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    My Two Cents
    By G.M.

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    Hi Lost:

    I'm in my forties; therefore, I can't fit into "your" shoes, so to speak. But I think I can
    remember what it was like to be 20 years younger; so I can at least offer you a does of empathy.

    First, let me comment about how happy I am for you that you love your kids! That fact alone should get you through the year. You also say you love the school too. I am not sure what you mean by "school" - the building itself? its layout? - Oh, it really doesn't matter, I am just yanking your chain a little (ha ha). It's obvious that you don't love the staff (the teachers). And that's where you need help.

    Looking back to when I was in my twenties and even thirties, I remember feeling uneasy with older women (40s years old and up). I think this is very typical because it's natural to gravitate
    towards those around our age bracket.
    So when we see others who are around our age, we usually put a lot of effort into nurturing relationships with them. But you've been placed in a situation where you are surrounded by much older persons. Therefore, you have to make the best of it and fight the natural tendency to pull away from those who are a lot older than you.

    One suggestion I have for you is don't shut yurself off in your room; spend at least a few days a week in the lounge eating lunch with them. You don't even have to spend the entire lunch hour with them, just go for half the time at first. When the teachers begin to whine and complain about their troubles as a teacher, tactfully point
    out to them the good. (The cup that is half empty is ALWAYS half full.) Remind them of this. Perhaps they have just programed their minds to see what's missing.

    You can self-appoint yourself as the school's Good Finder. I wouldn't come on to strong at first, however.

    Take advantage of being surrounded by veterans.
    Beg,borrow,& steel their ideas. Share your ideas with them. Do them little favors, for example run copies for them of your favoite activities. Perhaps they will see you as ateam player and warm up to you. Your generosity might become contagious!

    Overall, what I think I am trying to say is make the most of your situation by being friendly, helpful, and open to learning. You might feel it's best to move to another school where younger teachers are, and that's VERY okay!

    When you get to be my age (forty-something years YOUNG) you will probably feel comfortable with people outside of your age group. As you gain more life experience, you will become highly
    conscious of the fact that no matter what age a person is, he or she wants to be accepted and appreciated. Keeping this in mind, always helps me relate to others, regardless their ages.

    I sure hope some of the younger teachers respond to your post and give you their input.

    My heart goes out to you. No matter what though, you will grow from this experience.

    P.S. I probably sound like your mother. Oh well, once a mother, ALWAYS a mother.

    Sincerely, G.M.

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