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Cliques among teachers
Old 12-22-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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My school is so clicky (sp?). I try to stay to myself to avoid all the gossip and negative talking, but today I felt totally left out and isolated in the teachers' room at lunch. Others have told me that they won't step foot in the teachers' room due to these "groups." I want to be able to go to lunch and have a pleasant time.

Also, the principal has spoken to the staff numerous times about improving school culture, yet offers no solutions.

Does anyone else have this situation? If so, how do you deal with it?


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Old 12-22-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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You can't control other people's cliques; all you can do is form your own.
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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Sorry but I eat in my room. I am new to the school, and while everyone is welcoming I try to stay out of gossip. Usually the people in the lunchroom are whiners [at least in my old school] and who wants to be with a group that have nothing better to talk about than others. I left HS and the mean girls.
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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I'm in the same position. With a staff of only 13 teachers, 7 are social friends. The younger ones I might add. In the staff room there are always whispered comments and plans being made for weekend events. Baby showers, parties, engagement parties, etc. Yesterday, a co-worker and I had one teacher's back in this clique turned towards us so we could not be included in the conversation. Alone, they are perfectly nice, well, mostly, but as a group they are very exclusive. What bugs me is that any social function for the school that happens becomes about them and their invited spouses. My husband won't come to social things as he feels it is my time to be with colleagues informally, just as I would not imagine joining him and his employees on their few social gatherings.

I sometimes eat in my room with my kids and sometimes I go to the staff room. I just try not to let the clique bug me, because I know who I am and wouldn't want to be friends with those people outside of school. We have nothing in common. I can be friendly, just not friends. I eat, I leave. BTW I have outside relationships with several of the other 6 teachers. None of the clique knows this because it is none of their business.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Don't forget the nature of a clique.

A clique is an exclusive group of people who share common interests, views, purposes, patterns of behavior, or ethnicity.


When you have any group of people, especially ones who are together a lot, it is only natural that certain people will have a more personal connection than others.

I have worked at my school for 19 years. I can, and will, work professionally with anyone that I am assigned to work with because it is my job to do so. On the other side of the coin, when I have the choice, I will hang around with the people with whom I share common interests. My "clique" contains men and women between the ages of 23-45.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't "mean girls" (or men) within those groups. However, in general, the "uncomfortable" feeling that someone has with a member of another clique is their personal issue. They feel uncomfortable with the others because they do not share the commonalities that brought the other group together.

The people who can separate the professional times from the social times are going to be a lot more happy in their school. The lounge is more social than professional, so you are going to see a different dynamic in there. My school doesn't even have a lounge, but we have cliques . . . and we do not socialize with each other. We do, however, work with each other just fine because that's what professionals do. Yes, we do have a few people who don't seem to have made it past their middle/high school mentality. We know that they are like that, so we just ignore it. (For the record, they are OLDER, not the younger ones.)


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Old 12-23-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Absolutely agree, Ima. Nice post.

Even in my "clique" there are times one of us is uncomfortable with the conversation. We speak up in some manner, either to change the subject or tactfully say what we are thinking. Conversation ensues. We don't always agree, but we try and respect each other.

I think it is interesting to watch when we sit down in our lounge. Definitely two different groups of people. There are some that switch from group to group, but for the most part we have "seating assignments." Nothing against the other group, but we do have more in common in the groups we sit with. Once in a while a major part of one group is missing for some reason, and the other group includes the remainder in conversation - although we usually still sit at separate tables!
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:32 AM
 
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The problems with a clique is when they shun others. No one cares if it is just a group of people who hangs out together. It gets uncomfortable when they are exclusionary of others, or just plain mean to others.
I've been in many cliques over the years, and I am usually the person to bring others in and make them welcome. Not many others seem to bother or care to do so.

Last edited by Who me?; 12-23-2011 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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There are cliques in my school but I pay them no mind. I know who I trust and those are the ones I talk privately with. I just keep on moving most of the day and most of lunch. I pop in to eat for 5 minutes as that is all it takes and back to work.

