Where do you eat your lunch?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Joy, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Aug 29, 2011

    This will be my third year subbing and eating in the teacher's lounge has not been my favorite thing to do. I understand that it's a good time to get to know teachers and network but I find that I rarely have the opportunity to do so. With that being said, this year I decided that I would try to eat in the teacher's lounge everyday so I could get to know the teachers. However, the days that I have eaten there so far, the teachers completely ignore me! I try to talk but they down right snub me. I understand that this is their free time but I don't see why they should be so rude!

    I have also noticed that there are quite a few grade level teachers that never eat in the lounge but instead eat in one of the teacher's rooms. The problem is that they don't tell the subs or invite them. I don't exactly feel like going up and asking them where they are all eating without being invited so I end up eating alone in the lounge. They walk in and use the microwave and refrigerator but never mention that they are eating in a different place.

    Do other subs have the same problem or are these teachers just being really rude!
     
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  3. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Aug 29, 2011

    There are one or two schools that I will almost always eat in the teachers lounge depending on when my lunch period ends up because either I know the teachers from when I was a student or know them just from being around the school. Sometimes I make friends with another sub when i have lunch duty and then we'll eat lunch together. There are some school's I'm at where NO ONE eats in the teachers lounge.

    Usually after the same teachers see me consistantly around school they'll at least acknowledge my presence.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I rarely eat in the staff lounge because I often try to catch up on some paperwork while eating and then have students in for Study Hall. I know that many of our subs do eat in the lounge, although some do leave the school to go for a walk or to buy their lunches. I'm sorry that your experience has been less-than-positive. Hopefully you'll find that, as you become a more familiar face in some of the schools, you'll find teachers opening up a bit more.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I used to eat in the faculty lounge. I must admit that I didn't go out of my way to invite subs to join me. It wasn't that I was intentionally trying to snub them. Rather, I just enjoyed my very short lunch with my coworkers/friends and wanted to spend that time with them. Lunch time is the one time during the day when I don't have to be "on", when I can let my guard down and chat with my friends.
     
  6. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    As a sub, I always ate in the teachers' lounge. That was where I got to know some of the teachers who didn't have my students. As a teacher, I frequently see/eat with subs in the lounge. Some subs don't feel comfortable enough to join in the conversations. However, many of the regulars do sit with us and join in conversation.
     
  7. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    It depends on what I bring for lunch. If I need a microwave, I generally stay in the lounge until I finish eating and then go back to my room to start writing my note to the teacher. If I bring something like a salad, I'll just go to the lounge and grab it and go back to the room and read a book.

    There are schools where it vaires. I work at one school where the students walk into the room or pound on the windows wanting to come in if I'm in there because the teachers let them in. I stay in the lounge at that school. I need a little break! There's also another school where the lounge tends to be less than pleasant because of the teacher complaints...I hide in the classroom at that school!
     
  8. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 30, 2011

    Haha... As a veteran (sub) teacher, I definitely see the same thing. Teachers generally seem to have a dismissive attitude toward sub teachers as a group. I think part of it is the fact that... and I'm generalizing here... some/a lot of sub teachers are a bit off-kilter in some way (if you know what I mean. Not morally or anything: just socially, etc.)

    But it's also more than that.

    I've grown to become a "teacher" in pretty much every way (except having my own class that is :rolleyes:)--I look the part, I talk the part, etc. But still... I will more than occasionally have teachers (who now have even become familiar with me), treat me in a dismissive ("higher than thou") attitude. Kind of like an employer might treat the hired help (the maid) at their home... as if you are not a peer of theirs.

    I definitely often get the same sense.
     
  9. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I was in an LTS job last year working in sort of a resource mode where I'd go into the classrooms to work with groups of students. I definitely saw some subs who were...the nicest way I can put it is to say they were out of their element. Especially in the kindergarten rooms.

    There was one sub who was an absolute mess, who insisted on the students (most of whom were english learners) asking her questions in full and proper english, she woudn't let them look in any direction but straight ahead...it was awful! She was in the lounge when I went in there at lunch and proceeded to interrogate me in front of a table full of teachers...how much was a making on the LTS job, where else did I work, what did my other districts pay, where did I live, was I supporting a family....just stuff that was WAY out of line in a private conversation, much less putting someone in the spotlight in front of people who were ostensibly colleagues.

    So, yeah, there are some people out there subbing who are not suited for the job and have a chip on their shoulder about doing it.

