How much do you talk about school with your non-teacher friends/family?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mr. Nobody, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2016

    How much do you all talk about work with your non-teacher friends and family? Do you think it's too much?

    I didn't think i did it too much, but a family member made a comment about it yesterday, which hurt my feelings.

    I've been thinking a lot about that comment and that maybe I need to cease all school related conversation with friends and familia.

    However, if I did that, my stress level would probably go through the roof because as an administrator, I don't really have a sounding board at work.

    Most of the things that bother me are about other teachers, so I can't discuss them with my coworkers. I can talk to the other admins some, but Im still getting to know them.

    Plus, even though they are all nice, I'm a lot younger, have much less experience, and they were all my boss for so long, that I sometimes still see them that way more so than as peers.

    In some ways it'd kind of be like if a kid from your class became a teacher overnight. Even though you'd now be equals, they'd probably still see you as a teacher and you'd see them as a student for awhile.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Feb 12, 2016

    Probably more than I should. My mom is a teacher's aide, my sister-in-law is a teacher, and my grandmother is a retired teacher. So... teacher chat happens and it happens even if no fellow teachers are around.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    A lot of my family is in the field of education although not all teachers. I do discuss things with them here and there but nothing specific. I highly doubt they would ever say anything to make me feel bad. In regards to acquaintances and such I really do not talk to them about teaching. I honestly have never heard anything offensive from anyone about teaching but you never know what some people really think about teachers. Unfortunately, people often say things without really KNOWING ANYTHING about teaching or education. I wouldn't take it personally.
     
  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Generally, I talk very little about school outside of it, except with my school friends, when the topic is specifically brought up, or with a family member who is also a teacher. Perhaps it's just my way of mentally getting a break from school every once in a while. Plus, I'm very introverted, so often times I'm not tremendously talkative after long days at school, anyways ;)
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I talk a lot about the books I'm teaching and things like that with friends. I obviously sometimes share more with close family.
     
  7. Mr. Nobody

    Mr. Nobody Rookie

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    Just a quick clarification: my family member wasn't insulting teaching/teachers. The comment basically was that I talk about school too much, but in a nastier way.

    Im glad you all talk about it too. Maybe I'll talk more about it to family members who are receptive.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    When I was in other schools with a much more difficult population I spoke about it a lot more. Now I barely talk about school because I don't have much to say. If anything, I gripe about how we don't get paid enough and how I'm thinking of leaving the profession because of it.
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    The only time I talk school is during the winter months when my snowbird friends are here from Canada. They are both retired SPED teachers so we have a lot in common.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My mom is a teacher and my husband is a coach. Two of my best friends are teachers. Since I have so many folks in my life who get what it's like, I have plenty of people to whom I can vent and share the positives of my days.

    If I didn't, there are times I would have had to talk about things at school, especially when I was working in a rather difficult district. Teaching is a stressful job regardless of circumstance and some positions are extremely stressful.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2016

    For that individual family member, cut out the conversation. If you're stressed, you don't need comments that will hurt your feelings.
     
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  12. Expo Markers

    Expo Markers Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2016

    I'm sorry that this particular family member was not very understanding.

    Everyone talks about their job- it's one of those few things that, unless you're rich or incapable of doing so, you probably have one. And teaching is stressful, for a lot of reasons. There's nothing wrong with needing to vent every once in a while.

    Hope things improve for you, OP.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My mom (kindergarten teacher) talks about school a lot. She has a really tough class this year. I listen to her vent and try to give advice. My dad, on the other hand, is probably sick of hearing about it (he would never say that, though). He's a trooper.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    My parents are both teachers, so I talk with them about school a lot. With my non-teacher friends, I very rarely talk about it. They'll usually ask how things are going and I might share one or two quick things, but I don't talk about teaching a lot with them. I'm sure it would be tiring for non-teachers to hear about constantly. I also like the fact that being with my non-teacher friends is a real "break" for me to not think about/talk about school. My first job was in a very small town and my only friends were other teachers, so we'd go out and end up talking about school the whole time. I now live in a larger city and made a real effort to form friendships with people outside of work.
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I used to talk about it a lot more, but I actually get a little irritated when others ask me about how school is going. I generally don't feel like thinking about work outside of work, especially when it has been a rough week, and I also don't like trying to tell the backstory. I usually reply with a brief one-sentence answer and leave it at that. I keep my venting for a small group of colleagues who know how schools function... and, even then, I really keep it limited. Talking about school for the sake of talking about it, as opposed to problem-solving and lesson-planning, really wears me out.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I talk with my (retired teacher) parents about my work on a regular basis. My web engineer brother, not so much, but we do talk about the pleasures and pitfalls of management, which works for me now that I'm co-department chair. My husband understands my job about as much as I understand his internet security one, so we both listen politely but blankly to each other.
     