There is one talent I have that comes in handy- being hearing impaired I am a very good lip reader. People say the dumbest things or things they should not when they think I can't hear.
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:56 AM
 
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The lounge should be a place where everyone can take a break, but it has become decidely not so in recent years. We all used to eat together 20+ years ago and now almost no one eats together. Most work through their lunches as they really just want to text or talk on their cell phones. I think how we communicate and socialize through technology has a lot to do with it. No wonder we are so fragmented as teachers.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Connieg's post is right on. We had a group gathered around table in lounge. We were eating and chit-chatting. I don't know what made me notice, but out of 14 or so people in the lounge only 2 did not have their phones out. ALL of the others were eating, chit-chatting, but still focused on their phones.

I have started to pay attention to small groups gathered. And everyone is on their phone while participating somewhat in the group conversation.

Off topic...but, just a change in the world. I do not have a Smartphone, so I am not going to be on my phone when I am socializing with you.


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Old 12-26-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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I do so dislike clicks, maybe because I feel more comfortable in a one-on-one situation than in a large crowd. I think I'm also the wrong age (older than most), or wrong race. I used to work at one school where this one girl (married, 48 yo) used to flirt with the Head of the Lower School (also married w/ teenager daughters). It was pretty sleezy.
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cliques
Old 12-27-2011, 03:35 AM
 
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BTW-

The teacher's lounge gets such a bad rap. At least the lounge is open to everyone and people do vent. Some of the others just go into individual classrooms for their cliques for lunch and no one outside the clique is invited. I think everyone in the building gossips to some degree.
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I agree
Old 12-27-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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Those that go to individual classrooms are certainly more dangerous, especially if one of the teachers is set on being disagreeable with everything. Others become her mouthpiece, not realizing how they are making themselves unhappy, as well.

We have a teacher who is a master at influencing others and bringing them around to her way of negative thinking.
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What would you have done?
Old 12-27-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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Some have posted about the cliques in the teachers' room. I, too, pop in for 5-10 minutes at lunch just so that I don't look snobbish; this way, when I leave, they can talk about me if they wish and leave someone else alone!!!

Recently, I was so stunned (and HURT) b the comments of this group, I couldn't even speak! They were talking about a former student of mine and who is now in 4th grade; the comments were, "Did you see what she was wearing? She's so skinny! I don't think she ever washes her hair! I can't believe she's so-and-so's sister!"

MEAN GIRLS is all I could think!! These MIGHYT be comments you'd make to a trusted colleague, but to announce that in the teachers' room?!!! Some of these teachers have children of their own...would they appreciate having a teacher bash their child's looks/behavior?

What would you have done or how would you respond to this?
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Teachers' Lunch Room
Old 12-27-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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I did tell one of the 2 clicks in the teachers' room that I felt isolated that no one talked to me while I was eating lunch, and it was upsetting to be left out. A teacher and the school nurse admitted that they never thought about it. I'm betting that these 4th grade teachers have no idea how hurtful their comments are. I'm also thinking that these clicks and their comments make so many people uncomfortable, and everyone is afraid to speak up.

Overall, I am glad that I spoke up even though it was so uncomfortable, but I doubt it will change anything. Next time it comes up, you could tell them how upset you are. I've tried this tact before, and the person gets very upset with me. It is definitely a very difficult situation.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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My old schools definitely had cliques. It was like being in 7 th grade all over again!
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:57 PM
 
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That is only part of the definition of the word clique. The last part of the meaning is, ...do not readily allow others to join them.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:48 AM
 
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I totally understand what you are talking about! I work at a school that always had a great reputation of having a good school culture. In fact everyone- the ENTIRE faculty- would all go out together for dinner, the movies, etc. In the last few years, though, it has drastically changed. A few key people who helped keep up this atmosphere retired and new people came in.

The other day one of the teachers asked me if I wanted to eat lunch with her. I thought other people would come in with us, but it was just her and me and two other ladies. First, one of the ladies said that another teacher was probably mad at her because he didn't get invited to have lunch with us. Then the ladies spent the entire time bashing - and I mean BASHING- the other teachers. I stood up for the people who were being bashed, and I went home very emotional about it. Now some of this emotion could be because of menopause, but I think it mainly is because I miss our sweet little school where everyone just did their jobs and appreciated each other.
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