Day 38 AIM: How can I make friends with the people in my department?

Do Now: Make friends. Fast. Even superficial friends—the kind you make at a workplace, for example—are still friends on the surface. But you’re the new teacher, the neophyte, the fresh meat on the table. Well, don’t fret. They’re teachers, just like you. Just think of your department as a big fraternity, and you’re the pledge. It’s not that they don’t like you. Far from it; they’re simply waiting for you to “earn your stripes.” What does that mean? Maybe you should offer to fetch coffee in the morning, or “volunteer” to bring some breakfast pastries. Making copies? Bring down some folders to the main office while you’re at it. Is it shallow and unimpressive? Yes, but remember, in the end it doesn’t matter if you’re the most hard working, dedicated, inspired teacher on the planet who can perform miracles in the classroom with just some chalk, a graphic organizer, and several intonations of your voice. This ain’t your daddy’s school system: if you don’t have tenure, you’re just another piece of fresh meat for the day.


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