Where/With whom to eat lunch

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Joelg1980, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Joelg1980

    Joelg1980 Companion

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I don't enjoy eating lunch in the teacher's lounge. For one I am a male and all the conversations sound like bird chatter (JK), plus I think that I would be better served enjoying lunch in my room and with some students needing extra attention.

    Should I eat lunch with my colleagues, or with my students?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2008

    It's really up to you and what you are comfortable with. I almost never eat in the staff room (lounge); the morale in my school is very low right now and I don't need to hear the negativity. I usually eat at my desk catching up on the never-ending work I need to do. A couple of times a week, one or two of my close friends on staff join me in my room.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2008

    As much as it gets a bad rap here, I'm a big fan of eating in the faculty lounge.

    In my somewhat limited experience (I've taught in 2 schools since 1980) they're not always the hotbed of malicious gossip that I've read about here.

    I've become closer to some of my coworkers over shared micro popcorn; we take turns providing it.

    I've learned that a coworker's wife had a stillborn baby last week, and became aware that another coworker was collecting money to send to Mike. Since Mike's dad is also on staff, they didn't want to post anything that would only make him feel worse.

    I've learned a lot of the backstory on kids.... things that help me deal with them better. I don't always need all the gory details. But if I hear that a kid is going through a particularly rough period at home, he or she may get some slack I would otherwise deny.

    I think that, particularly for a student or first year teacher, the faculty room is an important part of the learning experience. As a teacher, you're part of the school community. Under normal circumstances, it's probably not productive to isolate yourself from that community.

    I also think the kids-- and the other adults-- need to know that you're part of the adult community and that you eat with the other adults. Some student teachers have a hard time setting the correct tone as teachers-- eating with the kids probably won't help in that regard.

    One more HUGE caution: as a male teacher, do not EVER work one on one with a student behind closed doors-- think carefully about ever being alone with one student. As wrong as it is, you open yourself up to a host of horrible allegations.
     
  5. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I eat in the faculty room. If the topic of conversation becomes too negative, I change the subject, or play pollyanna and try to show them the positives. Doesn't always work, but sometimes they get the message.
     
  6. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I eat in the lounge for my lunch. Last year there was a person in there that most people did not want to have a conversation around because she would repeat EVERYTHING to others. So most people avoided the lunch room during that time. This year that person is gone and more people eat lunch and just plain come in during plan. It has been much more fun this year and I've learned a lot of things in there! This is my second year and I feel much closer to others on the faculty just because of the noon lunch time. Yes, things can get "crabby" in there but that is just a fact of life and it is also a time to be supportive. It is also a time to learn something about students that you really need to know. If you don't spend any time with other faculty members, you won't get to know others either. If a person doesn't come in for lunch, no one makes any comment about it either because there are times when you really do need to spend that time in your room. I just like having the adult conversation.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I usually eat with someone else in one of our classrooms but I rarely eat in the lounge or cafeteria. I make a point once in a blue moon to join the cafeteria area. Sometimes I just work through lunch. It depends.
     
  8. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I have no choice but to eat lunch in the luchroom with the class. We go and come as a class. Some schools the teachers have a certain table they sit at nearby and watch the class and some they sit with the class at the end of the table. The only other exception is if I sub for P.E., library, music,etc.
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Dec 15, 2008

    Man! :thumb:You need to be with the gals! You can learn stuff like some have mentioned. In college, our teachers recommended it, IF we want to learn from those who have been teaching for a while.
    You can pick out what can MAKE you and get rid of what can BREAK you!
    Get with the program MAN
    !:D
    Rebel1
     
  10. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2008

    Last year, and the year before, I ate mostly at my desk. This year, we have a new P, and he's banned food in the classrooms...the teachers who had fridges and microwaves had to get rid of them because there's a bug problem. I don't mind that one bit because I didn't have one of those to begin with...I'd just grab lunch from the cafeteria or whatever I brought and ate at my desk.

    This year, I have eaten every lunch in the lounge. There's almost never any bad talk about kids...mostly something that might have happened in a class earlier or the day before, nothing like bashing students, though. We mostly talk about our home lives, and it's nice getting to know teachers on a more personal level.
     
  11. Higherthinking

    Higherthinking Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2008

    You do need a break and lunch should be eaten in peace and quiet I believe. Maybe just eat in your room and invite some teachers you like to join you.
     
