Making a good first impression

Discussion in 'General Education' started by daisycakes, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Aug 13, 2014

    Hi everyone,

    I am starting at a new school next week. Unlike the charter I worked at for three years, the staff is very experienced (and thus older). I really, really want to make new friends and am worried about connecting with others. My new school is huge (almost 900), I do not have a department to collaborate with and the school is dual immersion, so the few staff members I've seen in the halls are speaking Spanish to each other and I feel weird interrupting in English to introduce myself.

    What are some ways I can get friendly with others next week? I was thinking if bringing brownies in and going door to door during teacher time to say hi and offer a brownie. What do you think I can do to break the ice with other teachers?
     
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  3. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Aug 14, 2014

    Yes, please I would love to hear this advice too. Especially as I will be going to Vegas six weeks before my husband. My son is great and all, but he is a hermit. (Writers.....lol)
     
  4. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    Aug 14, 2014

    I'm in the same boat-starting at a new, rather large school. The principal had said that the teachers can be a bit clique-y, so I'm a bit nervous about finding a place to fit in. I can't wait to read these responses!
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 14, 2014

    Just a small thought - many people try very hard not to eat chocolate for a variety of reasons. For me, it is migraines, but I feel excluded if everyone else eats the goody baked at home, so I will take it and eat it, then pay the price a little later. With so many people sensitive or allergic to so many things, maybe you could find something other than food to break the ice with. If food is your thing, however, maybe offer a small selection that covers fome of the most notorious problems - something without chocolate, something without nuts, and perhaps something that is healthy or at least healthier, like berries, grapes, etc. Just a thought.

    Some of the teachers speak Spanish? Try learning a phrase or two that indicates you could use help with your Spanish, and you are open to suggestions! If your Spanish is very poor or nonexistent, this could be your way of indicating you appreciate what they do, and you would love to know more. Be yourself and try to just observe and get the lay of the land for a few days. Be honestly appreciative of any small gestures made to include you. It takes a little time to find common ground. I am probably what you had in mind when you described your new associates as older. Older is not ancient or over the hill, so don't presume to know what these new teachers are like. Share and accept things that are shared with you without judgement. Don't constantly talk about your old job or old friends, since it implies that they are more interesting to you than present company. Offer to do small favors that take little effort, but are meaningful to those who receive them. Share any special expertise when relevant, or when it can be beneficial, but expect nothing in return. Be honest, be discreet, don't gossip, don't spread gossip, and assume that people are truthful until they give you just cause to believe they are not. I don't like to hear all about a person's life history in the first couple of times I meet them, so consider that others may feel the same way - avoid TMI. If you observe, you will be able to see who relates to who, which is nice to know. Have a quick smile, a nice laugh, keep your gripes to yourself, and don't get sucked into complaining long before you know all of the players and all of the facts. I try to keep humor in what I do around people I don't know yet, and I will aim it squarely at myself to make sure I don't offend. Finally, sit with the others at lunch, etc., even if you don't have much to say. You can learn a lot. Be yourself, but toned down if you are an over the top personality. You will soon be in the thick of things with your new friends. They won't all be your best friends, because that takes time and shared experiences. Given time and some effort, you will almost certainly find everything you desire in a work relationship. :hugs:
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2014

    Bring a tray of assorted goodies and leave with a note in the faculty room...."I'm so glad to be here and I'm looking forward to working with you all this year! Your name, position and classroom #"
     
  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 14, 2014

    That is much better and safer! Going door to door will just set you up to be talked about the minute you walk out the door. :eek: It would set you up in the RED before you even had a chance. They would see you as weak and needy. Take Czacza's advice. Keep it impersonal. Watch your back. The ones who are going to like you will like you. The ones who won't, won't. There's not a whole lot you can do about it. We teachers are not easily manipulated. :hugs:
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 14, 2014

    I think the tray with goodies and a note would be good if you have a faculty area. That way you aren't putting anyone on the spot. They will see your name and room # and hopefully stop by to say hi when they have a minute.

    For what it's worth, I would be the person who would decline a brownie if you knocked on my door. I just don't eat that stuff and wouldn't want you to be offended and take it personally.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 14, 2014

    I think you should introduce yourself whenever the opportunity arises. I wouldn't worry about the language; remember, it is a dual-language school! Just don't hide out in your room, smile when you see anyone, offer to participate in anything you can handle when asked, and be professional. The friendships will come in time; you really can't rush them. Be yourself. You are good enough as you are.
     
  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 14, 2014

    What about taking the opportunity to learn a few words in Spanish? Even just hola, como estas? could be a start to break the ice and introduce yourself.

    The school I was at last year was cliquey and I ended up giving up on bonding right away with some of those who were in the "cliques." I think all larger schools will have this to some extent, and it's just a matter of finding the people who will be positive and supportive, and avoiding the ones who will talk trash in the faculty room.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 14, 2014

    I love the idea of assorted goodies placed in the lounge with a note with your name and room number.
     
  12. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Aug 14, 2014

    Does your school have a staff listing on the website? If so take some time to read through the names and positions so they are familiar. It'll make it much easier to keep track of who's who. I would skip the brownies, but there is no reason not to take some time to pop into other classrooms and introduce yourself. Show interest in others and be yourself. Congrats on the new job and best wishes for a wonderful first year. :) Jodi
     
  13. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Aug 15, 2014

    referring to another post---being an introvert, I wouldn't do this...but some teachers come around to other classrooms to get good ideas. Last year, I had a few stop by to introduce themselves and then they asked if they could check out my room. It gave us something to talk about, and I learned their name.

    I think leaving the food in a common area is a good idea. It is done a lot here. That way teachers, support staff, custodians, etc can enjoy! I don't really think brownies are a bad idea this way either. Take them or leave them. You can't please everyone. If it was a healthy snack, I would decline :p
     
  14. kaeco510

    kaeco510 Companion

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    Aug 15, 2014

    This is such a great idea!!!! :) I think I might borrow this!
     
  15. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    Aug 17, 2014

    i think it is weird to bring food to experienced teachers. they should be helping you/sharing knowledge. you are the one making no money and starting a new/scarey endeavor and starting the career at a time period where it is no longer a stable career. They will think you are "green"/ not-social smart and then ask you do a whole bunch of stuff for them or try to steal your better desks. just say hello, kick a$$ at your job, and dont worry about. plus, i wouldn't see to make friends at your job. stay out of the gossip.
     
  16. pinkrobots27

    pinkrobots27 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2014

    I don't think there's anything wrong with leaving a plate of desserts like another poster suggested.

    Like some others have suggested, I would be friendly but not too eager to make friends. Sometimes at work, especially in schools, it's a good idea to keep a low profile before people show their true colors. Also, I would not just walk up to someone and start speaking Spanish. Sounds awkward when you can't carry on the conversation afterward. I work at a bilingual school. I would talk to others in whatever the "main" language of the school is if there is such a thing at your school.

    Good luck with your new school year. I wish you a lot of success.
     
  17. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Aug 17, 2014

    We have several new folks on our team this year and I wasn't necessarily sure how to approach them. Prior to them arriving we communicated primarily through email. I finally met one of my new teammates yesterday and simply introduced myself as the crazy lady who sent all the emails lol. It immediately broke the ice and I asked if she had questions or needed any help. We chatted for about 20-30 minutes and I quickly learned that she is into angles and all over the place and slightly brilliant at the same time.

    So long story short, introducing yourself happens in a variety of ways. Sometimes formally, informally and just by peaking your head in their door. The above ideas were all great as well. Smile, enjoy your new school and good luck with everything!
     

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