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staff room behaviour

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by reena2706, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. scienceteacha

    scienceteacha New commenter

    I have worked in several secondaries and in none of them have we been offered free tea and coffee! One school has a system of 25p per cup or various longer term payments. Interestingly, this was by far the most sociable school I worked at. Most schools tend to clique off in departments and the pressure of the job means that running to the staff room in 'breaktime' (and even 'lunchtime' for that matter) is often too much hassle. IMO I don't necessarith think that schools should feel they have to provide it free of charge, however I believe that schools should absolutely have to provide a water fountain/cooler or several for both staff and students. After all, giving free and coffee is actually (legally) offering free narcotics (caffeine) and it probably only a matter of time before some member of staff has a stroke/heart attack and 'excessive caffeine consumption' is stated as a factor and said member of staff, being a money grabber, sues the school for actually offering free tea and coffee and wins! Or am I being too cynical?

  2. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    Interesting how there are so many different experiences out there. Personally I have only ever worked in places where there was free tea and coffee available at all times and until I read this thread I assumed it was the same in most schools. Its about the only perk I get in my job.

  3. We allow our students to drink water when they are carrying out classwork, so long as they don't interrupt the lesson . It is unhealthy to speak for several hours without drinking so we find it is justified that the teachers have drinks in class. Teachers often suffer from laryngitis and other voice problems so I don''t agree that it is unprofessional.
  4. your colleague thinks he/she is far more important than she/he really is! Non teaching staff have enough to do, they are teaching assistants not servants.
  5. Here, across the pond, in South Carolina, we love (iced) sweet tea. We have it for lunch, and some bring a cup or glass back to class to drink during planning period or between classes. Students are allowed to have their water bottles in class.
  6. In my last school we had coffee bits and bobs in the office ajoining the rrom.
    Sometimes I would nip in and make the TA a coffee if she was busy, sometimes she would do the same for me. If you are not comfortable with it or think someone is taking liberties then tell them. Or just say, "OK. You get the next one matey!"
    Do the kids think it is disrespectful when i have a coffee in class? Not at all. To be honest its so common place that they don't even notice. I often make a nice brew for my a level students when it comes to revision classes. They like it. Although some of them prefer hot chocolate and bring in their own little packets of chocolatey stuff. I digress.
    I think my point is, if you feel a teacher is being disrespectful, whether asking for a coffee, a printout, some photocopying or anything else for that matter. Just tell them. Bog off. If you feel that respect is mutual and you are working WITH and not FOR the teacher, then get the brews in!
  7. We encourage pupils to take drinks into class to stay hydrated & alert, especially since our lessons are 100min long, so why should staff not do the same?
    As for support staff being expected to make drinks, that's not right. If they choose to do so, fair enough, just as it is entirely reasonable for teaching staff to make drinks for support staff.
    Whoever gets to the kettle first after a lesson makes the drinks.
  8. I cant believe that anyone would expect to have their tea/coffee made for them.. However, having read reasoning for larger secondary schools where staff numbers are high then perhaps I can understand maybe canteen staff having drinks prepared.. But maybe a better solution would simply be to have more kettles/urns available to avoid queues??!! Expecting TAs to serve teachers sounds very degrading when they already work extremely hard and are paid a lot less for it!!3
  9. We have a wonderful TA who starts after breaktime, but comes in voluntarily about 10 mins before the start of breaktime to make a cuppa for everyone. She likes to get in early but also likes to be busy and doesn't just want to sit there. No one has asked her to do this but we are all VERY greatful for this as it means that we can actually sit down and drink our drinks.
    As for all of those people saying that they get free tea and coffee I'm gobsmacked, I've worked in a few schools and never seen this happen.
    I've actually found some schools can be very petty with tea and coffee. One school I did supply in everyone bought in their own tea, coffee, milk and sugar. As a supply I always had a teabag with me, just in case, but obviously on my first day didn't know about the milk, luckily the staff were nice and a few offered me milk for my tea. I found it very strange that they couldn't sort a kitty out between them to pay for their drinks.
    Deirds likes this.
  10. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    As for the person who thinks we should be treated the same as the children/pupils..... well I can cope with that. Make up any nonsense and be believed despite all evidence to the contrary ...oh and have a track record of being a liar. Pick on other people in the school community, refuse to wear the standard of dress laid down in the school rules, bring the parents in (if fortunate to have them still alive ) to sort out anyone who said "no" to me or crossed me.
    Are we getting the picture yet? Teacher = adult, pupil = child/young person.
    We are not talking of persecuting children in the mode of "The Great Hop" We are talking about adult professionals who are doing a professional job quite often in less than great circumstances and there are people on here who would take you out and hang you for having a cup of tea in a classroom????
    Being constantly bullied by management. government, parents and pupils alike is what we have all too often.
    I have never forgotten after years and years in the classroom finally being allowed the "privilege" of going out to help with the KS4 pupils who were out of work experience. Having been subjected to the "facilities" provided for the staff at my secondary school, I never quite got over the working conditions in every place I visited over those few days. From factory to office to shop to Pizza Hut even, they all had better staff facilities and staff treatment than what we received. It opened my eyes as to how our management valued its teaching staff (I do have to say that at any and every opportunity the ancillary, office and site staff were eulogised about; it was just we the teaching staff who were so obviously not valued and whose hearts and minds didn't matter)
    drek and akz like this.
  11. I'm amused that, if you wish to practise what you preach, you don't capitalise your "I" s..! :)
  12. I never thought hot drinks were a problem until I saw an 8 year old run headlong into a teacher holding a hot cup of coffee. The coffee spilt all down the child's back.She didn't suffer any long term damage because we tipped copious quantities of water down her back for ages - but it was a horrible experience for all concerned,both child and teacher were shaken.. The child's mother was furious - and insisted that the child never have the teacher concerned again. After this hot drinks were banned during times when children might be in school - including during times when children were supposed to be playing outside.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  13. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Might it have been more prudent to ban children from running headlong into other people and/or objects? After all, we can't ban EVERYTHING a child might run into without looking, can we?
    IDunno and sabrinakat like this.
  14. zcsaa44

