How social is your staff?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by teacherbell, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. teacherbell

    teacherbell Cohort

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    This will be my first year teaching and I was wondering what I can expect socially in a school environment. Do you get together outside of school with your coworkers? Are there a lot of "cliques" or does everyone work and socialize together? Do you mainly stick with your grade level? Thanks for answering my questions! :)
     
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  3. trickyvicky02

    trickyvicky02 New Member

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    when i started out i listened more than i talked. i quickly found out who you could talk to and who you shouldn't talk to. you have some co-workers who will run straight to the principal and tell everything you say. i go to staff development meeting with some of my co-workers and eat lunch with them on days we have to be at school without the kids. but ours lives are so busy outside school with our families,etc we rarely socialize outside of work. i hope you will find someone you can trust to talk because if you do you will have friend for life. good luck
     
  4. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    So true TrickyVicky02! I am such an observer- even after 5 years at the same school. I say only what I need to say and not any more. It's earned me a great deal of respect from many, many different people in various "cliques". If I learn of something, I keep it to myself. I've been in many environments where I've seen the downfall of school social structures (bad morale) because of cliques. I don't do cliques even though there are everywhere!!
     
  5. DotyMath

    DotyMath Rookie

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    social staff

    I totally agree that listening is key. Also, I listen to EVERYBODY - not just the teachers who have been there forever. Cliques are everywhere, but I like to think that I am part of several different groups. I like to eat lunch with different people and sit with different people during faculty meetings. It is also hard to be a friend to what I call a 'toxic' person - you know the one - he/she is always complaining and bringing you down. I try to limit contact with those people. If you are friendly with lots of people, you will always have support and help when you need it. I think you can have a successful year if you start out with a smile and really listen. Good Luck! :)
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    An important lesson I've learned at my school is to not be a lounge lizard. You know who they are quickly. They are the ones that run for the lounge the second that the kids are out of the room. They then proceed to trash whatever teachers don't happen to be in there. Cliques are unavoidable. For example, I never see the kindergarten and 1st grade teachers because they are in a different building. That doesn't mean we aren't friendly, we just don't often get a chance to see each other. However, 3 years ago we had a teacher transfer in to us and the cliques have become more of a problem. She has her "groupies" and they are vicious. They will tear apart anyone (they target the ones who do their job and follow the rules but anyone is fair game). That makes for an uncomfortable work environment. I have some close friends at school and we do thing outside of school and occaissionally (sp??) we will do things as a school and those are always fun.
     
  7. ally101479

    ally101479 Rookie

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    When I first came to my school I just sat back and listened to everyone chit chat. I quickly became well liked and fit in with almost all of the teachers. I could tell right off the bat that the staff was clickey. I just talked to everyone and tried not to get too involved. We have a wide range of ages in our school. The younger ones tend to stick together and hang out outside of school and the older ones stick together. The best advice I can give to you is to mind your own business and watch what you say unless you know that the news will not travel around the school.

    Have a great year and goodluck!

    Allison
     
  8. Lanie

    Lanie Cohort

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    I think at our school the teachers are mainly social by grade level, but it's only because we see each other more and our schedules are the most similiar. However, we get together several times throughout the year with anyone and everyone who will come and it's so much fun to see people outside of school. We just had a mini reunion of retired Kdg. teachers, student teachers and present teachers and it was so much fun to see everyone and catch up on each others lives. Who you decide to socialize with will probably have a lot to do with your personality and things you find in common with others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2005
  9. mrs. dub

    mrs. dub Companion

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    I follow one rule: Be nice to everyone! This way, no one associates me with a particular clique. I'd rather float around and keep the conversation light, and stay away from the negative talk and gossip.

    In my school, there are two "camps", and most teachers are known to be on either one side or the other. I never tell anyone anything that I couldn't say in front of everyone. It's good to be nuetral!
     
