Let’s begin on a positive note. Most teachers are wonderful, caring and openly friendly people. Let’s thank the heavens that this is the case. I know in my own particular situation that if I ever mentor a student teacher I will treat them with respect, with or without any “faults” they may have.
As a student teacher I would have to admit that one of the most difficult parts of my practicum experiences was the staffroom interaction. I am not alone in this opinion either. Many student teachers I have spoken to have voiced the same feeling of anxiety and “fear” of the staffroom scenario.
The obvious question of course, is WHY?
I believe it is a combination of factors.
1. Many student teachers feel very insecure and the staffroom represents a place where insecurity will openly be displayed.
2. Some teachers see it as the natural progression of things to be “hard” on student teachers. (They were dealt with harshly and so they carry on the tradition and so on).
3. A great many people in life, teachers included, believe they are superior to others. (Sorry but it has to be stated!)
4. I believe that many teachers would tell you they love teaching children but interaction with other teachers is not one of their favourite activities.
5. The list is endless.
Like any other student teacher/teacher, I have had some great conversations in the staffroom and I have almost been reduced to tears at other times. I would even go so far to say that on one occasion I was ready to throw in my teaching career because of a unfounded attack on my abilities and skills, from a teacher who (I later discovered) boasted of their ability to reduce any student teacher to tears at any time.
This person even had the audacity to later admit to me that they thought I had coped well with their attempt to totally deflate me. It was all done in my own interests I was told and that if I had not coped then, in their opinion I NEVER would.
I could not at the time, and still do not even now, understand how anyone, let alone a person who is responsible for children every day, could be so callous and cold.
BUT, I would rather not focus on the negativity that may be found within a staffroom.
So what is this page for? In a word it is for my ramblings and for anyone else to contribute their little piece of humour, advice, or indeed, anything at all!
In other words it is a page for everyone from anyone.
I will begin by contributing a selection of my own things. I have a few photos of my family that I might share, and even one or two pieces of verse that I have written in times past. Do not look for order and method on this page – it will not show itself!
Is it educational? Not really. Is it necessary? No. Is it worth the effort? Probably not. But despite all that, it is here anyway.
After writing and submitting over 100 pages of text to this project over the past 12 months and writing enormous amounts of academic jargon, I have decided it is time I shared some of “me” and so what follows is a glimpse of who I am.
If I upset anyone in the process or simply bore anyone to tears, then there is always the BACK button to save you from your doom…
Please feel free to let me know if you have any contributions to make. The staffroom is for ALL teachers…and is NOT restricted to my use only!
Here are a few excuses from parents for student absenteeism (Some sound a bit dubious to me but they are funny) – [source – somewhere on the Net]
# Please excuse John for being absent January 28,29,30,31,32,33.
# Chris has acre in his side.
# Mary could not go to school because she was bothered by very close veins.
# Tom has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.
# John was absent yesterday because he had a stomach.
# Please excuse Gloria. She has been sick and under the doctor.
# My son is under the doctor’s care and should not take P.E. Please execute him.
# Lillie has been absent from school yesterday because she had a gang over.
# Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.
# Please excuse Joey Friday. He had loose vowls.
# Please excuse Jane from jim today. She is administrating.
# Craig was hit yesterday playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.
# Ralph was sent home yesterday beacuse of a sour trout.
# Please excuse Wayne for being out yesterday. He had the fuel.
# Please excuse Sarah for being absent. She was sick so I had her shot.
# Theo was absent this morning because he missed his bust.
Here are a few thoughts to ponder:
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm
Support bacteria – they are the only culture some people have
I intend to live forever – so far so good
I am not cheap – but I am on special this week!
I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met
Everyone has a photographic memory, some just do not have film
What is the speed of dark?
How do you know when you run out of invisible ink?
Boycott shampoo – demand REAL poo
Join the army, meet interesting people, kill them
Shin: a device for finding furniture and tow bars
Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Be alert – the world needs more lerts!
Hints on Pronunciation for Foreigners
I take it you already know
Of tough, and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
Tha looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead; it’s said like bed not bead,
For goodness sake don’t call it ‘deed’!
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt!
And moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose,
Just look them up – and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and word,
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go and thwart and cart,
Come, come I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language man alive,
I’d mastered by the age of five!
Previous comments from Teacher Education v1.3
Submitted by: Helen Chatto
Location: Northern Territory, Australia
Great page, The staffroom is a strange place in any school. When I trained twenty years ago many schools put students in separate staff rooms – maybe for the best.
In any staffroom you have the enthusiastic, jaded, boring, frustrated. I guess it is important to remember that every teacher in the room probably has a million things going through their minds – the last leson, the next lesson, what will they do to help this or that kid? the program that is due, the weight they want to lose, the fight with their teenage daughter.
I find that to smile, take a breath and chat to people and get involved in any social activities the school organises for staff will help any new teacher to get over staff room blues.
