people with whom I work, this year would have been even rougher. We reminisced, we cried, we leaned on each other and helped each other and covered for each other. But that sort of relationship doesn't just happen; it builds-- often over cups of coffee as we discuss the ins and outs of our days.

    Spend time in the faculty room. If there's gossip, ignore it or change the subject. But don't cut yourself off from this remarkable source of support and education.

    Fairly early in that first week of school, hit the supermarket and bring in some goodies that will serve a lot of people-- a cake or a bowl of candies or something. Leave a short note: "Here's to a sweet year! Enjoy!, love, Aliceacc." You'll be surprised at how many people stop to thank you.
     
  6. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    As a student teacher, I always ate in my classroom. I was told not to eat in the lounge, and I always had students coming in anyway.
     
  7. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    I have made the effort these past few years to spend time with my colleagues at lunch in our lounge, unless I had a specific reason not to. Our lounge is typically a relaxing place, occasionally a place to vent and get support and ideas of how to work something better. We usually discuss things going on in our lives rather than school, but on occasion we discuss school. Our staff is pretty positive, overall. I like spending time with adults... sometimes I NEED to spend time with the adults! :)
     
  8. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    I love my teacher's lounge! We laugh and share a lot of things - mostly stuff not related to school. At my school too, a lot of informal planning occurs here - if you're not there you are out of the loop. We do sometimes vent but it's generally a very positive environment.
     
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If I have something that has to get done and lunch is the only time I have, then I am in my room doing it. Otherwise I eat in the lounge with other teachers. I wold say around half the teachers at the school eat in the lounge, half in their rooms. It is not a gossipy place, but sometimes there is too much school talk and I prefer to avoid that on my lunch.
     
  10. geek412

    geek412 Rookie

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    In student teaching they told me the same thing, "Be careful who you eat lunch with in the lounge". Since this department was one large family, I decided I would eat lunch with them until things got out of hand i.e., "school gossip" and such. Then I just excused myself, and started working on my lessons or grading papers.

    They did joke with me about it, "Honey, you better cover your ears for this one".

    I found it a little insulting, but I replied, "Thank you very much for the forewarning", and left the room.

    After that, they never gave me flack about it.
     
  11. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I never do.

    In my first school where I taught for three years- I found out where the lounge was on year three. That being said, I didn't have a break at all those years except when my kids were at a prep (technically illegal by contract standards).

    In theory now- I could go to the lounge, but we tend to eat in our classroom.

    That being said. I have always had a co-teacher and assistants in my classroom- so I am eating with those I have a common lunch with- just not going down to the lounge.
     
  12. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    My room is one of the farthest rooms from the cafeteria so it's a lot more convenient to eat lunch in the teacher's lounge otherwise all my 20 mins. of lunch time would be gone. :(

    Most days I don't like eating there because the gossip and the negative talk can be really bad since there is a group of teachers who talk badly about the students and the P. I haven't found another place where I can eat my lunch quietly or at least in a more positive environment. This year this is my goal, to find a nice place where I can relax and eat my lunch.
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    With only a 20 minute lunch, I tend to spend it either at the "teacher's table" in the cafeteria, or running errands (can you say bathroom break?). Usually I eat during my planning period in my classroom, which actually has fallen during the period immediately following my grade level's official "lunch."
     
  14. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I always sit in the lounge to eat. The cafeteria has issues - the chairs pull my hair out and the air conditioner blows so hard on the teacher's table that your food is cold before you can eat it.
    I don't find our lounge a negative place. It is a good place to get to know other teachers and discuss your day.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I almost never do, but that's usually because I eat at my desk and then have students in with me. Our staff room is in use by the Before School Daycare program in the mornings, so people use it just at recess and lunch. There are a few negative people who did influence my initial decision to stop hanging out there; I have a problem when people talk negatively about children, administration, and other staff members. I have good friends on staff who I go out to lunch with a couple of times a week and I have a standing "coffee date" every Friday morning with others.
     
  16. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    :yeahthat: I, too, was told to avoid the teachers lounge by my professors. I'm going on my fourth year in this building, and I've eaten in the lounge a handful of times. Most of the times I've really enjoyed myself and found it a great way to destress and realize I'm not alone in issues going on in my classroom or life in general. Yeah, there are some "Negative Nellies" and "Galloping Gossipers," but the bad far outweighs the good. This upcoming year, I'm going to eat in the lounge at least three times a week.

