- When teachers are together, much of the conversation revolves around complaining about students. I find this to be counter-productive and only wish to discuss student problems if it's with the intention of seeking help. Of course, the other hot topic of conversation is to complain about the administration. And to be honest, my current administrators are dreams come true compared to what I was dealing with before, and I have no desire to ruin this image in my mind. These are the primary reasons I do not eat lunch in the staff lounge.
- I'm trying to keep a low profile. Although it is in my nature to be extremely friendly with everyone I encounter, I've learned that it is best, in the workplace, to stay under the radar. Once again, this may be my PTSD from my old school, but I saw way too many people jump to criticize other teaching styles because they didn't like people for personal reasons. I want to make sure no one has any reason to speak negatively about me, and my way of controlling this has been to make sure no one has any reason to talk about me at all... I mind my own business and hope others do the same.
At first, I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle my new work style. I'm a people person. I live to interact with others and have always made friends very easily. I worried that my new philosophy would take a lot of the joy out of my day... it's no secret that the people one works with have a huge impact on one's happiness in the workplace.
Carolyn has been the reason I've been able to stick to my philosophy. She has not only been my mentor but also a friend. The 40 minutes we spend laughing together during lunch is the highlight of my work day. It's been fun learning about each other and sharing in the excitement of her current pregnancy. Even after this position ends, I know I have a friend in her.
Thank you, Carolyn, for being such a huge support in my experience. Thank you for showing me that I don't need an army of acquaintances to make work fun. Thanks for being my ELL buddy!