I hate gossip...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by PreKyay, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. PreKyay

    PreKyay Companion

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    Jul 8, 2009

    I'm really just venting here... I have come to realize-- even more in the past few months-- that I am going to have to grow an even thicker skin if I'm going to survive as an educator in a small town or anywhere for that matter. I am just so sick of gossip.

    As with many small towns(or any district in general), we have had some controversy during the past school year. In the midst of all of this I am trying to begin a career as an educator. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I know two things for certain-- I will stay away from the teacher's lounge and I will have to smile and just let things roll off my back an awful lot in this town. But, most of all, I am determined that, despite everything, I stay focused on the needs of my students. They are my top priority (as well as my own family). I think some of the parents and teachers I will be working with have forgotten that all-important element!

    Anyone have any other words of wisdom? (Hugs are welcome too). :)
     
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  3. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    yes, the teacher's lounge is the doorway to hell. I remember by mentor teacher telling me this as a student teacher - Stay away fromt the lounge.

    I have a small group of teachers and we go back to my room to eat. Those are the small group that I can trust and say what I want. I don't trust anyone else.

    It's sad but it's true.
     
  4. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    :thumb: I agree 100% I avoid the teacher's lounge as much as I can. I only go in there is to check my mailbox, use the restroom or make some copies. Other than that I stay within our kdg building. I do choose to eat lunch with my colleagues but I may even stop doing that. Somehow conversation focuses around the kids and I want a real break. I may start to eat lunch in the room with some calming music next year. Gossiping is never a good idea. Principals even catch on and can use that when evaluation teachers. I've heard that teachers can marked down on their Communication score because they gossip about others. EEK! I wouldn't want my mouth to start effecting my evaluations.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    You gave yourself your best advice. Spend little to no time in the lounge...just enough so people don't think you are antisocial. Concentrate on your job and don't respond to the gossip. As in any school, you don't know who you can really trust, so don't get caught up in anything and you will be fine.
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Don't you think that by staying away from the lounge, you're allowing the gossip to fester there? I'd rather bring a positive influence to it. We had a group of teachers at my first school who went back to their rooms to eat together, and it was like a club. People wondered why they didn't want to eat with everyone else, and I wouldn't say there was bad gossip in the lounge. If you are in the lounge, and you hear gossip, couldn't you do something to squeltch it? When you go back to you room, you're contributing to division among the staff and the building of negativity in areas. Plus, it's terribly lonely for new or isolated teachers, as they often go to the lounge to meet other teachers. If you're not there, but in your room, how are they going to make friends?

    This strikes a nerve, as I've spent much time struggling to make friends at schools, and trying to find unity among staffs.
     
  7. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    I agree. Gossip drives me crazy. But cliques drive me crazy too.
     
  8. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    It is not only in a small town that gossip takes place. I teach in a huge metropolitan area in a school with around 1200 children. Some teachers love to talk about the children and other teachers and even go to the principal and AP to report other teachers. It has gotten worse over the last few years.Some Teachers will sell another teacher out if they feel it will help them in any way.
    It is really sad to see,as I work hard with our children to avoid such things,yet their teachers will do it.
     
  9. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I agree with Jem...until you make a name for yourself in the school/make friends, I would not stay away from the lounge. I would quickly eat my lunch (or part of my lunch) and then let the other teachers know that I have work in my room to do.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I tend to agree with Jem and Proud. My first year I did not hang out with the other teachers in the lounge, but instead opted to hang out with two teachers in the same hall in one's room. Even though I was hanging out with two teachers, it seemed like we were left out of what was going on. When I changed schools, I made sure to eat in the lounge. If the conversation turned to students, I tuned out or changed the topic.
     
  11. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I won't eat in the lounge because it stinks of whatever they're serving for the school lunch mixed with everyone else's microwave meal. Gross! I eat in my room. At least I'm used to the stink in there.:whistle:

    Besides, I like being able to check my e-mail and make sure everything is set for my afternoon classes.
     
  12. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I should add that I enjoyed avoiding any drama that was going on.
     
  13. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    I agree with Jem and proud. I've heard the advice to stay away from the lounge. I think it's counterproductive. I despise gossip, it makes me cringe and I work with a very close-knit community, so I can uderstand your concerns, but hear me out:
    1) You NEED a support system your first year and beyond. YOu need other teachers to have your back and you need people in your building who will show you the way around (literally and figuratively.)
    You will not find that by staying away, and presenting yourself as elite. I know this is not intentional, but this is how it comes across.

    2) You ARE capable of encouraging a positive atmosphere in the lounge, just as you do in your very own classroom. walk into that lounge armed with neutral, friendly topics like where you guys shop, what they make for dinners, even exciting things going on in your classroom. Just vow never to describe or use student's names. Keep it positive. Do not hesitate to change a topic, when it's necessary.
    And as a last resort, excuse yourself, saying you've got calls to make. But PLEASE make an effort. YOu do not need to be preachy, for people to catch on that certain topics are just not your thing. I've had acquaintances in college stop using certain language around me - not because I preached that it's wrong; simply because they caught on that I don't speak that way.

    It can be done.
     