  12. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Dec 16, 2008

    Am I the only area in the world that has to eat w/ the students in the lunchroom and sit and watch for talkers? It is especially hard when I sub for Kinder. Opening milks, forks, ketchup etc . could take the whole time. I have litterly only had 10mins to eat many times. sometimes. Tv dinners take at least half that and I do not have time to fix anything else to eat or money to buy school food. I guess I am just greatfuly to get to eat lunch on the job. I mean any other job for a college student that I have had in past did not allow time for lunch breaks unless you worked a double shift.
     
  13. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2008

    our entire lunch is only 20 minutes and teachers always have to watch/sit with kids.. if you are elementary you MIGHT get a 30 minute break once a day.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 17, 2008

    I have to eat lunch with the students. I do not get a lunch break or any other real break. I'm usually so busy helping them with their food that I don't have time to eat anything.

    We do get to eat for free though if we choose to eat the school lunch. Most of the time it's blehhhhhhhhhh :down:
     
  15. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Dec 17, 2008

    Glad to see I am not the only one that has to eat with the kids. Teacher NY- If we eat the school food it is at least 2 dollars more than students.
     
  16. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2008

    We've been promised duty-free lunch for 2 years, but it hasn't happened yet. We have to eat with our students, which is a great time to have conversation with them and relax with them. But Joel, I wish you were around here! If I could eat with the male staff members and talk football during lunch, I'd be a happy camper!
     
  17. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2008

    We have an hour for lunch every day, and we aren't required to do any lunch duty. We don't have to eat with our students; we just walk them to lunch and make sure they all have their lunch cards before leaving. That usually takes an extra 5 minutes, so I usually scarf down lunch in 10 minutes (after waiting in line to use the microwave for 5) in the staff room. Usually I'll get back to my room with 30-35 minutes of free time, that I use to prepare for the afternoon or do planning.

    It is wonderful to have that long of a lunch, but I do have to wonder how long it will last...our contract only guarantees a 30 minute duty free lunch. We are going through the restructuring process, and I'm sure our schedule will be looked at pretty seriously...I wouldn't be surprised if that long lunch goes away next year.
     
  18. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2008

    At my former school, we had a 30 minute duty free lunch and we were required to sit with the students during their 20 minute lunch. So, we put some tables in the center of the cafeteria and sat at those tables. Our class was in our line of site, but we sat together as a staff and ate there. We excused the students after their 20 mins. and then we had an extra 30 minutes. smart eh??

    The admin tried to get us to remove the tables and sit with the children, but the children deserve to have some time without us there too, just as we need some time away from them during the day.


    At my current school, all classrooms are either eating or at recess at the same time. The EA's monitor so all cert. staff can sit together and eat. Most of us choose to eat in the staff room unless there is something pressing that needs to be done.
     
  19. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2008

    I am fortunate that the teachers I eat lunch with are great. Lunch is a highlight of our day, and we always end up going back to class refreshed and smiling. I know this isn't always the case, though.

    Regardless, I would think hard about giving my lunch time to students, because I know I need that time to have conversations with grown ups or just to chill kid-free.
     
  20. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Dec 19, 2008

    Sometimes in my room if I have work to do. Usually in the teachers lounge. I like to get away from my classroom for a bit
     
  21. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2008

    I always eat in the faculty lounge. We have a "no slamming spouses" rule and a "no specific student names" rule that keeps us from complaining and moaning too much. I really enjoy my co-workers. We have a few that never eat with us, and it's too bad, because I haven't gotten to know them hardly at all. I think I work at an exceptional school with an exceptional staff, so maybe we're the exception to the "gossip" rule.
     
  22. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Dec 21, 2008

    I eat lunch with my team. Every other Friday I do eat with my students who earn it.
     
  23. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I used to eat in the lounge, but it's so crowded right now that there's no place to eat! Next year will be better when the new school is built and a third of the faculty will be gone.

    Now I just eat in my classroom and get work done. About once or twice a week my 5th grade team mates eat there with me. It's nice when they do because it's just down time and a bit of a break.
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Ha! I prefer eating lunch alone! As soon as I walk my kids to the lunch room, I take out my sandwich, sit at my desk, surf the web, grade papers, look over lesson plans, etc. That's MY alone time. Sometimes, though, one of my friends (colleagues) from across the hall will come bring her lunch to my classroom and we'll eat together. In the three years I've been teaching, I've never ONCE eaten in the lounge! :thumb:

    Never use lunch time to help students needing extra attention unless: 1. There's more than one student in the classroom at the time you're tutoring 2. The classroom door is WIDE OPEN. Even under those two conditions, I'd think twice about being alone with the kiddos.