    Beth
     
  17. america82099

    america82099 Rookie

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    My professors told me the same thing, but I usually do spend more lunches in the lounge. It is my "grown up" time. I did eat in my room for a while when I was having issues with a team member.
    The negative will find you wherever. I shared recess with a very negative teacher. I would just nod let her talk.
     
  18. smtownEngteach

    smtownEngteach Rookie

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    This must be something that all college teachers have discussed and decided to add as a part of their mantra, because I was told the same thing in my teaching classes.


    When I did my student teaching I usually ate in the teachers lounge, and didn't find it to be a negative place at all.

    In the school that I subbed at last year most teachers ate in the Cafeteria, and again I found it to be a positive experience and a nice way to socialize and unwind for a bit. My mentor teacher has told me that most of the teachers usually eat at the Cafeteria at my new school as well, so that's probably what I will do as well, or at least at first to give it a try.
     
  19. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Lunch is sometimes the only time I have to go through my e-mails, so I usually eat in my room. On top of that, I often have kids in for extra help while I eat/check e-mails. On Fridays, the kids are in the room for lunch bunch. I don't mind this, though, because I can't stand the smell of the school lunches mixed with all of the other lunches that the teachers heat up. It's nauseating to me. At most, I'll sit in there for about 5 minutes before I pick my kids up to talk for a few minutes, but that's about it. I usually talk to other teachers before and after school.

    This year, I'll be in the computer lab, so I'm not sure I'll be able to eat in my room unless I have an area away from the computers, so I might have to brave the stinky staff lunch room. :unsure:
     
  20. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I usually eat in the teacher's lounge. I rarely talk about school related issues during lunch. Mostly we talk about what is going on in our lives. We have a good time during lunch. We laugh a lot and are always supportive of each other. I will even bring in baked goods since I love to bake.

    Sometimes, we have grade level meetings during our lunch time sine we all know that we have the same time to meet. We have 45 minutes for lunch. We only use about 15 minutes for a meeting.

    If I have a really busy week ahead I will stay in my room to eat lunch and work. However, if it is an indoor recess day, I will only stay in my room until the children come back from lunch to have recess.
     
  21. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Personally, I think it depends on your school.

    I've worked at schools that have actual signs "No gossip. This means you." I laughed every time I saw that.

    My first year...I went with what people told me "Don't hang in the teacher room". But then again, I was busy prepping for the next lesson and grading papers in order to survivie my first year.

    My second year...I came out of my classroom in effort to hide from the people who knew I hung out there at lunch time---I went to the teacher room a few times a week. We also have team lunch meetings once a week too.

    This year....I'll probably do the same as last year: hang in the teacher lounge long enough to eat my lunch and catch up with the peeps and then hit the prep/grading to stay on top of things.
     
  22. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I usually eat with the kids. I find that I can learn so much more about my students when I sit down to eat in a much less formal way. Those relationships are invaluable. Plus I can always squeeze in some academic questions in a more relaxed, fun way. I teach a largely hispanic population and they love trying to teach me Spanish (which I love too....but is a hopeless endeavor) ;0)
     
  23. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    This is exactly what I do as well as most of my fellow teachers. The support we give each other during this "down time" is what makes all of the staff at my school so special.
     
  24. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I eat with a group of teachers in the cafeteria. Here, we are supportive and friendly with each other.

    I find the group in the teacher's lounge to be too negative towards students and administration. It is a downer for me to listen to that every day.
     
  25. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    We're technically only allowed in there during lunch.. I mean who's going to watch our kids? That is our only free time, lunch.

    Ours... can be a negative place if one teacher is having a bad day he/she will rant really loudly and just.. ruin the mood but overall it's always positive things or team teachers maybe discussing a kids' progress in the ESL program (2 teachers share their classes so both share in the progress).
     
  26. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    The faculty cafeteria is one building over, so I eat in our department workroom, which has tables and chairs and a fridge. Most of the time it's me and the SPED teachers and aides who have rooms on our floor, plus a Spanish teacher and a couple of other English teachers. We mostly talk about TV and movies and popular culture, and though there is a bit of venting, it's mostly very positive. After spending 5 hours with teenagers, I crave the company of adults!
     
  27. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Have to get out those negative feelings somewhere and somehow.
     
  28. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Don't you need a break from the kids?
     
  29. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Of all the crucial advice professors should give future teachers they choose to give this advice? I think it's silly. Negative and bitter teachers are everywhere. They will say what they have to say in the hallways, office, gym, playground, classroom etc.