  10. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Yep. I try to be nice to everyone. If you have a mentor, they can help you get a heads-up. Our school is really friendly for the most part. The only clicks are between grade levels, but it's not that bad. I'm outside and only near one other teacher so we hit it off. We do lots of stuff together. Didn't know that not many of the teachers inside weren't like that. Everyone is nice and will share whatever they have if you can use it. It's usually the more experienced teachers that become stand-offish. Make good friends with the secretaries. They know everything!
     
  11. ~Darlene~

    ~Darlene~ Rookie

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    Our staff is very small- only one teacher per grade level and one resource room teacher, so we are very close....both in school and out. I wouldn't have it any other way :D
     
  12. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    The school where I student taught (and where I'm hoping to be hired soon!) is a very large school and of course the faculty can be cliquey. They tend to stick with the people on their floor/wing of the building, but on the first Thursday of every month quite a few of the teachers, including the vice principal, go out to dinner and to a local martini bar. The principal has gone as far as to mention it at faculty meetings. They get a pretty good turn-out and it's great for staff morale, especially in such a large school.
     
  13. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Totally. I've always told my kids this same thing. "You are best to not belong to any group, but instead be a person who can mix with any and all at any given time." It's a good rule.

    One of my professors gave us what is in my opinion the best piece of advice. He said: "Have a life apart from school/your work, etc..." I am somewhat of an introvert anyway, but I try to stay away from socializing with colleagues outside of work - that's my family time.
     
  14. teacherbell

    teacherbell Cohort

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    Thanks for all of your advice. I know you all speak from experience and I will remember it as I start out my teaching career.
     
  15. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I remember a professor in college telling us that the most important thing you can do is stay out of the teachers lounge..........My school doesn't have a teachers lounge, but I think we get the point. :) I agree 100% with Mrs. Dub and Canadian Teacher! Great tip!
     
  16. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I was told the same thing by professors! However, when I met with the principal before I began student teaching one biggest pieces of advice she could give us was to eat lunch in the lounge and not by ourselves in the classroom. She gave me the same advice when I interviewed for a job there. She said that many people like to eat in their rooms, but to try to socialize with the rest of the staff because that makes a more cohesive, family-like atmosphere.
     
  17. hanvan

    hanvan Connoisseur

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    My school is so different. I have never heard anyone talk bad about another teacher in the lounge. Everyone is really sweet. Some people get together outside of school but most are too busy. I talk to a lot of teachers on different grade levels. I am glad I haven;t experienced anyone bad mouthing another. That would just be too much.
     
  18. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    The only problem with this is that is the only time in the day that I have a chance to talk to other adults. I'd love to stay in my room and get stuff done, but I need to keep my sanity. I'd rather stay late after school to do stuff than not talk to another adult.
     
  19. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I sometimes eat in the lounge, but like many others said, badmouthing does go on in there. My grade level used to eat together. I love to eat and chill with people, but when I was working the afterschool program 5 days a week (something I won't be doing again!!), I didn't have enough time to get everything done during the day, so I often wouldn't eat with anyone else.

    We try to have happy hours where we all go out once every other month or so. Doesn't always happen, and it usually the same people, but its fun. We also have an end-of-the-year dinner. Again, its usually the same people who go, but I'm always there :)
     
  20. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Every school is so different you'll have to judge for yourself. At my first school I hid in my room for lunch the atmosphere was so negative. Here at the schhol I'm at now we are much more freindly. I's a huge shool so I dont know everyone yet but last year I ate lunch with 1st grade and the other 3rd grade teachers. This year with 8 3rd grades were gonna have a full room.
     
  21. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I guess it depends on the person. Personally, I'm somewhat of a loner and I enjoy eating my lunch alone while getting things done. For me it's more relaxing to have that alone time to work (since I wouldn't get it at home before about 11:00 PM). I've always been that way though.
     
  22. Yabasic

    Yabasic Rookie

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    At my school, all the teachers are very social and open-minded, that's what I like. In the staff-room, there is a great friendly feeling and no one ever gets left out.
     
  23. DotyMath

    DotyMath Rookie

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    Friends at School

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to become friends with the secretary, janitor, and lunchroom staff. They can really help you out. Good Luck! :)
     

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