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New Teacher on the block

Discussion in 'Personal' started by SarLouW, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. SarLouW

    SarLouW New commenter

    I've just joined a new school but I don't know anyone and it is a large school and not many people hang out in the staff room. How do I meet people?

    Do I just go to departments and introduce myself? Or will that come off as strange?

    Do I send an email inviting people to coffee/the pub?

    Not sure how to fit in here yet and i'm a bubbly person who likes to be around people.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Unless schools have changed completely in the years since I retired (always possible, I guess), I'd expect there to be some sort of staff association/staff social committee and, again in my experience, they always look for keen staff to help run them...So, see if there is one, if there is talk to the people running it to see what social events they run and attend some, and perhaps see if you can help run them in future.

    Of course if there is no such staff association, perhaps talk to other young/new staff and see about starting one (but maybe get the support of the SLT first...)
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Help me out here please- I've read your post five or six times very carefully now, and I still cannot work out whether you have joined the school as a teacher or as a pupil...
    Sorry. Flippant.
    I suppose my point is if you start in a new school you are going to have a million things to do and new stuff to master. Sending an email encouraging a social ain't one of them. You'll find in the course of doing your job that the connections will forge themselves, you really will.
    If you are going in to a workplace such as this and in the first instance wanting to make friends, you are at risk of not getting the job done, but if you focus on the job alone you will find commonality with others by drip feed.
    You'll see a difference already after a week.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    silkywave and towncryer like this.
  4. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Sorry frank they have changed I've never seen such as association or committee. At the end of the stay most staff do some marking and run like hell from the schools I've worked at. Saying that in my first school people did used to get together and talk about how things went in the staffroom but the head put an informal ban on that.
    Jamvic likes this.
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Your previous forum posts suggest this is a first secondary/FE teaching position after training(?).

    Just crack on with the day job and the social side of it will develop gradually, if you have any spare time left. Be mindful that sometimes the first people to be friendly to you are those with the least friends. Not always the case, but the truth is that secondary/FE is very departmentalised and everybody in the profession is up to their ears. I have to say that an empty staff room is not a great indicator of a lively social scene or healthy work/life balance in any institution - this I know from working in a number of different schools as a supply. Do the job first and foremost, and don't totally rely on the workplace for your social life.
  6. Timothy_Blue

    Timothy_Blue Lead commenter

    You are fortunate one still exists:=)
    magic surf bus likes this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I suggest turning up naked for the next staff meeting
    silkywave likes this.
  8. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Did it work for you?
    silkywave and MAGAorMIGA like this.
  9. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Insignificant in this case perhaps, but characteristic of a certain posting style.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Certainly did.
  11. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Instead of sending or replying to emails, go and find people before or after school. I found in recent years this is something people do less and less and makes schools more insular. It may seem like it is too time consuming, but often will save time in the long run and it avoids waiting for a day or more for the answer, you may also find that you get a much better answer in person and are able to chat about the issue and find stuff you didn't know to ask about.

    Ask for advice, teachers loooove to give advice, whether it is from the form teacher about some kid in a class, how best to teach a lesson you aren't sure of or any other contrived issue.

    Of course some teachers will be a bit abrupt and curt, but many will welcome the fact someone has sought them out which puts you on a good initial footing.

    Schools vary greatly in their mix of staff and how the staff get on, you get those who say they have no interest in socializing with people they work with and actively avoid it, but they are relatively rare and easily ignored.

    To start with look at forming professional relationships based on your job rather than diving in with "lets all go out together". Many of your colleagues will have little time for meeting out of school due to family commitments.
    Dragonlady30 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    So, quite literally hanging out in the staff room :eek:
    primarycat and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I agree with many posts above.

    Also remember the phrase to have a friend you need to be a friend. So just be friendly to people generally - passing them in the corridor, sharing duties, in the car park etc and then just let friendships develop naturally. You don't want to look 'too needy' and put people off. ;)

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    It’s really tricky when you start. But make a point of talking to people and if needs be, just ask ‘what do your department do at lunch time? I’m often a bit stuck on my own.’ They will usually say ‘we’re up in x, come and join us.’ Teachers are generally quite open to that.
    Mangleworzle and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    The only time I met other staff was through working with them or in the break-time - although occasionally someone might invite some of us to a little social they'd arranged. When you meet them in the staffroom or corridors, you can always go and introduce yourself.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Can you show an interest in their subject? I usually hang out with the English or Art departments because we can talk about books and paintings. You can also volunteer to help out with trips and stuff, that helps.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Volunteer to do stuff.

    In my first year of teaching I became tea and coffee monitor for the year. One of the tasks was taking the milk over to the dept in the morning, it was delivered in bottles in those days. Sometimes there wasn't any milk or not enough, I found that the history dept were taking more than their quota and so had to go across to liberate the science milk from their fridge. This earned me the moniker of milk-snatcher (i.e. I became recognisable) and led to a number of friendships in a department I otherwise would have little or nothing to do with.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    In my first post I car shared with three other teachers who lived in the same street as me in Edinburgh. I had never met them until I started working in the same school as them. We would chat and have a laugh and got to be quite close. We were all in our twenties at the time.
    I changed jobs last year and have had to car share again for the first time in years as the school where I work is over half an hours drive from where I live. I used to share with a lovely teacher who I am now good friends with. However, things at the school did not work out for her and she left. I have a new car share buddy now and I would say we are good friends. It is great to talk through work and other stuff in the car and not take it home. Plus we had a very stressful end of term which was very difficult to deal with at the time.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    Didn't you read the thread title? Lol :p;)
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    I would endorse the 'cross-departmental' approach. When I started as an English teacher, I gravitated towards the PE and Art/DT/Cookery staff - in the days when each department 'colonised' an area of the staff room. I can't really remember why I did so, but just felt they were more down to earth than my English colleagues. But I suppose this advice is outdated now - those departments probably don't exist anymore and who uses the staffroom nowadays? Maybe car-sharing, as mentioned by @missmunchie, could be the way forward?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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