Struggling and could use a fresh perspective...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by K-5_teacherguy, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Nov 26, 2019

    So, this is a long one. Sorry in advance.

    I am in my 5th year of teaching overall, and my 3rd at my current school. My district is very competitive when it comes to hiring (i.e. you don't even get in the door for an interview unless you know someone). When I got hired, I had a long time friend on the staff who recommended me and after a very intensive process and multiple interviews, I got the job. It's a great school with a solid culture. My friend moved away after my first year, and doesn't work there anymore. This is what I'm struggling with. All anyone sees when they look at me is "Mary's" friend. Truly. "How is Mary doing? Is she liking the new school? How's her husband? How does she like her new house?" Over and over. If they don't want a Mary update, they don't wan't anything to do with me. It sounds petty, but literally I have not made one true friend at this school in almost 3 years. I have repeatedly told myself to be patient, give it more time, I thought I'd eventually find my niche and my people. It just hasn't happened and I'm bordering on depression over it at this point. I know that I'm capable of having friends. I have many in my personal life, and leaving my last school was terribly hard because of all the close friendships I had made, and I was only there for two years!

    Anyway, my question...At the end of every year, in district transfers happen for a variety of reasons. My school is currently transitioning out all of our ELL students, meaning our overall numbers are dropping and teachers are being moved to other schools within the district. My principal really likes me and would not transfer me. However, I was considering requesting a transfer because I know at least one classroom teacher from my school is gone after this year and I kind of feel like it might as well be me. This could also save my P from having to make a very difficult decision. My only real hesitation is that I love working for my P. I also don't really want to admit the reason I'm currently so bothered (it's kind of embarrassing to talk about, which is why I'm laying it all out here.) Am I being too sensitive and unreasonable? Should I just suck it up and not worry about having friends where I work? Or do I need to recognize that it's been 3 years, and maybe this just isn't the best fit for me?

    Thank you for reading. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 26, 2019

    So this is merely my own personal musings, but I could see myself seriously considering the transfer. I'm the type that does like a change of scenery every so often. You do have valid reasons for wanting to try for a change of pace.

    Of course the downside is the old adage about the grass not necessarily being greener, but if you go for it, approaching it as a honest quest of "what else is out there?" I think you'd be okay.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Nov 27, 2019

    Personally, I'd be more concerned with the administration and climate of the school than whether or not I have friends there. I don't have many friends in my current district either. There are two people who might fall under that category, but I don't work directly with them on any sort of regular basis. They also go between buildings, while I am always at one building. Sometimes I feel lonely, not having many people who I feel safe venting to, but it doesn't bother me too much. I have a life outside of school, and that's enough for me. I've worked in some schools where I had a lot of friends, but the culture and climate were awful due to poor leadership. It was a no-brainer to get out of those places, despite the friends I was leaving behind.

    If you like your principal and you have a decent climate, I think I'd be inclined to recommend that you stay. Either accept that you don't have close friends there, or reach out to your colleagues to become closer with them. Are you introverted, by chance? I am, and I think that it makes it hard for people to get to know me. It could be that your colleagues are trying to get to know you by asking about the one topic they know they can ask you about - your friend who used to work there. Maybe they just don't know what else to say to you or ask you about. It may be awkward and uncomfortable at first, but perhaps you could start conversations with them. Do you eat lunch with them? That might be a good first step.

    All that said, if you do want a change of scenery, I don't see anything wrong with that. I've worked at five different schools in four different districts in my ten years of teaching. I like change. But a good principal and a good climate are hard to find. When you find them, it's hard to give them up. It's worth considering that you might not find the same when you move on to a new school and thinking about how that might impact your happiness.
     
  5. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Nov 27, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, that was just the kind of perspective I was hoping for. You have some great insights and your valuable experience shines through. I lean towards not wanting to leave and start all over again somewhere else. This helped me feel better about that!

    Oh, and you nailed it. I am a total introvert.
     
  6. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Nov 28, 2019

    If you have a P who likes you, good school climate, and polite staff, I'd plant myself there....:) When you mentioned you were an introvert, it makes sense that the others are trying to make a connection with you by asking about your friend.
    If I didn't know anything about someone, other than a connection they had w/ someone we both knew, I might make that a" go to topic" because it is a safe one.
    If they see you as a private person, they might not want to sound nosey by asking you personal questions. If you could find maybe just 1 to open up to a bit about your life ( nothing you wouldn't want repeated) , it might help you make a new friend which could lead to another. Good luck!
     
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