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Do suck ups get ahead
Old 12-30-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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I am a first year teacher. I am authentic and just me. I don't believe in using people so I don't suck up. I am introverted so don't go out of my way to be talkative but am well-mannered. I am a very dedicated and hard worker and take my job seriously. I kind of get the feeling I'd get further ahead if I worked less and socialized and sucked up more. Thoughts?


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Old 12-31-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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I am introverted too, but I am also dependable, loyal, and hard working. I think it is more important to live your life being true to yourself and being of good character. I find that the people I respect are the ones that treat others kindly, are humble, and don't need the spotlight to shine. Just keep being you!
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Sucking Up?
Old 12-31-2012, 09:56 AM
 
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IMO, initiating conversations and giving compliments is being personable, which people will notice. At work I know people on 2 levels. I know people by their work ethic and I know them as what kind of 'person' they are. (obviously not everyone in the building) People will notice your hard work, but they'll also notice if you're funny, witty, etc. I understand you're more reserved, which is your perogative. Everyone is different and that's what makes the world go 'round. Just do you and continue to work hard.
Again, I don't think being socialable is 'sucking up.' Remember that a little socializing can make your job more enjoyable. This is my second year of teaching. I hated my job last year because I wasn't given ANY opportunites to talk to the other teachers. (taught private K in a daycare setting AKA horrible experience but a experience no less) I even overhead another teacher say about me 'Well she seems nice but I don't know anything about her.' This really bothered me because I didn't feel any connection to my job other than the kids.
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definition of "suck-up"
Old 12-31-2012, 10:33 AM
 
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I need a definition for "suck-up." In my opinion being nice and talking to other teachers isn't being a "suck-up." To me being a "suck-up" is someone that is two faced. They say one thing to you and another thing to their boss. They follow their boss around and do whatever is asked. They talk about others to their boss. They often do not do their job so they have to turn the conversation around to others.

Of course, doing what ones boss wants doesn't make one a "suck-up." To be a "suck-up" one has to not necessarily use their own mind and follows blindly, plus puts down others to make themself feel important.

In this world there are many different types of people. I believe in doing my job to the best of my ability. I believe in being friendly with others, but not having to be "friends" that socialize on the outside unless I want to take the relationship past a 'working relationship."

Some people talk to others. Others don't. In school we need to be teachers and put our students first, but that doesn't mean we can't also make friends and talk to the other adults.

Just my thoughts.
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Further Ahead?
Old 12-31-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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I'm not sure what you mean by further ahead...Do you want to be an administrator? If so, then I would think that you would need good references and connections with the "right" people. However, as a teacher, I don't think you need to "suck up." However, even if you are not the life of the party, I think you should still make an effort to be pleasant.

It took me years to become as good of friends I am with my current school friends. We are really tight and do socialize outside of school. However, one or two teachers in our grade level keep to themselves. That's fine. They get work done or whatever during lunch whereas we talk. They don't want to be part of the group which is fine. However, I think that would be hard to "go it alone" without the support of friends. If it doesn't bother you then that's fine. It's your life. I did have to force myself at first to eat lunch and socialize with these teachers. They were older than me and I felt like I had little in common with them. However, now I can't imagine working in a place without these friends! It doesn't happen overnight.


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Old 12-31-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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I don't think being friendly and personable to your coworkers is sucking up. I'm definitely not the most outgoing person, but make a point of being friendly to all of my coworkers even if it's just saying hello and asking about their family and/or weekend. It makes the workplace much more enjoyable. I realized when I was working retail in high school and college that smiling and being personable made my job much more fun.
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Suck Ups
Old 12-31-2012, 07:20 PM
 
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Plain and simple - yes. Suck ups get ahead. Suck ups and social coworkers aren't one in the same though.

I refuse to kiss anyone's butt, so I won't make it into administration one day.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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It is important in a work environment that others feel that you like them, and that you are perceived as being friendly and approachable. If you cannot manage this (no matter how "well mannered" you are), you will have problems in your work career.

I am shy, too, but learned early on that people may dislike you or think you are a snob if you don't make an effort to be friendly in the workplace. The reality? It is fully possible to lose a job over this misperception, no matter how hardworking you are.

My advice? Be friendly. Be nice. Say "hi". Smile at people. Make small talk. Notice and compliment things if you see something you like or appreciate.

This is just acting like a normal person, not sucking up or using anyone.
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Been there
Old 01-01-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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I struggled with this when I was younger (and in a different career).

It helps to get to know who people are outside the job. Not hanging out or getting together, but what they do when they are not teaching, what their kids or significant others are up to, where they are from.

Some advice that has served me well lately is to have a life outside of work. When I was younger I lived for my job. However, now that I am more settled in my non-work life, work stress is easier to manage, I take very little personally and I radiate more contentment.

Also, what is going wrong in your classroom (if anything) is only you and your administrator's business. You would be surprised at how many of the people perceived as suck-ups or pets are actually on an improvement plan!

Now, don't go around saying how you are limiting your hours, not taking stuff home, etc. We all have different ways of coping with teaching stress and teaching co-workers.

But do you, be pleasant and keep going.
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