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Home : 2004 : Aug : 17

    friends at work, being new
    By been there, pros and cons

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    I just had to respond. Last year, from March through June, I spent 16 weeks as a longterm sub in a 4th grade in my hometown. It just so happened that my best friend from highschool ended up taking over for the other 4th grade teacher having a baby at about the same time. I was there for 16 weeks, she started about 6 weeks later. As odd a coincidence as that was for us to both be at the same school and be grade partners, it ended up being great and hard at the same time. I LOVED having someone to vent to outside of work who knew the kids and really 'got' it I mean she knew the teachers, the way the school was, everything. It was nice as grade partners knowing we would do the classtrip together with the other 3rd grade teacher, etc. As a quiet person, having her there also helped us to get to know the rest of the staff- in the lunchroom I wouldnt go up to a table of teachers and start talking about what so and so did today or how my morning was, or what I did with my boyfriend over the weekend, but talking with her about it, in front of them, caused them to get to know us both on a different level a lot faster. We were the talk of the school and some probably found us to be joined at the hip, our principal called us double trouble or would tease saying where was the other one if one of us was alone, but at the same time we talked to other people, we were approachable, and I tried to keep a distance since I was trying to get a job and she was certified for a different grade level. However, it was also probably a problem in that I would get there an hour early and still get little work done because as soon as she came in, we would get to talking about work, home, boyfriends, etc to the point where I felt unprepared unless I stayed later, brought even more stuff home, or arrived even earlier. Also, since she was a bit too chatty/gossipy at times, I had to worry that if I said something to my 'best friend' about the principal, that she as my 'coworker' would mention it to someone else, out of context, while I was trying to get a job. It was good and awkward at the same time. As I approach my teaching job for the new school year at a new elementary school in the same town, I crave that closeness and comfort to be able to just walk into another teacher's room while they are teaching to ask something if necessary without feeling like a jerk, to be able to collaborate freely, to be able to just walk in and vent if you need to vent. I dont know that I'll be able to find that. I will try to though. It's a tough balance, you don't want to come off as clique-y but at the same time, everybody needs someone to turn to who understands and they can say anything to.

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