  14. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    It's absolutely counterproductive to stay away from the lounge. In our school, its the sure-fire way to get gossiped about! YIKES!
    People think a teacher thinks she's/he's too good to be around everyone else if she/he doesn't eat with the rest of us. If you're in the lounge, at least you know they aren't talking about you. As bad as it is that teachers behave like that, that's just the way it is. I wonder if other professions go through this like doctors in hospitals or people in the business world?
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I was going to say the same thing. Our lounge is often ablaze with people talking about weekend plans, their own personal kids or the latest diet craze. We have a whole grade level that eats lunch together there everyday and I think it really helps them meld as a team. I don't think many teachers actually gossip in our lounge because there are so many people coming in and out they don't want to be caught - now standing in the hallway whispering, that does happen with some.

    Of course there's going to be gossipers at a school, I mean most campuses are like 90% women right? Women tend to be catty and if they are insecure about their own teaching, then they need to put someone else's down. The good thing is seeing is believing and most people (even if it's a year later) will realize the work you did and how false the gossip was. Just do your job and try to be the most positive person you can be.
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I have never, ever eaten in the teacher lounge! Too many women complaining about the kids and too much unhappiness, bitterness, and negativity.

    I choose to eat in my own classroom. That way, I can get lots of other things done (grading, planning, napping<------yes, I said napping)!

    Just a heads up: Even if you choose to stay away form the lounge, people will always have something to say about you!
     
  17. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Our lounge really isn't a gossip den, yes a few children are discussed but it is more of an appeal for support/suggestions than anything else. However,, you would miss out on school info - who is leaving, when a meeting was postponed to, etc... 90% of the talk is catching up on our families/weekend or discussing some aspect of the classroom.
     
  18. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I do each with my cluster in my room. I have never had a problem with it. If people think I am "being too good to eat with them" those are EXACTLY the people I want to stay away from.

    Plus, I'd rather get some things done as I eat.
    I get lots of support/give it as they are close co-workers. I can talk freely and not worry if someone if "listening in".

    To each his own........
     
  19. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I agree. And if you're there, they'll just talk about you somewhere else. Do what you want to do. Eat where you want to eat. Don't participate in the gossip sessions wherever you choose to eat. :thumb:
     
  20. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    My school is like yours-I don't see a lot of gossip, just everyone talking to each other. There hasn't been any negativity that I've seen. My first year I did a recess duty so I always ate really quickly in my room. I felt really left out and I didn't know many people very well!
     
  21. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Come and eat with me in our lounge where gossip is totally squelched. It's the best place in the world to get support and encouragement. If there's gossip going on you should be in there to help discourage it.

    I, too, hate gossip. In the course of human nature people want to start it, if you're in there and someone understands you don't approve it's a great opportunity to eliminate it.

    Good luck, stay strong, stay focused, do what's right!
     
  22. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    at my school it may not be gossip going on in the lounge. at my school it's having to be careful about what you say
     
  23. flyingmickey

    flyingmickey Rookie

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    I love visiting in the lounge. One school that I was working at I would actually rush down the halls so I wouldn't miss one minute of the fun.
    I like my quiet time after school I like to take a few minutes to relax and unwind.
    I would hate to work at a school where I had to watch everything that I say. I probably bring a good book and read while I was eating.
     
  24. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Gossip can be a killer to an otherwise lovely workplace.

    It was a major thing at the daycare I worked at before I started teaching. I'm back there now for six weeks of the summer, and my mantra is, I'm only here for six weeks... I don't need to hear any of the gossip.

    I had someone tell me "did you hear about Brenda?" or "did you hear about Sara's boy problems"... I just say no, I didn't and I don't care to.

    One person even joked... she said "I cheated on my husband, got a divorce and now I'm pregnant"... my response? "You're pregnant?!?" I absolutely refuse to bite. I'll admit at times it can be hard. I have close friendships there, and I have people who are not bad people, but whose styles are very different from mine... it's easy to villify people with different styles and find everything that could possibly be wrong with them. I admit to having participated in that before. Now I'm done. It feels so good to be able to have friendly chats with people and have them know that I don't want to hear any of their gossip.
     
  25. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    At our school, we have departmental workrooms, and I usually eat lunch in ours because I need to get out of my room after having been in there all morning! On our floor we have English, foreign language, and special ed teachers, and those of us who eat in the workroom all get along nicely and spend our time talking about TV, movies, etc. It's really not gossipy.
     
  26. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I have to say that at my school, the staff room is a lovely place. I remember hearing the warnings about the staffroom too. I spent most of my lunch times as a student teacher in my classroom, but this was largely to get work done.
     
  27. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I love playing the "Mrs. Positive is in the room" role. It really shuts some people up, there is no response sometimes, I love it.
     
  28. Ms. T

    Ms. T Rookie

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    At my school, the teachers have very specific cliques. Unfortunately, there are two adversarial cliques on my hall and these are the teachers on my lunch shift. We are required to eat lunch with the students. However, I find myself returning to my room as soon as possible. The mornings before school is my time to avoid the lounge. I am very reserved by nature and find it hard to join in these very closed groups. Besides, I do not want to hear the gossip that goes on constantly. I make it a point to smile, speak, and then go about my business.
     
