New Job, Old Colleagues
...When I say old here, I really just mean that I’ve worked with them before; it has nothing to do with anyone’s actual age.
It’s a strange thing to turn up at a new workplace and find yourself face-to-face with three people you’ve already worked with and a fourth that you’ve met before in a social setting. I felt a bit like the herd had found a new stomping ground. I was strangely proud of us for moving on.
Actually, the school we worked at before was a bloody miserable excuse for a workplace so pride that we’d moved on is understandable. We had been ritually humiliated on a fairly regular basis at that place, a common experience, sadly, among teachers these days.
And I know it isn’t just teachers. Many of you will have to put up with a boss whose attitude and behaviour are just a little too close to Ricky Gervais’ "David Brent". Oh, the agony. And it’s always a choice of putting up with it or just walking away (I always walk away, actually I skip, usually with my earphones in playing something like "Don’t go back to Rockville" by REM (if you don’t know that song, it’s worth finding it on the internet).
So, there we all were. The others have been there for a while and two of them at least seem to have really bonded. I got a hug from each of them which I have to say is officially the best welcome to a new job I’ve ever had. First day hugs are not usually on the menu.
As a teacher, you usually just get a timetable thrust into your hand and a garbled apology about how someone will explain everything, including the behaviour policy later because right now they just don’t have the time.
My new Head of Department thanked me several times throughout my first day for agreeing to join his team. That was lovely too. Hugs and thank yous on day one! Perhaps they’re just trying to butter me up?? I’m totally buying it though; I’m a sucker for a friendly welcome and a compliment. They seem all too rare these days (sigh).
Anyway, day one went well. I met some great students (yes - they do exist), and made some new friends in the form of the colleagues I hadn’t previously met. Although, having said that, one of them does keep looking right past me and talking just to everyone else in the room. It’s like I’m permanently in her blind spot. I’m hopeful that she’s just one of those people that finds change difficult and that she’ll warm to me over time. We shall see.
The other good news is that I’ve already mastered the most important technology in any school: I can work the microwave, the photocopier and the "quick boiler" which we must not refer to as a kettle because it’s much faster and much fancier than a kettle (it’s basically a kettle).
Thanks for reading,