The In-Crowd

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by crayoncaper, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2008

    I work with a wonderful team. But, sometimes, I feel like the fourth wheel. I feel like they talk about me and how I do things when I am not around, and that they think I am not doing well enough. I wish they would tell me these things. I know that it is hard accepting a new teacher, and I know they got along REALLY well with the one that just left. And I feel like I am being compared to this other teacher ALL the time and nothing I do measures up. It really discourages me. I am really liking teaching, but my management could use some work. But whenever they go off in their own group it makes me feel so out of everything. Like I just don't belong.
     
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  3. KAM

    KAM Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2008

    I totally empathize with you and hope your situation improves over time. I am in a very similar situation at my school being a new paraprofessional.
     
  4. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    Sep 20, 2008

    I feel for you. I have similar issues.
    I am a first year teacher in a school where I subbed for four years. It is a very small school and some of the staff is very cliquey. There are three new teachers this year. One is just out of college and has already been welcomed into the "clique". She works out with them and goes to the bar with them. The other new teacher and I have kind of teamed up. I really like her and love her attitude (some of the other teachers seem very gossipy). But it is hard feeling like an outsider, especially when there are so few of us in the building.
     
  5. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2008

    It stinks we all are going through this. I hope that it gets better for all of us. If we were only all at the same school!
     
  6. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Sep 20, 2008

    I have only worked as a new paraprofessional for a year at one school. There are two cliques among us. I belong to neither. The paras from these cliques get the best assignments and if there are promotions for teaching jobs they get them. I get the worst assignments. A newer assistant got a plum assignment in resource during her teacher's conference period. I have to work with a violent :dizzy:disruptive 7th grade during my teacher's conference period. When I applied for a teaching job I was overlooked.
     
  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Sep 20, 2008

    My school has a clique problem too but the thing is that I was immediately accepted in this group while others were shunned. It's gotten to the point that now our group looks bad. It all began because a few teachers were talking about some of the people in the group I'm buddies with. Well, they found out and were sooo p-ed off! So now, we have become so exclusive that we are looking like the bad guys. Some of us in this group now realize that we are looking like the problem and we are trying to figure out how to break the boundaries that have kept others away without getting on the bad side of one of our friends. Life is tough when you are a grown up!! I like all of the people I work with to be honest. We are an extremely small staff and with all of our different backgrounds, we make quite a unique bunch. I wish everyone would just feel okay to hang around together but I think creating cliques is part of what some teachers do without realizing it. They still have that school mentality. SIGH....
     
  8. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 20, 2008

    Perhaps you just need to take some time getting to know them as people and not educators to make a good connection. What ended up working for me is that faculty got together for some drinks at one place (paid by our headmaster) and then one 5th grade teacher and myself went to another bar to chat--- turns out that a bunch of other teachers showed up too and I got to know them as people, which really helps to improve our working relationships :)

    It doesn't have to happen at a bar, but you might just want to host a get-together with some of the teachers you work closest with. You can go out to dinner, but if you really want to get personal I would suggest setting up a Friday night dinner or Sunday brunch at your place. Doesn't have to be fancy, but I'm sure they'll take notice of you doing this for them.

    And if all else fails, write them a letter individually about how you're feeling or about how you'd like to get their feedback and place it in their teacher mailbox. That way you don't have to confront them, but they'll get the idea that you DO want to hear from them. Some teachers aren't talking behind your back, they just don't know if you want to hear their suggestions.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 20, 2008

    I feel the same way. Hang in there!

    I try and socialize with them outside of school but I still can't break the barrier. I feel they talk about me as well. When we are together, they talk over me and never listened. I bought a cool book I used for math centers a few weeks ago WITH THEM. I tried telling them about it but they just talked over me and did not listen. Well, they asked me the other day what I was doing in my math centers. I showed them. Then they were mad because I didn't tell them about it :dizzy:
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 21, 2008

    They may talk over you because that's just what they're use to doing--- talking over one another. I'm sure they probably do it to others that are IN the group and not just a newbie teacher.