Remember teaching is a job worth doing and to work together with colleagues is the best way to do it. Good luck to all new teachers for long and productive careers.
Submitted by: Kelly
Location: Dubbo, NSW, Australia
This site was great. It gave me a good laugh and all teachers need to be able to laugh at the end of the day 🙂
Submitted by: Patricia
tion: Northland, New Zealand
Reading your comments brought a smile to my face. During my last practicum at an Intermediate school the staff were really friendly, in fact the ‘staffroom climate’ was very warm and friendly. This could perhaps have been due to the small size where everyone had to bunch up, and everyone felt included.
On the other hand, the staffroom at the school where I carry out most of my weekly assignments is very ‘clicky’ – this could also be due to the large size and staff choosing to sit with certain colleagues.
Well what ever, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, but as Helen pointed out smile, chat, show ourselves friendly 🙂
Submitted by: Lynn MacMillan
Location: Langley, Canada
I’m glad to see the comments towards student teachers are becoming more positive; however, the negative behavior described in the last few posted comments illustrate high schools situations here in Surrey, Canada also.
As a school associate for several students in several schools over the past few years, I’ve noticed that each school staff has their own silently agreed upon method of “breaking in” student teachers. One school, as an example, would make them do something ridiculous at a staff meeting as an initiation activity. After that though they were supported and treated respectively by staff teachers. I found in general that teachers often treat their student teachers according to how they were treated by their administrators and past teacher associates. In general, I agree that teachers need not treat each other at such a “base level”. As the old saying goes, “A staff that plays together works together”. The student teacher need not feel isolated as they experience those often “frightening” first classes. Similarly, this supportive attitude needs to be practiced towards all our colleagues. Currently, collaboration between educators is especially essential as “the presenting business environment growing in education” continues to shake our traditional methods of education pedagogy. As members of a profession, we are highly stressed by current trends like new technology integration in education, the changing student population, severe budgeting, higher public expectations, new distance education pedagogy (or lack of it) and more paperwork. We can be happier, more productive and better teachers and facilitator if we support and are supported by our colleagues. It is my firm belief that educators are making a monumental mistake when they allow business world attitudes that support competition, to dictate their behavior.
By “back stabbing” and practicing teacher “upmanship”, these teachers isolate themselves and others. The education world must be a place for learning and developing learning relationships between people, not a place that emphasizing “information” transport and business “competition” attitudes.
These student teacher postings have pointed to me out that some student teachers are confidently and consistently defending against such negative behavior. I believe we need teachers like this in our profession; fortunately, most teachers like myself, welcome their creative ideas, abounding energy and optimism.
Enver Creek Secondary School Submitted by: Jean
Location: New York
I reviewed your site for a paper in my graduate studies. My personal unprofessional opinion is that it is great and I look forward to using this site when I begin teaching. As a parent I was disturbed by the “excuses from parents for student absenteeism”. I think we need to have respect for parents not make fun of them.
Site Administrator comment: We certainly respect parents too Jean (most of the Teacher Education team are parents), but we can laugh at ourselves sometimes as well.
Submitted by: Katarina
Location: Perth WA
This so good, really really helpful site, it saved me hours and hours. Well done you must be a good sharing person.
I have been teaching for 3 years, and have very vivid memories of attempting to disappear into thin air in all of the staffrooms I had the displeasure of having to spend time whilst on practicum. Perhaps there are still too many teachers out there who find that making a student teacher feel uncomfortable and out of place makes their day that much brighter? I’m not sure. It’s one of those things that I have remembered since graduating and gaining legitimate access to a staffroom. Whenever we have student teachers (and we have them fairly regularly) I always make a point of having a chat to them about their experiences both in and out of the classroom. I love catching up on uni ‘goss’ and hearing about how things have changed in the short time since I was studying at ACU. I know that the student teachers we’ve had through my school lately have appreciated it, and I hope that they will remember that when they get out there into the real world!
And in closing, I have to share this one story… we have had the pleasure (please note the sarcasm) of hosting 10 first year uni students for observation rounds one day a week for the past two terms. These young, fresh-faced teenagers (yes, most of them are only just 18) come in on Mondays, swarm into the staffroom, take all the decent seats, eat all the chocolate bikkies, and the staff members all sit around the edges feeling like we don’t belong and wish we could disappear into thin air… Gotta love it!
Stacey Said: December 12th, 2006 at 5:53 pm
I am currently in my final year studying Primary teaching in Edinburgh. I have two pieces of advise for people going into new staffrooms: 1 always take your own cup 2 arrive last on your first lunch break so you can see where people are sitting. The worst thing you could possibly do is use the mug or take the seat of ‘Maud’ who has had the same mug and sat in the same seat for the last 20 years!!! It is a sure fire way to not make new friends.
James Said: December 12th, 2006 at 7:39 pm