    Adults should be able to tune out negative people because they are everywhere. I'm not easily influenced by anyone like that. I can handle my own, I don't gossip, I'm open-minded and wait to form my own opinions about students/parents/teachers from my own interactions with them. That's the advice professors should be giving out.
     
  30. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Ours is actually a teacher's workroom, where the computers are located. So, when I go in there, it is to work and that's it. Otherwise, you would not find me there. I do see teachers who go in there and chat, but I use every minute of my prep time to work (I don't believe in taking work home, just for my own sanity) and have no time to sit and chat during a prep time.

    This coming year, however, the primary classrooms will all have computers, which will eliminate my need to even go into the lounge (except for when the Spanish teacher is teaching my class, because she might need to use the computer).
     
  31. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    We have to eat with our kids for the first 10 minutes of lunch. I do like to have a moment to myself to get things ready, and go to the bathroom. I bet it means a lot to your kids that you are interested in their native language! :)
     
  32. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I guess it's just preference. I'd rather sit with the kids than listen to teachers gossip or complain. When I'm at work I think about work. I see that time as additional teaching time - whether I'm just learning more about them or teaching them social skills.....of course I teach kindergarten.

    That being said, NO! I couldn't see myself sitting with a bunch of late elementary or middle school students.:eek:
     
  33. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    We eat lunch with the children, all of us, so there's no chance to have lunch away from children. It's part of our grace and courtesy curriculum.

    During inservice and work days, I tend not to eat with the other teachers. I can usually be found in the classroom eating and working at the same time.

    OUr teacher's "lounge" is really just a place to hold meetings and make copies.
     
  34. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    But, not every single day, every single lunch period.

    And, honestly, I don't have a lot of negatives to "get out."
     
  35. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I get asked this by some of my coworkers since I eat in the cafeteria ... the answer is no.
     
  36. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    I eat with my team almost everyday in the lounge and this is the same across all grade levels. Our lounge is very noisy during lunch!!:D
     
  37. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I agree. Too much negativity can be so draining. Venting is one thing, everyday negativity is another.
     
  38. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I was also told to avoid the lounge by professors in school. I think that's absolutely horrible advice! Most of our staff eats in the lounge. The people that don't make time for it are the exact same people do tend to be more "negative" imo, because they're oveworked, overstressed, and never take time to relax even for 20 minutes. I don't understand why people work through lunch. You have to eat at the same time you're "working", so how much are you honestly getting done? Maybe 10 minutes worth of "work" I'd guess between eating- is that really worth it? I definitely need that time to unwind and talk to other adults. Taking that time puts me in a better mood and makes me a better teacher for my kids in the afternoon! We have a very tightknit staff and those relationships often start in the teacher's lounge. Those that avoid the lounge don't get to participate in that and they're often the ones that don't end up socializing with us outside of school either. Imo, eating in the lounge=the teachers that are happier at work.
     
  39. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Our staff is so small, that we really don't have the negative, back stabbing issues that some other schools may have. There are only 17 teachers in our building, half of us have lunch at one time and half at the other. We get along really well. There's one person who chooses to eat alone, and that's fine. It suits that person's personality.

    When I taught at a large school with 200 teachers, all the English teachers who had lunch at the same time ate together in our department workroom. That was normally pretty fun. Every now and then I would have lunch scheduled at the same time as one of the super negative people. One year when it was really bad, a few of us just started eating in my room. Our campus workroom was too far away for us to get to in a timely manner. LOL.

    I think it's horrible that professors are saying don't eat in the lounge. It's a very unfair stereotype. :(
     
  40. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We don't have a teacher's lounge. That was aggravating before I had my own classroom because I had no where to be during my planning time. I ended up working in the office so the secretary could take lunch.

    The first school where I worked did have a lounge, and I had to spend my planning period in there because someone else taught in my classroom during that time. I went there to get my mail, and I'd often sit on the sofa and grade papers. Sure, there were gossipy, negative people, but that doesn't meant that I had to listen to them or participate. Sometimes I learned things that I couldn't have known otherwise, but I needed to know. I ate lunch there, too.
     
  41. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I like to get stuff done during lunch so I can go home earlier. It's my time-allocation preference. I can usually get through all of my e-mails and send out e-mails I need to send out. I think I'm happier when I can go home to my loved ones a half-hour earlier, but I can understand your point of view for needing a break. Remember, different strokes for different folks! ;)
     
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