    Anyway, don't feel bad about eating alone. I think of lunch time as "ME TIME!" :2cents:
     
  25. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    It varies for me.

    Some days the kids invite me to sit with them and eat. When they invite me, I feel honored, and I usually try to do this unless I have desk work. It is nice to be able to have conversations with them about something other than classwork/learning.

    On other days, I sit with the other 4th-grade teachers in the faculty lounge. We usually have a gabfest and try to have a few laughs. It is very relaxing and leaves us relaxed for the next go-round :)

    A few times a month I will have pressing desk work and just eat in my classroom.
     
  26. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 24, 2008

    While I agree that it's important to converse w/ your colleagues & get to know them, for me personally, it's easier said than done. I usually just stay in my room w/ some kind of reading material. It's actually nice to have the peace & quiet.
     
  27. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    You guys that get eat without kids should concider yourselves lucky.
     
  28. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I usually eat in my room while mutlitasking. I try to convince myself that if I work fast enough I can leave before 4pm (we get out at 2pm)!! I also use my break to make sure to touch base with teachers of students who are having difficulty in my class. I also chat with some staff before & after school. So I think you can eat in your room & still connect with people. My band students always want to come during their lunch so now that our musical is over I will open up my room to them for 20 minutes each day. (Some days though there is nothing better than 20 minutes of quiet. I shut the door & hope noone bother me. ;))
     
  29. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I don't eat in the lounge, but no one eats in the lounge. I usually eat with my team mates in one of our classes. It's only three of us (2 gals 1 guy) and we don't gossip.
     
  30. Misha0

    Misha0 New Member

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    Eat lunch where you are comfortable with. I am not saying you should not stay in teacher lounge. it is also better to go mingle with your co-teacher and officemates. When you are at ease and comfortable with your co-teacher you will see that it is not bad to stay i that area for lounge. :lol:
     
  31. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    When I student taught, I usually ate in the teacher's lounge. Unfortunately, in my second placement, we had a "student teacher table", which a lot of times was empty.
     
  32. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Where I eat depends on the school I'm subbing in - in one school, I've always felt "at home" in the lounge and have made several friends there. In another school, I couldn't feel more out of place amongst that group of teachers, and honestly, I consider most of them to have a 6th grade mentality (gossip central, putting down others at every opportunity). In another, I prefer to eat in "my" classroom because the lounge is small and sometimes runs out of chairs. In another school district, a group of teachers all eat together in one of the classrooms and I like that set up.
     
  33. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2010

    As long as this thread has popped up again, and totallly off topic....

    2 weeks ago, Mike and his wife became parents to a healthy baby girl!!!

    We're in the midst of a real baby boom, and of course we're thrilled with each new arrival, but THIS news made everyone's day!!!
     
  34. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

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    Feb 14, 2010

    Where do I eat?

    I really try to eat in the staff room. It is a good time to catch up with teachers from other grades that I don't see much. That said, if I am in a rush, i will eat quickly and use the rest of it to catch up on work.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 14, 2010

    How about striking a balance? Eat one day a week in the lounge, find some colleagues to go out to lunch with (if you have enough time) once a week...go for a run or walk (I do this daily with several colleagues), see if you can meet with a mentor/colleague/friend for a quiet planning lunch once in a while in a classroom.
     
  36. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Feb 14, 2010

    Out for lunch? Are there still places that allow that?
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have an hour duty free lunch every day...Many teachers go out to local restaurants- they know to get us in and out quickly...the local sushi restaurant even gives 10% off for teachers!!

    I walk almost every day for about 30-45 minutes of my lunch hour and then go back to school for a quick healthy lunch.
     
  38. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Feb 14, 2010

    I eat in the cafeteria with a group of teachers, usually an admin or two, too. The other teachers eat in the teacher's lounge.
     
  39. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Wow! We also have duty-free lunch, but we are a closed campus, so we can't go out during that time. Plus, we only get 30 minutes for lunch, so there wouldn't be enough time. I didn't know there were still any schools with open campuses. do you get an additional planning time, or just the hour lunch break?
     
  40. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    The one school I sub in allows teachers to leave for lunch. But they still only have a 30 minute lunch break, so I doubt any go beyond the two restaurants right across the street from it.
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 14, 2010

    yes, additional planning time- 1/2 hour before kids arrive (8-8:30) and a 'prep planning period' each day (most days, planning time is 40 minutes...once a week I have a 25 minute prep)
     

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