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Working with New Colleagues

09/01/15

Samantha looks back on last term and how she got along especially alongside her new colleagues.

Firstly there is the phrase ‘don’t smile until Christmas’ which bothers me slightly as I quite like to smile, I like to be happy also and the two tend to go together. This however was my advice, in jest, to let my new boss make the moves in the first term and show her colours. I was to be professional and polite but not give too much away. I have failed at this miserably and decided that it is the wrong way to do things.

Changing jobs and working with new people is a scary thing to do. It is the unknown and as we know that is where our fears like to fester. I was in the same job role, office, classroom and school. I had a few new additions in the shape of a form class and a shiny new contract but that was about all. My new boss and head of the drama department had a new office with me in it as part of the furniture. A new classroom that is in fact slightly falling apart, a new school, new systems and a whole new set of staff to get to know. I felt like she was the new girl at school quite literally and it was my responsibility to take her under my wing. Kindness is hard to come by and I was ready to give plenty of it.

The first week was an interesting one, in which we were both super nice and yet unfamiliar at the same time. Certain habits we all naturally have start to become obvious and reassurance that ‘you are normal’ is needed. The fact we both wanted to go home pretty sharp to ‘work from home’ had to be danced around several times a day before we felt safe with this one. Usually starting proceedings was ‘I’m so tired today.’ Followed with ‘yes me too.’ Developing into justifications that the first weeks back to school are hard and its best to readjust slowly. We needed rest in order to teach as well as all the new work we were putting together. Twenty minutes after the students had left became our acceptable time to leave the school.

The following weeks and all dreams of leaving early had been shattered. WARNING do not teach drama if you wish to be in bed before midnight! We had evenings of rehearsals, meetings with music and textiles teachers, more rehearsals, ordering costumes and typing up letters. All on top of our normal lessons and all for out of school activities so the students can perform in competitions, assembly’s or audition for performance schools. The list is endless and being creative we get carried away planning shows and inevitably run out of time to fit it all in.

Now it is the week after half term and we have settled into a lovely pattern of making tea for each other on our free lessons. Sharing food when we have forgotten our lunch and supporting each other within our roles. A favourite of mine is ‘let’s pin this on the board’ when we have a new piece of school information. Our office will soon look like the inside of the schools admin filing cabinets!

Between the two of us in our two man band department we are muddling through. She is learning how the school ticks by and I’m learning that I really enjoy her lesson plans and random accents practiced in the office during break times. I am smiling and laughing and loving the creative bubble we have created for ourselves. I will hopefully still be smiling in January.

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” -William Arthur Ward

We look forward to hearing from Samantha and that she is still smiling now. How do you find working with colleagues? If you would like to share your thoughts in a  blog email Megan (mparsons@protocol-education.com). 

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