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Mshope's Message:

I feel like the only friends I have now are from my current school. I just lost touch and didn't have time to maintain outside of work friends. I still may get an occasional text or online post, but I no longer go out with them and do things.

I've been at my school for 15 years now. In my first years, I was tight with fellow new teachers. Then, we all drifted apart. Now, my friends are on my team or subject area. That seems to be pretty common in our junior high...Grade levels are tight and the only crossover is subject area.

We used to do a lot more outside of school in the way of dinners, parties, movies, etc. Now, we mostly text and do things in school like sit together at meetings and have lunch together. I feel lucky to have a group because things at my school can be pretty cut throat. The only people I trust are my group. For example, there are other "friendies" who we talk to, but don't go out with. Some of the others are straight up on the "other" side. They can be hostile or indifferent.

I would look for people you have something in common with. There are people in our building that I NEVER see. Then, there are my hallway people and we are all close. We see each other constantly. I wonder if we would be friends if not for school. I think for some yes, but for most no because we are pretty different people. What unites us is the job.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
guestny 09-17-2019 09:37 AM

I am a gifted resource teacher at 3 different schools which makes it hard to get to know people. I don't know much of the staff at any of the schools and at times it feels lonely. When I was a gen ed teacher I had a really good team who I was close with and still am. I have to try and remind myself of the good relationships I have outside of work.

Emily26 09-16-2019 06:55 PM

I've taught at the same school for years and years. I had many friends and we did a lot of socializing together. A new principal ran off most of the staff at the end of this past school year. I'm one of like 5 returning staff members this year. I hardly even know any of the new staff's names, I never see them during the school day, and I'm not close to them at all. Every meeting is like walking into a room full of strangers. I stick with my teaching partners and socialize outside of school with my "regular" friends a lot more now.

BoredCoTeach 09-15-2019 03:59 PM

"Our get togethers turned into gossip/judging sessions about students, parents, and other staff."

I came into teaching a bit later in life, and been in a few leadership positions, so I thought about becoming an assistant principal. So, when I relocated to my current city, I didn't aim to become friends with teachers in my building. I did develop a good work buddy relationship with a guidance counselor; at work we were work buddies, but didn't hang out after work. The couple of times I did go without staff all it was was gossip/complaint session. Thanks, but I need an intellectual conversation.

I joined a number of service groups and young professional groups. They enabled me to learn alot more things about my current city, than I would have learned by hanging out with teachers. Get out there, the world has some bright individuals that will teach you things.

1tired 09-15-2019 02:54 PM

I started in a very small school and we all became pretty close. Then I moved faraway and all of my friends just about were fellow coworkers. 1 of the best friends I have had in my life was a team teacher of many yrs.
My final move, the teachers are more distrustful of 1 another. It is sad because I have experienced the other side of school friends.
I have 2 teachers that I'd call friends now, but only 1 of them do I do outside activities with very often. As much as I like her, I am still cautious about speaking about certain things. I think the distrust comes from the top and trickles down.
Now most of my friends are outside of school.

ElizabethJoy 09-15-2019 02:42 PM

My closest friends are definitely outside of work, but I am friendly with most of my co-workers and would count 3-4 of them as actual friends.

I did have one co-worker I was super close with but he left

2teach2 09-15-2019 01:40 PM

My first 14 years of teaching were at a school that had a lot of young, single teachers. I hung out with many of them outside of school hours. We would go line dancing, plan murder mystery dinners, and play games. As we all got married, had families, and some moved to other districts (including me), those relationships dwindled. I've been at my current school for 19 years, and get along well with everyone, but there is only one teacher that I do things with outside of school.

MightyTeach 09-15-2019 12:43 PM

I have been a teacher for 20 years and have only had two close friends at school. We don't really socialize outside of school - once in awhile we go out for coffee together but that's it! I used to think this was odd because before teaching I worked in a corporate environment and was friends with a lot more people! I am still close with friends I worked with over 35 years ago but I do not get to see them often as we live far from each other.

klarabelle 09-15-2019 12:42 PM

The school I first started teaching at I had friends there. The last 2 schools I taught at I only had 1 friend. I found the last 2 schools to be non-welcoming.

Haley23 09-15-2019 11:50 AM

For me it has changed over the years. I'm in my 7th year at my current school. My first year, people were friendly to me but I didn't feel like I really had friends. By my 2nd or 3rd year, I'd gotten really close to the SLP and our two EL teachers, whose room was next to mine. There was also a K teacher who was about my age that I became friends with when we started walking together after school.

My 4th year, the two EL teachers left. At that point, I honestly wasn't even sad because they'd both grown to hate the school and the P and everything was SO negative. Two years ago, my K teacher friend moved on to a charter school that had an easier student population and offered a significantly higher salary.

So just the SLP is left. I'm glad I have one close friend there as I know not everyone even has that, but I have definitely felt "left out" on our staff. Previously many of the classroom teachers have bonded over their kids, and I was never able to participate in that. This year we have a TON of new people, most of whom are 22-24 and they go drinking on weekends and such, and now I'm "too old."

