Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tales from New Teachers

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Tales from New Teachers

Article excerpt

shying away from colleagues

The problem

When I said I wanted to be a teacher, many of my friends were surprised. I'm not what you would call an extrovert - in fact, I'm pretty shy. But in the classroom, this trait does not seem to manifest itself. I don't get nervous and I feel confident. I'm in control.

I wish the same could be said for the staffroom. Right from the start, I found it an intimidating place. I clammed up, becoming largely monosyllabic when spoken to, and my face was constantly red. People soon decided it was safer to leave me to it and I avoided going into the staffroom as much as possible.

Obviously, this was not ideal. I missed out on the social interactions that are crucial to managing stress and integral to a happy workplace. It also did my self-esteem no good at all, because I was so annoyed with myself.

The options

My family know my issues well; they said I should keep going into the staffroom and battle through it. Eventually, they advised, I would get used to the environment and forget to be embarrassed or shy. I tried this tactic for a while but it was just too mortifying.

Fortunately, my mentor noticed the problem and presented me with a plan. …

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