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Swearing in Staffroom

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Stuckatups1, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Stuckatups1

    Stuckatups1 New commenter

    I've been at my current school for a couple of terms now and am enjoying it, on the whole.

    There's just one negative thing and it's annoying, but I'm not sure what the best thing to do is.

    You see, the staffroom is the place where I've always escaped to, for a bit of downtime away from the (secondary) kids. It's my bolthole, as, I'm sure, is the case for most of my colleagues. However, there's a small but significant minority of staff who can't seem to put a sentence together without using the f-word and other colourful expletives.

    I really hate this, as I abhor bad language. They don't swear in front of the students and it makes me feel uncomfortable, so much so that I don't feel OK in there any more. I can't relax due to the verbal abuse I'm overhearing on a daily basis. In over 30 years teaching, I have never come across this before, but there are about a dozen in this group and they are making things very unpleasant for me.

    I'm wondering if I should try to do something about this. At the same time, these other teachers are simply venting their frustrations about things and have a right to do this. I just wish they could do it without the swear words. Maybe I'm being old-fashioned and a fuddy-duddy, but I'd like to be able to sit and unwind without a stream of profanities in the background.

    What do you think, please?
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  2. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Difficult one as you don't want to upset the apple cart... also depends on your contract, if you are only there to the end of next term, grin and bear it? If permanent, could you join in and be totally over the top with the swearing? Sometimes it's only when someone else is like this that people realise how uncouth they sound (I did this with my 19 year niece when she was going through teenage rebellion, she stopped as she realised she sounded ridiculous swearing so much!) Or could you ask them if you could help them - if they are swearing because of frustrations etc could you offer some words of wisdom as you obviously have lots of experience? Maybe if problem is solved, they won't swear so much?
    Does your school have a staff committee - if so, could you mention it to them? maybe they could introduce a charity swear jar?
    Can you plug yourself into some relaxing music so you can't hear them?
    It's Summer soon - so you could also go outside when you are able and enjoy the great British Summer!
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Oh come on.......this is not even a proper F***** dilemma
    Bentley89, Flowers19, bevdex and 30 others like this.
  4. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    Lordy. As long as they're not swearing AT you, or indeed 'verbally abusing' (as you put it) any other staff, then I really don't think you can do or say anything. In the staffroom teachers should be able to vent their frustrations about their day, even if that includes swearing in my opinion. If anyone told me off for swearing as an adult, in a staff only area, I'd be a bit bemused.
  5. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    Never come across this in 30 years if teaching. Wow! In my experience it is pretty standard .After an hour with year 9 it would need a saint not to swear.
  6. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I worked for the ambulance service before I was a teacher and this was normal way of letting frustrations lose (better in than out etc).

    If they are not directing the bad language at you, there is no "abuse" going on.

    Ear plugs? You can get ceramic ones which are excellent.

    How about ignoring them?
  7. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Golly gosh. Next people will be complaining about people using their phones in the staff room.

    Seriously though op I can understand you don't like it but I think you have done the right thing in removing yourself from the staff room. Perhaps next time the staff fancy doing something charitable, you could suggest a swear box, if you want to reform those pesky offenders.
    missteach2005, emerald52 and install like this.
  8. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    My husband had a colleague (may even have been his boss) who swore a lot. My husband asked him not to and he stopped, at least when my husband was there. I think he was embarrassed that someone had drawn attention to it. I don't think it's unreasonable not to want to hear constant swearing, but people who do are often blissfully unaware of how it can be offensive or how stupid they sound.
    chelsea2, pepper5, lizziescat and 2 others like this.
  9. knitone

    knitone Lead commenter

    You have a staffroom? I think you are incredibly lucky . . .
    bob79, bevdex, VeronicAmb and 10 others like this.
  10. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    I swear, but I would never do so in a strange/ large group scenario ( ie if we had a staff room). If newcomers enter our workrooms I curb my language until I know if it is acceptable to all. It's only good manners/ respectful behaviour. I say you are working with disrespectful people. You have options; ignore, say something overtly, make it known covertly ( polite notice in bulletin or on message board.)
    Let us know what you do.
    katykook and whitestag like this.
  11. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    I'm afraid that this is your problem rather than theirs so I don't think that there is anything outward facing that you can "do". Have you considered getting some good quality headphones and listening to calming music while in the staffroom?
    bob79, mar1p0sa, FormosaRed and 3 others like this.
  12. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    This doesn't sound like it's just people venting their anger. It seems to be the norm today to pepper one's speech with swear words, particularly the f word. It always jars with me because I was taught it was verboten, that doesn't mean that I don't use it, but not in public and certainly not in a professional situation unless as a joke ;). I think people should take into consideration how their choice of language might affect others sharing the same space. If they want to talk like the kids they should join them in the playground.
  13. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You have a staffroom that staff actually go to? Incredibly, incredibly lucky.

    It's quite pointless swearing in front of the tumbleweed.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  14. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Just try to ignore it.
    peggylu likes this.
  15. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Just a thought - you're not teaching at a school in Ireland, are you?

    Mrsmumbles, Laphroig and mrajlong like this.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I award like a trouper... The staff room is a great place to vent and let off steam.
    bob79, mrajlong and slingshotsally like this.
  17. flyingcircusfreak

    flyingcircusfreak New commenter

    Check your staff handbook, if there is one. There may well be a reference to staff being supposed to be sensitive to other staff members' sensibilities, and you might be able to ask a tame senior leader to mention this at your next staff meeting or weekly briefing.

    If there isn't such a reference (or even a handbook), you may be able to mention it to a senior leader.

    If you don't feel comfortable with this either - and you may not like this - just put up with it. They're only words! And the staff room is for use by all staff, including those who need to swear to get through the day. Perhaps you could disarm the worst offenders by offering them a cup of tea in between their splutterings of odious verbiage. :)
  18. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I think it's unrealistic to expect no swearing at all in a staff room, especially given the amount of pressure staff are under sometimes, but at the same time if it's a constant stream of the f-word, I can see how that would be annoying to someone who doesn't like it.

    I swear a bit in the staff room. But only in the company of my close and trusted colleagues. If I thought there was someone in there who'd be offended by it or if it was visibly upsetting someone, I'd probably try and rein it in a bit. I don't have a solution for you, sorry.
    -myrtille-, Pomz, yodaami2 and 6 others like this.
  19. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    So close to posting an immature response with lots of f***ing stars in it but I thought f***ing better of it!
  20. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    By the way, love the username @Stuckatups1 very apt for me too!

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