Not feeling like part of "the group" at school...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Last year, especially the second semester, was a difficult time for me at school. I had a falling out of sorts with my best school friend (long story, probably a misunderstanding on both our parts). She's in with a lot of other teachers (mutual friends), and I started to feel like they were beginning to snub me in favor of hanging out with her. Not in an overt way, I suppose...just little things like not sitting by me at staff meetings. I'm grown, so I tried not to let this bug me, but the truth is that it did. A lot, and probably more than it should have.

    I've tried extending the olive branch to this friend, but she seems only passively interested in picking it up. I'm honestly not sure how much effort I'm willing to put forth on repairing our friendship, especially in light of the fact that she doesn't seem all that upset at what has happened.

    Cut to this summer, which is nearing an end. I've had virtually no contact with most of the teachers whom I considered to be my friends. It's really hard not to feel like they hate me or something now or that I'm some social pariah.

    As of now, I'm not sure how I feel about starting the school year. While I am looking forward to seeing my students and getting back into the swing of things, I am completely dreading seeing these teachers. I'm worried that they will gossip about me to each other and present me in a negative light to students (I've witnessed both scenarios in the past). I know I need to get over it, but it is really hard when we share a hallway and I have to see them every single day in the mailroom, halls, bathroom, and lounge. I can't stay cooped up in my classroom all day, and I feel like it's really immature of me to want to avoid them.

    Please tell me to get over this! :( And how I can go about doing that.


    NOTE: I might delete this post in the near future, so I would appreciate it if you guys don't quote it in your responses (since I can't delete those).
     
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  3. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I wish I could tell you to get over it but I know it's terribly hard to. I have been in situations like this and it hurts-- there's no way around it. You want to go to school and be happy in and out of your classroom. Not feeling like you are wanted (dont' know if that is the right word) is extremely hard. You have extended the olive branch and she hasn't seemed to want to make a mends for whatever went haywire. You have done your part. *sigh* I feel for you and wish I had words of wisdom for you. :hugs:
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Cassie,
    I don't have any advice for "fixing" things -- but I have one piece of advice that I think will be helpful. Seek out a couple of teachers who are new to the school, new to the department, or who don't seem to have established many friendships -- and try to make some new friends. The more you extend your circle, the less things like this will bother or upset you. And just think of how good a new teacher will feel -- finding a new friend instead of trying to break into a new "group."

    My grandma always told me that if you are feeling bad, look around and see if you can find someone who is feeling worse -- and try to cheer them up. It does wonders.
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Try not to "borrow trouble," as a friend of mine used to say. Resolve to be cheerful and friendly without bending over backwards and seeming needy, and focus on your darling students. If you're consistently positive, they won't have anything to gossip about. (I find it astonishing that teachers would badmouth another teacher in front of students!) Your students will be smart enough to figure out who you are even if they hear gossip.

    Chin up! :)
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Aug 4, 2008

    :hugs: cassie

    My mother always said "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar". It's cheesy and overused, but it's true. I think you've gotten some good advise about just being the great teacher you are and rising above any gossip that might have been going on. I also like the idea of seeking out and befriending the new teachers in the building. I wish I could be of more help.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I say make a new friend with a new teacher and otherwise act as if nothing is going on. Be as friendly towards them as you are to other colleagues in the school. I might try 1-2 times to start moro of a conversation with the person that was your friend and then if they aren't receptive, let it go. This is much easier to say than do, but maybe if you can let it go, they will too.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Thanks, guys. It's exactly what I need to hear right now. :wub:

    I have already started to branch out at school and try to meet new people. During finals last year, I invited different people out to lunch on each of our half-days, and I had a really good time hanging out with people I had never really talked to before. I will definitely make nice with the newbies, too. :)

    I think what hurts so much is that this one friend was my best friend. I really, really cared about her and felt like she totally dumped me for someone new and different. What I'm planning to do is be kind and courteous and not expect anything more than a civil, cursory co-worker-ship with her in the future. That's hard for me, though.
     
  9. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Kill 'em with kindness! :) I'm sure those others teachers that may be snubbing you b/c of your former friend will see her for who she truly is eventually and they will realize that they have not really ever given you a chance.
     
  10. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Aw, Cassie, I hate to read your sadness.

    You've been given good advice.

    Something similar happened to me last year, though it sounds like my situation resolved itself a ~little~ better ... we are still ~kinda~ friends, but not nearly as close as we were before and probably never will be. But, I know what it feels like to walk out of the teacher's lounge and KNOW that several in there are making some sort of comment about me in an effort to support the other teacher.