    zcsaa44 New commenter

    I drink coffee in my class all the time, as do other teachers. It is one of the only areas my students realise there is a difference between me and them as I am allowed to drink something other than water in lessons from a clear bottle. No student has complained except when I lend them a pen I have stirred my coffee with and it is still wet or I spill on their work, I do get mocked by them for the number of coffee cups on my desk. I have been moaned at for having an open mug as I walk around by the deputy head mainly in charge of health and safety but when I ask to have the lose carpet and trailing wires in my room sorted he melts away quickly enough.
    IDunno likes this.
  15. I'm deputy head in a primary school. We all make tea/coffee for each other. It certainly isn't the job of a TA and I think you may have problems should you suggest that. Drinks in the classroom/playground ........only if it is in a covered mug (ie. thermal mug. These can be found in various supermarkets and Costa Coffee). Much safer if there are children around. pu are covered for health and safety!

    palmtree100 likes this.
  16. Sorry hipybohemiannerd, haven't been on here for ages and can't remember how to add a general post without replying to a specific one - this is just me adding my tuppenny worth!

    In response to the OP's question I would never dream of expecting anyone I work with to make me a drink! Working on supply, I often find primary TAs are particularly kind in making sure I get a drink at break when I'm on the inevitable duty, and I return the favour when I can. Obviously the colleague in question doesn't believe in team work!

    On the subject of hot drinks in classrooms, I have managed to survive 16 years of teaching without spilling a drop on a child; however there was a recent incident in the county I work in where a child was scalded and sued the school. Now generally most schools in the county (primary and secondary) are reacting to this and hot drinks are not allowed to be consumed or prepared out of the staffroom area. Some schools allow insulated mugs with tops; some don't even allow that. Whilst I've always found it pleasant to have my tea to finish off in my classroom when in permanent posts, it's not worth the risk of the hot water (groan) you'd get in if an accident happened.

    Re schools providing tea and coffee, I was at a primary school during their recent ofsted in February and the first thing the Head announced was that they had said she should provide staff with free tea, coffee and milk! Wonder if this is now their policy?! Obviously a ploy to make us all love 'em. Ahem.
    Deirds likes this.
  17. I can't believe this is even being discussed! Make your own tea or coffe! Sounds like colonialism being revisited! We are here to teach and not have a tea party in class!

  18. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    It really is surprising how much some teachers put up with and expect to put up with.
    A classroom is a work environment. There is nothing particularly holy about it. Stop treating it as some temple that cannot be desecrated.
    If you only knew what sort of benefits the private sector offered its teachers...
  19. FIrstly, on what planet is caffeine a narcotic??? Caffeine is a stimulant. Narcotics have the very opposite effect and work on the brainstem to suppress sensation....

    Secondly, I am from New Zealand and am working in Hong Kong - every school I've ever been to provides FREE tea, coffee, milk, sugar etc. I'm damn pleased I don't work in the UK as it sounds like you're all getting thoroughly ripped off, and are teaching in an antiquated system that is clearly not working for you or the children you are responsible for.
    A workplace that doesn't provide facilities to care for its staff is not a quality workplace.
    akz likes this.
  20. When I taught in a high school we had a strict roster for making the coffee... and buying the supplies... our department did not go to the main stafff room on a regular basis - we (about 7 of us) had our breaks in our own department staffroom instead. Our system of the roster worked well with one person responsible for getting the coffee machine going in the morning, and then washing tea towls etc at home on the weekend...

    When I taught in a Steiner school we had a kitchen in our classroom, with warm drinks being made for the children at morning tea to have with the bread that they had baked...

    In my current primary school we all make our own from supplies that are purchased with a small amount that we each pay each term. Nobody HAS to put money into the kitty... and if you don't want to drink the tea and coffee, or want to bring your own, you don't have to pay.

    Being in rural Australia it is important that we keep well hydrated, and one was is with a 'Sip and Crunch' time being provided by most schools in the morning session where the children are encouraged to have a drink of water and some fruit to eat.

    As to having someone else make it for me - I would not EXPECT it... but have often made a cuppa for someone else, and happily accept a cuppa that they have made for me.

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