    But....there are also schools where I've been treated in a dismissive way. I was in the prep room at one school and I had trouble with a copier. Nobody else was there to help so I started my copy run on the second machine with the intention of going for assistance once my stuff was running. Another teacher came in and accused me of jamming the machine and trying to blow it off without taking responsiblity.

    It works both ways. However, if everyone on both sides was a little more considerate we'd all be happier. Fortunately, I think most of us can say we feel welcome more than we feel shunned.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 30, 2011

    Teachers who eat in a classroom together are usually either planning together or discussing something in private...neither of which would be within a sub's 'need to know'.

    Subs who are 'regulars' tend to be more a part of the conversation in a faculty room. It's not that newer subs are being snubbed...it's just that they aren't known yet. Have those of you who are subs tried initiating conversation?

    Faculty rooms do tend to be places in which colleagues 'let their hair down' briefly. That's not always comfortable to do around new people. Subs should absolutely always be treated kindly...let the teachers where you sub get to know you. They'll warm up!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Aug 30, 2011

    I remember I subbed on a class trip day, so there were a bunch of subs. The vice principal was walking down the hallway saying in a loud voice, "Where are all the teachers?"
    I remember thinking I'm a teacher too you know.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'd say I'm a veteran sub too like John Lee...been subbing for a good 9-10 yrs & I've honestly eaten in the teachers' lounge maybe about 10-15 times in all my yrs of subbing. Sure, I always tell myself I need to get in there & talk to the people, yada, yada, yada, but I guess I don't really care about making friends w/ them, otherwise, I would have done things differnetly. I'd MUCH rather read a magazine in the peace & quiet of the classroom. Honestly though, the teachers as a whole at my district are NOT the friendliest either, so I totally understand your comment about them ignoring & snubbing you.

    I know an SLP who eats in her rm daily w/ a few special ed teachers & it's just them most of the time...their little grp.
     
  13. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Aug 31, 2011

    I had a fourth grade student yesterday tell me, 'You aren't a teacher. You're just a substitute!" This was after she argued with me over something I told her that she could not do. She was giving me the "My teacher says that I can." I told her that I was her teacher for the day and no she couldn't do that. Aren't kids just plain rude sometimes!
     
  14. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I'm glad to find that I'm not the only sub who has been snubbed. I'm starting to rethink my plan to eat in the lounge everyday this year. Getting to know the teachers is certainly not happening!
     
  15. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    Aug 31, 2011

    I've only not eaten in the teacher's lounge once. The middle school was HUGE and I had a hard time finding it that morning that I was afraid I would get lost and be late afterwards! HA! So I just ate in the room by myself.

    Normally, I don't have a problem with teachers not inviting me to lunch or telling me where they eat. I'll just head down to the teacher's lounge. Even if the other teachers don't go, there's always someone else in there to talk to - specials teachers, aides/assistants, etc.
     
  16. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    When I was a FT teacher, lunch was the last thing on my mind. I had lots to do to get ready for the next class.

    Subs don't have to prep, so there's really no excuse not to be social. I became good friends with a teacher whose daughter was in the same dance class as my daughter. She knew the sub caller and made sure I got some more calls.
    Also, you hear all the gossip about what's going on in the school - what positions are open, who's dating whom, etc.
     
  17. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Aug 31, 2011



    It really makes you wonder...this student may have a problem with defiance that goes beyond her interaction with you, she may have heard something negative from a teacher or her parents regarding subs, or she may have just been trying to get under your skin. It's the reason I like the term "guest teacher" even though it seems pretentious compared to the shorter, three letter "sub" but it enhances the fact that we ARE teachers.

    I had a job once on a day where something like half of the staff was out. The principal came over the PA and told everyone to behave for the guest teachers and then he walked around checking up on everyone. Unfortunately, that type of support isn't always available.

    In your type of situation, I would ask the student who is in charge - the student or me. Take the regular teacher out of the equation completely. When it comes to one on one like that, they generally recognize who gets to set the limitations. You could also challenge her and say that you'll let her teacher know about the situation, and assure her that the teacher will back up your position.
     
  18. Still_Smiling

    Still_Smiling Rookie

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    Don't be bummed!

    When I started subbing, I ate in the lounge and it felt a little awkward at first. Same situation: No one talks to you or no one shows up. It's taken some time to get to know the teachers but eventually you'll find a few that you have things in common with. I won't bother teachers who are reading or are immersed in something else.