Last year, what really bothered me was that our two intervention teachers, the instructional coach, the P, and the other sped teacher were super close and would spend time together socially. One time we all had to go to a convention and stay in a hotel (P wasn't there, but all the others were) and it hurt my feelings that they didn't invite me to do anything with them while we were there, plus it stuck out like a sore thumb that I was the only one in my type of position that was not in the "in" crowd. There were ramifications beyond social ones, because often decisions that impacted me were made without my input or often without even telling me at all.

elepen 09-15-2019 11:47 AM

I've worked in many states and districts and there was only one school that I had a school friend in and out of school. We visited, went out to dinner with our spouses, weekends in the keys, visited each other in the hospital. I kept in touch with her until her death a couple of years ago. It made work fun and I never found this type of friendship again
When you have a friend like that at work cliques don't bother you.
I would find coworkers that I felt comfortable with but nothing like that friendship.
The way education is now where it pits teachers against teachers with scores and evaluations it's hard to find this friendship at work.
Some teachers have this blessing, a friend to go to lunch with during work and teacher work days.
I've had so many different experiences in all of these schools, good and bad.
I subbed for a teacher on Friday who's coteaching with her best friend. Must be nice

travelingfar 09-15-2019 11:31 AM

Over my teaching career I made two good friends at school, and we still see each other now that I'm retired. Other than that I had pleasant relationships with coworkers but wasn't particularly close to anyone. I enjoyed hanging out with people in the teachers lounge and at school but was happy to have a separate life outside of work.

sonoma 09-15-2019 09:45 AM

Most of our staff opened our school together when it was new. We were all young got married and raised our kids together. We retired after 25 years around the same time. My staff was closer to each other than many of their own relatives.

Itís hard now because most of them left so cal for cheaper retirement locations so we stay in touch mostly online.

Most of my dd friends had teachers for parents. I had very few connections who were not teachers. I think thatís because non teachers donít understand our life. They think we leave work at 3 and have all kinds of time and money to play.

checkerjane 09-15-2019 09:20 AM

Me, either. However, Iím not a really social person in the first place, so some of itís probably my fault.

Mshope 09-15-2019 09:18 AM

I feel like the only friends I have now are from my current school. I just lost touch and didn't have time to maintain outside of work friends. I still may get an occasional text or online post, but I no longer go out with them and do things.

I've been at my school for 15 years now. In my first years, I was tight with fellow new teachers. Then, we all drifted apart. Now, my friends are on my team or subject area. That seems to be pretty common in our junior high...Grade levels are tight and the only crossover is subject area.

We used to do a lot more outside of school in the way of dinners, parties, movies, etc. Now, we mostly text and do things in school like sit together at meetings and have lunch together. I feel lucky to have a group because things at my school can be pretty cut throat. The only people I trust are my group. For example, there are other "friendies" who we talk to, but don't go out with. Some of the others are straight up on the "other" side. They can be hostile or indifferent.

I would look for people you have something in common with. There are people in our building that I NEVER see. Then, there are my hallway people and we are all close. We see each other constantly. I wonder if we would be friends if not for school. I think for some yes, but for most no because we are pretty different people. What unites us is the job.

BadKitty 09-15-2019 08:24 AM

Almost all of my closest friends are people I met through work so they're pretty much all teachers or former teachers or SLP's or other school staff
But I'm not close with anyone from my current school and sometimes I wish I was because I always had a close friend at previous schools, but I'm okay with it.

all41 09-15-2019 08:24 AM

I do not have close friends at the school I currently teach at. I've been at this school for 7 years and at first I had a small group of 4 teachers that I considered close friends. We went out to dinner, celebrated birthdays, attended school events together, and would get together to play games at each other's homes. Over time I came to see that our personalities are very different. Our get togethers turned into gossip/judging sessions about students, parents, and other staff. This made me incredibly uncomfortable, it was not what I considered enjoyable. Not to mention it was incredibly unprofessional as many of our meetings were in public places. I have since distanced myself from the group get togethers. I'm still friendly with them at school but we no longer have a friend relationship outside of our professional one. I would say that I'm not close friends with any of my coworkers and It can be lonely at times.

FWIW, I work in a very small district. We only have 20 teachers for all of K12 in our district. Having fewer coworkers means it is less likely to find someone with common interests and personalities. There are no rules saying your best friends need to be coworkers, or should not be coworkers. Your best friends should be people you love and trust and share common interest and goals with, not necessarily a place of employment.

cruxian 09-15-2019 07:55 AM

It depends upon the situation, I think. (Not to be evasive.) I'm new at my current school but have taught with two teachers before and would consider them friends, as in I'll sometimes see them outside of school. (I'm kinda antisocial a lot lol.) The last school I was at, I had been there twelve years and considered many of the teachers for a long time and considered them friends. My closest friend is a former colleague. I do have other friends, largely those that I've met through DD's various activities.

Violet4 09-15-2019 07:33 AM

Anyone else not really close to any teachers in their building (s)?

I'm not looking for advice on how to get closer I just wonder sometimes if other people have close friends mostly outside of work.




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