Way back in October 2014 I wrote a brief blog entry about my first few months as a teacher. I have now been a teacher for nearly 2 years and although the teaching part of the job is going really well the social isolation hasn't improved that much.
The staffroom remains dominated by a small group of middle-aged female snobs. If your clothes, car, address or subject specialism are not to their liking then you are a nobody. What I don’t get is why this adolescent sort of behaviour has to translate into professional ladies teaching in a school. I have no problem issue with women bonding with each other over common interests or experiences and there is much solace and comfort to be gained from sharing. But does this have to come at the expense of the feelings of those that are not part of the sharing? Why does clique membership have to be based on such trivial issue as where a person lives?
There are very few teachers in the school who are in their 20s. The one who was closest to me in age was the one and only psychology teacher. I though we would have things in common so I made many overtures of friendship towards her. When we were on our own she was nice enough but as soon as one of the ruling clique came into the staffroom she would get up, even in the middle of a conversation with me, to sit with them. There is a limit to the number of times that this can happen before even I got the message!
She has left the school now - she left in December. I wasn't invited to her leaving event for the simple reason that she didn't have one. I asked her about this on her final day while she was emptying her pigeon hole for the last time. None of the clique had bothered to sort anything out and she lacked the confidence to organise it herself in case nobody turned up and she was left feeling totally humiliated.
The Head Teacher is the nearest thing I have to a proper friend on the staff - she is a Miss and what I would call a "repressed fellow traveller". Trust me, I can tell. I have a number of colleagues within the Maths and Science Dept who I regard as casual friends but that is the sum total of 2 years hard work on my part which is a fairly sad situation!