  29. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    I love the LOUNGE! I have not heard any gossip in ours YET about any other teachers AND it is a nice relaxing place. Maybe because it is a Pre-School so nobody has the energy to gossip after working with the little people.:D Our lounge is a GREAT place to hang out at. I go in there and clean up the microwave and the :eek:refrigerator, that some teachers make a mess in. Those are pretty much the only negative things in there.
    Rebel1
     
  30. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    I have worked in two different schools in my two years of teaching. In my first year, everyone was in the lounge socializing. There was never a time when I felt I wanted to stay away from them because of gossiping. It rarely happened.
    Unfortunately, I had to leave this school in order to teach in a better location. The school I am at now, my department is terrible. I stay clear of the teachers lounge because it is gossip central. I am a very friendly person, but at work I keep to myself. The gossip seems to follow me though because teachers will come into my room or pass me by in the hallway just to tell me something that another teacher did or what they saw. To which I usually don't respond, say "oh really", or change the subject. It has become a chore to talk to some people because all they do is gossip.

    I am kind to everyone, but only really socialize with a few people. Best advice - don't get involve. A book and an Ipod work wonders and make the time pass during an off period. I do agree with other posters though, the downside of keeping to yourself or only a few teachers is that people are going to talk.
     
  31. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    TRY THIS!:cool:
    Next time you hear someone gossip ask, "How do you live with yourself? What if that was you? Stop it and get a life!" I am going to try this next time I hear someone start a gossip. I'll let y'all know what kind of reaction I will get.:D
    It is going to be very interesting!
    Rebel1
     
  32. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    KU-
    I love that attitude! I'm definitely going to try that one in my extremely catty and gossipy school!
     
  33. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Future, it works!
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that staying away from the teacher's lounge is a mistake.

    Is there gossip? Sure. But you can pull out some papers and grade and simply choose not to become involved in the gossip.

    But our faculty lounge is a place where we bond as well. That's where I remembered last month to warn several new teachers that they would want a sweater or blazer for graduation, since it's always COLD. That's where we can count on Bernie to know the lyrics to an old Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons song. That's where we can count on Kevin asking someone to wake him up after a 20 minute power nap (he coaches track and pours his whole heart and soul into it-- sometimes he needs those naps!!) That's where we find out whose mother in law is in assisted living and which students are facing some serious home issues. (Gossip?? Possibly. But not malicious gossip.)

    If you want to be part of the school community, I think it's important to make an active effort to BE part of that community. In my building, that means the lounge.
     
  35. Loves the beach

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    I found that to be so disappointing when I first started teaching. You're right. The focus is the kids. Your job. What good does it do to gossip? If you have a problem with someone, go to them and resolve it! Stay strong, and I hope a great group of people come your way. :hugs:
     
  36. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Well, as much as I also hate gossip - I do understand it. People bond when they have a common enemy. And teaching is not the only profession where you see it. I remember working summers in my mom's office (she was a secretary) and feeling so glad to be out of high school and a real grown-up. Those ladies gossiped about the staff there more than my teenage friends did. It was a rude awakening, really.

    I'm not condoning it mind you- I do think negativity breeds more negativity and I've felt that myself. I really try never to talk about anyone else, but there's a faction on our campus that sometimes I or a colleague just really need to vent about. That's usually when I come here...:blush:
     
  37. Mrs. R.

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    My 30 minutes of lunch in the lounge with my colleagues is a well-deserved break from the hard work of my classroom. Almost the entire seventh grade team eats lunch together at one table - the only ones missing are the teachers who choose to earn extra money by doing lunch duty or lunch study hall.
    During this time we talk about what's going on in our lives: babies, weddings, what we're reading, movies we've seen, etc. Sometimes we talk about kids, but usually it's to let the child's afternoon teachers know that there is something going on that they should be aware of, not in a complaining, gossipy manner. We don't talk about other teachers, except in situations where someone has suffered a loss or is ill or in need of assistance. In that case, we talk about ways we can help - who can make and deliver meals, who can run copies for the sub, stuff like that. I think it would be exceedingly sad to work in a place where I couldn't socialize with adults on my lunch period.
     
  38. PreKyay

    PreKyay Companion

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    Thanks, Jem. I certainly don't want there to be any further division. Believe me, this campus has had it's share of that this past year. I guess I just was trying to avoid adding "peacemaker" to the many hats teachers wear. But, I can be pretty diplomatic when need be!

    I really did need to hear this point of view, so thanks. :)
     
  39. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    My grade level is full of cliques. The ones that are too good for us refuse to eat in the lounge. There are only a select few of us that eat in there and that's fine with us. You couldn't pay me enough money to eat lunch with my kids everyday (or take the time to walk all the way back to my room!)
     
  40. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I would love to have this option. I am required to eat with my students each day. I miss having lunch with adults that can open their own milk and remember to wipe their mouths.
     
  41. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    we HAVE to have a duty-free lunch. Of course, by time we get kids through line we have maybe 15 minutes, sometimes less.
     

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