Student Teacher- Feeling like I don't fit in

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by StudentTeacher90, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. StudentTeacher90

    StudentTeacher90 New Member

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    Aug 17, 2017

    Hi everyone!
    I am new to the site and this is my first time writing a post, so I hope that I am doing it correctly! I am in need of some advice!

    I recently started my student teaching semester in a first grade classroom. So far I am really enjoying the teaching aspect of student teaching and my Cooperating Teacher is great. The problem is, I really feel like I am not fitting in with the other teachers, especially during lunch in the teacher's lounge and recess. All the teachers have all taught 20+ years and are the best of friends. They are nice, but I feel that I come across as super shy and quiet because no one talks to me and I do not know how to insert myself into their conversations. The teachers don't really acknowledge me when I am around and they only talk to one another. I just stand to the side and listen. I am the only student teacher in the building and I just really feeling left out. Is this a normal feeling for student teachers? Does it get better? What can I do to fit in better?

    I appreciate any input! Thank you so so much!!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2017

    I had a student teacher this year to whom I recommended to not eat in the faculty room. It's s place where teachers let their hair down. And I told her if she did go, she should keep her eyes open and mouth shut for the most part. There are conversations of which you are not and should not be a part . Do not 'insert' yourself into conversations. Eat your lunch, smile, make small talk at the most and then excuse yourself and go prepare for your next lesson.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  4. StudentTeacher90

    StudentTeacher90 New Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply! I wish I had the option of just staying out of the teacher's lounge completely! It seems to be very gossipy and overall just stresses me out. I will certainly take your advice and just smile and make appropriate small talk! Thank you again!!
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2017

    Teachers often don't make an effort to get to know people who won't be around permanently - subs, student teachers, aides. Frankly, you shouldn't be fitting in with them as if you're just one of the other teachers - you're not. You're there to learn, and you're only there for a semester. Be polite. Ask general questions in an effort to make small talk, but, otherwise, do as czacza said.
     
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  6. StudentTeacher90

    StudentTeacher90 New Member

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    Thank you! That makes perfect sense! I think I was taking their actions too personally. Thanks for helping me to see the situation from a teacher's perspective!
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2017

    You do have the option.
    Eat in the classroom while reviewing your lesson plans
    Eat outside
    Go for a walk and clear your head and munch on a totable lunch
     
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  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2017

    You have to realize that although your name has been mentioned, if you aren't their responsibility, the other teachers have their own concerns, and you aren't one of them. This early in the semester, you really jus need to be relating to your cooperating teacher. I agree that if you want to be in the lounge, simply listen, speaking when spoken to. Most student teachers are busy with the work of preparing and learning, and involving themselves in others personal lives is a distraction you don't have time for. New teacher hires often find themselves in the same situation. There's nothing wrong with a little solitude when your days are so busy. Keep your priorities straight - you are there to learn a great deal in a relatively short amount of time. You don't need the distraction. Finish the work, do your best, and make friends in your first real job. Best of luck!
     
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  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Aug 18, 2017

    Take some time to relax. Bring a book or listen to music on your phone. Don't worry about who's around you.
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Aug 18, 2017

    I'm sorry you are learning about the sad state of social affairs in the workplace. It happens other places, but it is a shame in a profession that is also teaching children social skills and often how to be kind and inclusive to others can sometimes be the worst when it comes to implementing those same qualities for themselves.

    Nothing says welcome to the profession like being ignored for any reason.

    As others have said, you have a lot to do so stay focused on the tasks at hand, but it really would be nice to get a smile, a hello, or a brief conversation.

    Hope you can find some support here as you go through your process and continue on in the profession. Take this as a learning lesson. You don't have to be the same when you are a teacher and a student teacher comes to the school.:D
     
  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Aug 18, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  12. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Aug 18, 2017

    I've had several student teachers and all have eaten with us in the lunch room. My last one was a bit older and already had some experience. She was comfortable with the group, but was a bit more reserved in the group, then she was when we were alone. However, I remember feeling extremely awkward when I was a sub and student teacher and tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible. As a younger student teacher, I think how you are feeling is completely normal. Just listen and learn.

    There were times when I was subbing and an aide in the room would encourage me to join the lunch and the rest of the teachers would totally ignore me. I really preferred to eat alone in the classroom for this reason. We sometimes have subs join us for lunch and everyone is nice. It does tend to make us much more cautious about what we say.
     
  13. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2017

    See, a lot of this is just bad social skills by the teachers, honestly. If you're in a tight-knit group and you have a visitor or guest nearby, members of the group should really offer avenues for the newbie to join. If they're talking about professional development from five years ago, I would be the one reaching out to say, "[Newbie], I bet you've experienced some of this same stuff, huh?"
     
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  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 18, 2017

    I agree with those who said to be somewhat invisible. Sit and eat in the lounge if you want, smile and nod along. You probably will learn a few things, as teachers sometimes vent during lunch so you can hear of issues they've had with kids and how they solved them, or others' advice. But I wouldn't get involved in their conversation unless they specifically address or ask you.

    Don't take their cold shoulders personal, they all know each other and know that you're only there for a short while. A lot of people don't want to "invest" their time like that. I myself try to be nice to all subs or long term subs, unless they seem rude, but not everyone does that.
     
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