    I found some different teachers to hang with at lunch, not every day, but several times a week. I wasn't about to let that other person have "power" over where I decided to eat lunch. I'm stubborn that way.

    I started sitting at the back in meetings which seems to always put me next to the guys (I've never heard these guy teachers bash other teachers they way my female colleagues have ... it is refreshing and I would consider 2 of these guys my friends now ... never would have gotten to know them had I not felt excluded from the female group ... I am now great friends with a wife of a male colleague).

    As for the hallway, I decided to kill them with kindness. There is something about feeling like the "bigger" person in a situation that I groove on ... it takes the "nobleness" out of it though! :) I figure a few rolled eyes follwed me into my classroom, but I didn't let it get to me. I would look at my kiddos as I walked in, take a deep breath, and tell myself to knock their socks off with this lesson ... feeling like I was doing great things in my classroom made it less necessary for me to have close friends at school.

    It was hard, but, things have improved. I hope your situation improves. Reach out to other colleagues, kill the others with kindness, and rock and roll in your classroom (which I know you do!)
     
  11. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Cassie, I can't offer any better advice than you have already been given. I really think broading your horizens with new people and new teachers is the best approach. The only other thing I can think of is maybe trying to form a group of some sorts around an activity you really enjoy - like a book club, rock climbing, scrapbooking, walking, fitness, diet or anything else that would allow you to meet new friends.

    I am sorry you had such a rough time last year and I really hope this year will be better.
     
  12. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2008

    I know it's easier said than done, but try not to let these other teachers bother you. If they want to act childish than so be it. Work on getting to know the new teachers and building those relationships. You'll find that if you don't let it bother you, than chances are those teachers really won't have anything to gossip about. My motto is: Stay in your room and keep your head down.
     
  13. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    That's really tough. I have had times with my faculty where I felt like people didn't like me, or I had fallen out with someone. I spent most of last year with a coworker actually getting up and leaving the table when I came to sit. How bad is that?? I think it eventually subsided and we talk a bit now, but not like before. I know I said something offensive to her but it was not on purpose. Anyway, I hope it gets better for you. It has for me. My first year at my current school I was feeling on the outs with a few certain teachers... now one of them is my closest friend at work. you never know what will happen.
     
  14. PreKyay

    PreKyay Companion

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    You have some great advise preceding me, but I have another thought for you. You might consider using this experience for future reference (internally, of course) when a student comes to you for advice or a shoulder to lean on. Teenagers (and children) have to deal with situations such as this one all too often. Use this experience and all of these encouraging words from your friends here to help uplift your students. I'm sure you feel the same way when I say that your kids are who you (and most definitely your co-workers) should direct your attention. I don't have to tell you this, but kids are extremely perceptive and really tune into what's going on around them --especially when it comes to conflict between adults. Don't let your coworkers distract you from what is truly important. I'm sure many of these teenagers get enough conflict at home. Good luck, and have a wonderful year. Keep doing what your doing, and -- above all-- remember Phil. 4:13
     
  15. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Cassie, I am so sorry this has happened to you. I had the same thing happen at my summer job. I just switched locations and went where the love was.

    Everyone else has given you great advice, so I won't go there. Just know that you deserve much better treatment than you got!
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Been there, done that, only in church, actually in the praise band in which I was a singer! Nothing makes it easy. This happened to me 3 years ago, and the other person moved away (but I still see her at diocesan functions), and now is planning to move back here, but anyway. My best advice is like others have said, kill 'em with kindness. If you smile when you see them and act as if nothing is wrong, then you take the power away from them and return it to yourself.
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I feel like this with most of the other department chairs all I can tell you is as long as it doesn't hurt your students be super nice to them. That's what I'm trying to do.
     
  18. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    When I was in college (just a year ago! *SHOCK*), I did very well in my education courses--- enough that I had a few professors really praising my work in front of my peers. I was grateful for the comments from the professors, but often would feel snubbed by my peers--- except (thankfully) for the ones I talked to in the class.

    I didn't take it personally-- I was really proud of my hard work and the assignments I turned in. If my peers didn't want me to do well because it made them look bad (in their own minds), then that's their fault.

    Same goes with teaching--- do your best there for the sake of the students, not the teachers. I know its not that simple: we HAVE to work together, we have to network to find out about better jobs, and it really hurts us if one person spread false rumors and ruins our reputation.

    If your ex-friend isn't willing to make amends right now, don't push it--- we all need time to heal (and I'm sure it's effecting her even if she's not showing it) and even though you're ready to fix the friendship, she might not be. Continue being the nice and helpful teacher you are to your fellow teachers and hopefully that will shine through as compared to whatever she might be saying about you.