    If you do feel that they're just not listening and you have a good idea to share, put a copy in their mailboxes with a sticky saying a little bit about it, or to come see you if they have any questions.
     
  11. Kat03785

    Kat03785 Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2008

    I can understand where you are coming from. Its so not fair to be compared to someone else. Especially if you are new and the other teacher has years of experience. Just because someone else was great doesn't mean you aren't great too. At my school I'm replacing the kindergarten teacher that taught there for 25 years. She is really outspoken and crazy (she twirls a fire baton for the 100th day of school!) and I'm not. I know alot of parents thought their kid was getting her and are dissapointed they got me.

    All I can say is to remain true to yourself. Don't try to appease them by becoming like the other teacher and do the best job you know how. Sometimes it just takes time for others to be open to new people. Try to get to know them as much as possible and let your opinions be heard. If you are confident and outgoing, it might take some time, but I think it will get better! Don't let them determine your worth as a teacher!
     
  12. JMUteacher

    JMUteacher Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2008

    Thank god I don't feel alone with this. I'm in a pretty small school (one hallway) and there are people that won't even make eye contact with me. They even had to have the principal come on Friday and tell me that, and I quote, "Some of your colleagues think your class and you are too loud." I almost started crying for some reason. Why couldn't someone just tell me to close my door? Or perhaps send me an e-mail (I don't know anyone's names yet besides my kids) and tell me about the noise. Why must they talk behind my back?
     
  13. MizDubya

    MizDubya Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2008

    I don't have any good suggestions--just sympathy! The school where I work is really small as well, and because we're an international school, half of the teachers here don't speak English (and I don't speak their language) so it's really hard to get to know people or feel comfortable. On top of that, the faculty that does speak English is pretty small and comfortable with their friendships and roles, so it's hard to break in and make friends.
    I hope it gets better for you! (I've already decided I'm leaving at the end of this year and looking for another school...)
     
  14. andi137

    andi137 Companion

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    Sep 22, 2008

    Wow I also have been feeling this way. This is actually my second year at my small school and I still dont really feel like I fit in. Luckily everyone is fairly nice, but I just dont get invited to go places or anything. I feel like everyone does like me, but there just isnt that person or people that I click with. I was hoping it would be better this year, but so far no luck.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 22, 2008

    I taught at a school 2 years ago where I was the only new teacher in the grade level. The girls did meet with me for dinner before school actually started and I had a few PD days with them before school started. We did several things during the year together, but I was the only one that didn't live in the city where we taught so I would sometimes leave early. One of the teachers moved about 2 hours away with her husband's job at the end of that year. And I didn't go back (long story) to the school either. One of the teachers is a friend on my myspace page so I stay in touch with her. Last summer the two remaining teachers there went down to visit the teacher that moved, I wasn't invited. This summer one of them got married. I wasn't invited. I did feel a little left out even after being gone for almost 2 years.
     
  16. Greensleeve

    Greensleeve Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2008

    There's definitely "in-groups" of more experienced, veteran teachers and the mortals of new teachers like me. With the older teachers, my opinions are rarly heard and I think it's a seniority issue. But I guess being a rough environment that my school is in, there's a sense of connection that many teachers all like to offer help to me. I guess just like with another social organization, there's an initiation process and you have to earn your "salt" before you are in the with the "in-crowd". Right now, I just feel great chatting with my fellow new teachers and anyone I can chat with at the lounge. It also helps, I guess, that my neighbor teacher's a great person whom I direct my questions to often.
     
  17. Hazel QT

    Hazel QT Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2008

    Sweetie no matter what profession or situation you are in, people are going to talk about you until the day you die. But it is up to you to hold your head up and just do what you are there to do. Let them talk because in the end, you are there to help the children and to get your pay check. Being a new teacher means you have to get involved with the system and learn how things are to be done in that environment. I bet everyone of them, regardless to how long they have been there, have something that they have yet to do correctly so they have no room to talk about you.
    So hold your head up and stay strong. You can show them better than you can tell them that you are just as good at your job as they THINK they are at theirs.
     
  18. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Oct 1, 2008

    Thank you so much. You have NO idea how great you have made me feel.
     

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