    Now that I'm a regular sub, I've gotten to know a lot of the teachers and other subs. The lounge has become a great social networking place -- probably better than Facebook! You hear about possible openings because someone is pregnant or retiring and so forth. And you really get a sense of what the teachers are dealing with like implementing changes that came from admin, disobedient students, upcoming lessons, etc. You feel their pain. And their joy, too!
     
  19. Julie9789

    Julie9789 Companion

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    I agree about the gossip! I was a school in the spring when a teacher announced her pregnancy during lunch. I joined in on the congratulations and made a mental note of her name, grade, and the school. I'm making sure to keep that school in the front of my mind this school year as her due date approaches.

    Also, not really lunch related, but I like taking Instructional Assistant jobs. Granted, the pay is not always the same, but you see a lot of the school. I was able to walk around and meet teachers in every grade - lots of networking, plus being an IA I was able to choose when I wanted to each lunch that day.
     
  20. chalkachalka

    chalkachalka Rookie

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    I just got laid off and am subbing for my district this year . I'm having a hard time adjusting. Most of the teachers treat me like I'm something they'd scrape off the bottom of their shoe. When I was teaching, I never acted likethat. How do I grow thicker skin and get past it?
     
  21. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    The thing to do is act like you don't give a flying fig if they speak to you or not. I ALWAYS bring reading material w/ me to the lounge, so I have something to keep me occupied & I'm not just sitting there, eating & having to look at everyone ignoring me...OR if you really care about making friends, be super nice...take your pick. I personally am not at work to win some popularity contest or try to be w/ the "in" crowd, so I could care less. I'm a sweet person, but sometimes I get sick of making the f1st move w/ unfriendly people.
     
  22. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Smile at them in the corridors and don't let them get you down. Yes, they may have more seniority, but think of all the experiences you've had that they haven't. Focus on the classes you are covering and really make a difference.

    I used to tell my students du jour to mention to their regular teacher and the prinicipal that I did a really good job! Word will spread.
     
  23. Vince

    Vince Rookie

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    I usually eat in the classroom, because I enjoy the peace and quiet, alone. In my district it really does no good to hob nob with the teachers, very few of them request particular subs. And the times when I do eat in the lounge, a lot of the time I have to sit and listen to the teachers complain about students or wages or furloughs. No thanks.

    Oh, and don't be offended if the teachers don't ask you to join them in a room for lunch. They don't know you. Would you invite a stranger in to have lunch with you and your friends? They'd have to curtail their usual discussions and it would be really awkward IMO.
     
  24. O.C.

    O.C. New Member

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    I understand exactly what you are saying. I have had the same experience. No one ever speaks to me in the teacher's lounge. When I sit down to eat. I actually have had a teacher take a seat on either side of me chatting about nothing in particular and not one word is directed towards me. And that goes for those sitting across from me. Rarely have I ever encountered such rudeness, but that's the way things are, I'm afraid.

    I usually don't bother going to the teacher's lounge to eat unless it's near the cafeteria and I don't feel like carrying my tray down to the classroom. Otherwise, I usually eat at my desk.
     
  25. O.C.

    O.C. New Member

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    Aug 2, 2015

    I would like to add to my own post above.
    I sub because I enjoy teaching and because i am retired and like to keep busy. I don't do it to bring in an income for daily living expenses.
    I would say I do it to keep from being socially isolated as I am a widow and like to be around people.

    However, I have discovered that subbing will not afford any opportunities to make friends as the teachers and office staff are on the whole very unfriendly to subs. Why this is so, I have not quite figured it out completely.

    I have some theories, but will not expound on them at this time unless another poster is interested in hearing them. - O.C.
     
  26. sugartwist

    sugartwist Rookie

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    I do understand. I try to stay busy reading a magazine, a book or something on my phone if I eat in the lounge. I don't feel like I belong at ALL.

    Most of them look down at you for whatever reason.
     
  27. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I never had a problem with the teacher's lounge, and enjoyed spending time with the teachers I knew well, getting to know the new ones, and meet the subs as they came and went. I should say that although not gregarious by nature, I felt that I belonged, and acted accordingly. I could do without one or two, but over-all, I was fine there. Different climates, I guess.
     