  17. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Feb 14, 2016

    Other years? Not so much. This year? All the time because of the tough student population in this particular class. My team is already counting down the days until summer (75). In the meantime, we will do our best to help our students to grow and make positive choices - but some days are tougher than others.
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Feb 17, 2016

    I strictly edit what I say about school to others. Without meaning to, we often vent to outsiders who may be clueless, and who are seldom invested in the day to day business of school. I teach at an all SPED school, and I swore that I would not be the "victim teacher" who tells stories meant to shock and alarm individuals not cognizant of this environment. My SIL spent a couple of years in a similar environment before teaching inside a prison, and I witnessed first hand how she told her stories to gain sympathy, play being the victim, and then being the savior of the class. It was not necessary, since no one else taught in our family at that time, and I have been careful not to follow in her footsteps.

    I agree that I protect my time away from school, and prefer not to go there, especially with people who can't possibly know what my job is like. You are using a captive audience to vent to, and they may not appreciate it; I know that I wouldn't like hearing about your vents if I were not an educator.

    May I suggest that you use this forum to vent, sound out problems, and seek solutions from members who are here for others as well as themselves? Just label as a vent, or let us know what you are trying to decide or figure out, and then see if you can't exhale a little more frequently as you get things off of your chest.

    You can take offense that a family member called you out on this, or see it as feedback that you weren't expecting, but that may be useful in ways you have yet to understand. It is always good to look at these kinds of things as if the shoe was on the other foot - trust me, I have some friends that I adore but who can make me inwardly (I hope) cringe when they go on a rant about their jobs, which I have no interest in. Your comment about ceasing all conversation about school with basically everyone comes across, to me, as somewhat immature, but I am guessing that is because your feelings were hurt. Step back, reevaluate, and consider that it is far better to learn this about what you are doing, probably unintentionally, now instead of later. Let the wound heal, don't over react, and maybe modify what you do share with those not in the business. If for no other reason, I would want to handle how much I share, lest I tell tales out of school that could leak into the community. That is never intentional, but I have seen the mess it can make when it happens.

    You are lucky to have a forum family to share with - I appreciate it every day. It has allowed me to save my sanity on many occasions, I am sure. I hope that you will find the silver lining in what must have felt like a storm cloud. If you can do that, you will be displaying great personal growth, always a plus.
     
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  19. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Feb 18, 2016

    I try not to too much because my wife is a teacher too. Of course it is natural to talk about our days etc but we try not to talk about school or think about all night.
     
  20. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    My mom is a retired teacher, so we will talk about things, but other than that, I keep it brief, and generally only talk about it if something extremely funny happened or if I am asked. Are you holding your family as a captive audience while you vent? Maybe you aren't and your family member is just being nasty, but there might be a chance that you are talking about it too much to people who are not interested and cannot relate.

    I actually had an experience with someone else doing what I am describing just a few days ago. Someone in my family is VERY passionate about her niche in her career field (not teaching) and likes to talk about making a change when it comes to the social justice aspects of the problem. There were four of us at a family dinner, and she was asked about her degree program. She began to fill us in, but quickly began talking AT us for close to 15 minutes about all of the issues surrounding her field, and so on (some of which veered into uncomfortable politics talk). She didn't pick up on the signals that no one else could relate and that we had lost interest- we were not really replying, looking uncomfortable, etc, and she was keeping all of us in the conversation without any way to get out of it.

    Finally, at the 15 minute mark, it was too uncomfortable. She wasn't picking up on signals, and it was tough to watch. I said this: "I love you, and I love that you have such passion for your field, but I want to hear about YOU. Is it okay if we change the subject now?" I was told that I handled the situation with grace and did it kindly, although I realize that it might sound rude typed out. She was receptive and realized that she had been monopolizing the conversation.

    Again, you may not be doing this, but maybe you're unintentionally monopolizing conversations while venting and making others feel awkward.

    If not, find a few people that you know you can rely on to vent to!
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Not too much. I usually only share things that are funny, weird or straight up crazy.
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Some people just think teaching is a boring profession and nothing you say about it interests them. It would be the same if someone I knew talked about being a mechanic and all the "cool" cars they worked on. I have no interest in cars so I would probably think they are droning on and on.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I fully admit to glazing over a little when Rockhubby starts telling me about his day. I know nothing about the life of a systems administrator. That being said, I still listen as best I can and ask a few questions when I get the general gist of what he's talking about.
     
  24. PoliticalFutbol

    PoliticalFutbol Rookie

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    I used to talk a lot with other teacher friends - at gatherings, on the phone, meeting at Walmarts, etc. Usually the conversations were driven by the increasing pressure on teachers when really the pressure should be on students to perform or be able to get out.
     

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