    At the end of the day, you know your students adore you and that you're helping them learn. I think that's a better accomplishment than having all your fellow teachers be your best friend.
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I agree w/ emmakate218. I'd start the year on a good foot. Be rejuvenated & content. Act as if nothing happened before (I'm sure they probably will). I'd be nice to your former friends, but don't be too overly friendly & obvious about it. Definitely make friends w/ any new people before your former friends get to them (& possibly poison their minds against you). By the time I got through w/ them, they'll all be wondering what it was they didn't like abut me!

    Good luck!
     
  20. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    Cassie- everyone has given you great advice. As for your former "best friend"- her actions sy a loy more about her character than yours. If she is so quick to act in such an immature way- was she really that great a friend to begin with? I say, continue to seek out new friends who treat you better! :hugs:
     
  21. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Honestly, friendships change. This one has. There was a reason you were so close, but it's different now. It's not you, it's not her.

    I'm sure this school year will bring you someone new to pal around with. Since you're in a HS setting there has to be tons of teachers to get to know. Who knows, your new BFF might be hiding among them!

    Kelly :)
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :hugs: Cassie! I can't add anything that hasn't already been said. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this.
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Isn't it sad adults can be so immature? I agree with Rainstorm and the others in trying to seek out new friends. I'm dealing with the same feelings this summer. We are actually having a going away party for some employees at the school and I said I'll help set up but I can't stay. I'm just dreading facing those teachers who I know have spent the summer together and not to be too paranoid, I know there was talk about me-it's how they spent all of summer school. Even if we are supposed to sit together by grade level, they'll sit at another table and it does hurt-it feels like high school all over again. But you know what, they are the ones who look like the fools!

    My plan is to be an absolutely incredible teacher this year and just be beyond reproach. If they want to dis me personally go ahead, you are not going to be able to criticize my teaching. Just remember, you have friends here! :)
     
  24. dtrim

    dtrim Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Yep. I agree with the others. My dad always said this, though, and I've used it as my guide:

    Cultivate the easy ones.

    If it's hard to be someone's friend, find someone easier.

    Best wishes for success!

    Diane
     
  25. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Sorry to read about your dilema. Aren't we supposed to be the adults setting examples for the students? Sounds like you have done everything you can and they are the ones who need to get over it. Even though it hurts, go about your daily routine as if nothing is wrong. Eventually some of the teachers will realize how petty and immature they are acting. Shame on any of them who say anything about you or the situation to students. They should be reprimanded by the prinicipal.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I am sure that each day will get easier.
     
  26. ready2teachintx

    ready2teachintx Companion

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Last year I had to deal with some similar episodes with a group of teachers. Since I am new to this profession, it totally threw me off guard. I could not believe the clicks and the immaturity I saw. Thank goodness I am at a new school this year and I have met everyone and they seem wonderful. My advice would be to focus on your students and your job and just be positive. Since you have had the summer break and extended time away....maybe things will be better?? Also, I agree to make friends with some new teachers. Best of luck to you:D
     
  27. Electron

    Electron Rookie

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    I totally sympathize. I have already encountered the beginnings of this at in-service meetings, apparently coming from the less effective and less secure teachers viewing us two new science teachers as a threat. A friendly veteran let us know that this was probably because we're unlikely to be cut due to it being so hard to recruit chemistry teachers (my colleague) and physics teachers (myself) around here. At the end of the day, you can't help it if other people view you as a threat, an oddity, or something that doesn't fit into their world view. While staying positive and avoiding negativity, try to shut them out of your life as much as you can, professional courtesy aside. :)
     
  28. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2008

    :hugs:I,too, am sorry for your sadness(and loss of a friendship) and think that the advice that has been posted is not only helpful in this instance but is a powerful way for us to live our lives.
    As far as your school situation-remember that we never really know what others are thinking.It's like when we are thinking of buying a new red car-all of a sudden we see thousands of red cars on the road or we are dealing with something and every song on the radio seems to have been written just for us.(you know what I mean?)Maybe you are taking things personally that are just coincidental-I know I, unfortunately, do that all the time. Anyway, just be yourself-if any of those caddy(?-is that the word?) teachers ask you what happened simply shrug and say "nothing really". If it helps any, I'd want to be your friend.:hugs::hugs::hugs:
     
  29. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    P.S. I am really impressed that you teach Latin-I wish I could learn even a little bit of it-I tried it in high school-it was too hard, I wound up dropping the class and giving my text to my friend who was taking Spanish-I figured it would do her as much good as it did me!:lol:
     

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