  28. artiste7

    artiste7 Rookie

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    being a New Yorker helps...i am very good at avoiding unnecessary conversations. i'm cordial, say hello and smile, but i don't look for anyone to engage me. i am there to do a job and get paid. i care about the kids. but at the end of the day, it's about my cash, not being friends with them, hearing about their drama or lives. like i said, i'm very cordial and pleasant but once i say "hi how are you", it's off to work i go...nobody sees me until it's time to leave for the day. half of these teachers are sneaky and a lot of them look down on the world so i just speak, do my job, be kind to the kids, make sure they get their work done and stay on task and keep it moving. it's best that way.
     
  29. artiste7

    artiste7 Rookie

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    they can be rude.
    i would just write her name down and leave a note for the regular teacher. if they are a good school, they will deal with the respect issue, students are supposed to show respect for all in the community, no matter who they are. if a person is allowed on campus in their classroom, they are to be respected. period.
     
  30. Haywood Giles

    Haywood Giles Rookie

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    I eat in my car, the classroom (empty), or most often in the cafeteria with the kids. The kids like me enough to stop by and chat a bit and wave and otherwise recognize me even if the regular teachers don't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  31. rlrtorr

    rlrtorr Rookie

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    Sometimes in the classroom if I packed a lunch not needing micro. or I drive home (4 blocks away) and let my dog out and eat fast (25 min lunch periods), or I eat in the teacher lounge that it took me 3 weeks of subbing at the start of the year to learn where that was even located... thanks... arrrggg
     
  32. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    At three different schools I've worked at as a contracted teacher, I never received a tour of the building. I had to use the posted fire drill map to find places. So that's not uncommon in my experience!
     
  33. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Wow, reading a lot of these posts made me kind of sad. I get that we are all stressed and busy, but when I still worked in the U.S. we always asked our subs to eat with us--I did work at a small charter school, though and we prided ourselves on being welcoming. I guess I'm the type of person who wants to include people because I know what it's like to feel isolated. Although I've never been a sub I think they are super important! I know work abroad and my school doesn't even have subs--the teachers have to give up preps to sub and it SUCKS. BIG TIME. Don't take your subs for granted!
     
  34. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I try to eat in the lounge as much as possible except for one building I subbed at where I was told that "only real teachers" eat in the lounge and subs go to the cafeteria or their classrooms.

    That's such a wonderful atmosphere, isn't it?
     
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  35. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    I try to be polite and helpful to subs but I don't go out of my way to be chatty and make friends. I do offer to point them places if they seem like they don't know where to go and I am otherwise friendly. That said, as a teacher of record I mainly eat lunch in my room for my own quiet/ down time or I am someplace else in the building chatting with friends/ colleagues and usually we're chatting about stuff I wouldn't be comfortable talking about with total strangers. It would never occur to me to invite a sub to eat lunch with me, but not out of malice.
     
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  36. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Apr 14, 2016

    How RUDE.
     
  37. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    I typically eat in the teacher lounge.. our district is smallish (compared to some) , but depending on the time of day I get lunch I may be alone. The teachers always reach out to me.. I guess in a small area it happens more often than not, you develop relationships. I find it as a good time to decompress.
     
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  38. NewTeacher2016

    NewTeacher2016 Companion

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    .
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
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  39. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I haven't subbed but I did work as a student teacher and intern, so basically I was the same nobody, except I didn't get paid. That said, I ate in the classroom with my mentor teacher (who rarely -- if ever -- spoke to me.) We just worked. It was a very awkward silence though.

    As a teacher, I sometimes ate in the staff room (there was a nice comfy therapy couch) ;) but a lot of times I just wanted to sit in a nice, dark quiet classroom so I put some music on , shut my door & ate in peace. And sometimes, as a reward, the students would have lunch in my room. But I try to seek out those few moments where I can have peace and just be.

    This year I'll be subbing as I work on my master's, but I'll probably be working on assignments at lunch so won't really have a lot of time to talk.

    It's just about being and putting yourself out there and seeing who bites.
    :)
     
  40. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    HAHA! Don't even go there! I will get into a "Mean Girls" quoteathon. lol :rofl::toofunny:
     
  41. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    I eat in the teacher's lounge, mostly because it is air conditioned and I don't have to walk upstairs to my hot classroom. When I subbed, I would either eat with the other teachers or alone in the room. The more I subbed the more often I would get invited to eat with the teachers. Sometimes I would find the other subs and eat with them; in some districts the sub pool was a small world so I knew most of the other subs.
     

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