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Fitting in with Colleagues
Old 05-17-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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Anyone feel like an outsider with colleagues? I know I sure do. Other than teaching I just don't have much in common. I teach in the inner city, and most of the teachers live here too and are neighbors with the students. I live in the suburbs. Other teachers are different races (black, hispanic, asian), and I am the ONLY white teacher. I am subjected to hearing their negative comments about whites all the time. You'd think race and where a person lives wouldn't matter, but in my school it sure does. I am seen as the outsider cause I don't live in the inner city and I am white. I would never put down where people live. Its just I choose to live in an area thats not in poverty.


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yep, it is hard
Old 05-17-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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I think its just a unhelped clique thing that develops and nothing to do with where you live. I do a really good job most of the time at what I do but don't fit the personality that most people like. I don't fit in with anybody. While this may not matter, when trying to get a job and get my foot in it does. As women I think we are hard on each other. I noticed that in teaching if someone is liked, they are considered a good teacher. If you have the contract, it doesn't really matter, just keep busy in your classroom and show up once in a while with a plate of donuts in the teachers' lounge ever so often enough to be social. I see a lot of teachers who are tenured that don't go to the lounge or socialize outside of school. I personally wouldn't want to live in the exact community I taught anyway, they don't mean you when they talk about people, they mean the other people, so I wouldn't let this bother me. You will get used to it, you sound like you might be a little new. Congrads on being one of the select and lucky that have secure work and a classroom, would loved to trade with you.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Your feelings aren't uncommon. Have you tried to actually have relationships with your colleagues, yet you don't fit in? Do you feel excluded? It's common for people who are not from a community to teach in a place they have no ties to, when others do. Just like people who move to rural areas to teach; they are the outsiders and the people within the community have formed very strong bonds with one another. Look at it like this: if one of your colleagues were to teach in one of the schools in your area, they would similarly be alienated. And, I'm sure no one would want to hear them whining about how they don't fit in and how their co-workers are prejudiced.
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This site is The VENT
Old 05-17-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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Hang together, people. Let's play nice. That's what this place is for...venting. Withheld, that was just mean.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:06 PM
 
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I feel like I fit in very well with most teachers, but I definitely felt like an outsider when I taught at a wealthy religious private school years ago. At this school it was very uncool to be seen eating any real food. You had to eat "bars" only. I refused and the ladies constantly scrutinized my weight (about 120 # at the time). On top of that, I was not a part of the religion that the school was based on, so I was the only one never invited to parties. I was undermined a lot by the other teachers who would tell the students openly that Iw as a different religion and "didn't know" any of their traditions. Forget the fact that I probably knew just as much as the other teachers did! Once I planned a field trip to a farm to watch the harvest and I was accused of trying to indoctrinate the kids into celebrating Halloween. I left gracefully, but still feel a lot of negative emotion when I remember the place.


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I don't quite fit in...
Old 05-17-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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at my school...and I've just come to accept that. (Mostly to do with "my age" and that I'm continuing my education at "my age"...and that parents don't seem to have a problem with a teacher "my age"...and that I'm conservative for "my age"...etc.)

I just remain professional and do what I love...teach.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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fellow teachers sound like a bunch of a--es. Any teacher who would make negative comments about anyone based on race is an idiot. I would try to get out of there as soon as I could.
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I am conflicted
Old 05-17-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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on the one hand I feel sorry for you because you feel left out. That hurts. As a African American, I have frequently been the one and only in a monochromatic environment. So you are only enduring what "minorities" experience all too often.

On the other hand, I find your comment "I choose not to live in an area thats not in poverty" disturbing. Who CHOOSES poverty?

What a blessing that you have a choice that so many can not afford. It may be that affect, that causes you to feel as an outsider.

Hope both your situation as well as your attitude towards the community where you teach improve.

You and your colleagues have more common ground than either of you know. What stands between discovering it is a barrier that can easily be torn down over time, with patience and effort on both parties' parts.

Last edited by ovrjoyd4u2; 05-17-2011 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:33 AM
 
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Quote:
You and your colleagues have more common ground than either of you know. What stands between discovering it is a barrier that can easily be torn down over time, with patience and effort on both parties' parts.
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We have one African American teacher in our all white building. I am sure that she experiences some of the same.

You may not win over all of your colleagues, but just keep working on building on friendships. Do you have a grade level partner? Share, be helpful, be friendly Try to get involved in a group project. I hope everything works out for you!
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Other teachers are different races (black, hispanic, asian), and I am the ONLY white teacher. I am subjected to hearing their negative comments about whites all the time. You'd think race and where a person lives wouldn't matter, but in my school it sure does.
Try being the only "different" teacher in another country.

I feel you pain and I rarely associate with co-workers. I keep to myself and business is business. I have a racist co-worker in my new school who says absurd things about gaijin like me. I just ignore her ignorance


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Old 05-18-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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I don't feel left out in my current school but I am moving to a new school next year and I have a feeling I will feel left out. Most of the teachers at my new school are very young, I am young too but I have never been "young". I am sorry that you feel like an outcast at the work place. Maybe you could find 1 person that you really can click with and then that person can be your go to colleague. It would lessen the blow of being a loner with everyone else a little hopefully.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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So giving another perspective is mean...? Gotcha. Besides, why vent publicly if you don't want to hear other opinions??
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