Teacher's Lounge

Since taking the position in 7th grade, I don’t use the teacher’s lounge very much. Most of the time, I eat in my classroom so that I can keep working. Yes, that caused me the freak out earlier this year, but lately, I’ve been way better about how late I stay and the workload I take home.

When I was doing cohort training the summer before my first year and in my university classes, we were always told not to hang out in the teacher’s lounge. It was described as a breeding ground of negativity—at times, it really is.

Today, after extended day, some of the kids missed the bus. It was partly my fault because I made them stay so the kids with perfect attendance got an extra prize. It was also the fault of the bus driver because after one kid got on, she took off like a bat out of hell. Because I hate to leave kids waiting alone, I hung out until their parents came to get them.

We were in the entrance of the school sitting on the sofas, and one kid said, “Ms. can I look in here? I’ve always been curious.”

“Sure,” I said as I opened the door for him.

He walked in and immediately sat down at one of the three tables and propped his feet up on the table. “What are you doing? We eat on those. Get your feet off!”

Two of the other kids waiting wandered in and took a seat at the other two tables. “Wow! It’s cool in here!”

“You should see when there are no kids, a disco ball pops down out of the ceiling,” I said.

“I’m sure,” he replied. Then he looked around and said, “You guys have a vending machine!”

“How much is the stuff?” asked the first kid.

“Fifty cents! That’s cheap!”

“Whoa, what’s in there?” asked kid number one as he wandered in to the kitchen area. “A coke machine!” He walked out and asked, “Can I buy one?”

I nodded my head yes. It was so funny to see them so amazed by a simple room. I don’t really know if I should have let them in there; however, I don’t see the harm. I remember as kid always wanting to be the kid Mrs. Rutherford chose to fill her cup with ice, so I could see the inside of the teacher’s lounge.


MsAbcMom said...

The lounge certainly has an air of mystery to it, doesn't it? On the first day of school I take my new second graders on a school tour. I walk them through the teacher lounge and they are amazed. I hear a lot of "oohs" and "ahhs!"

I too try to stay away from the lounge because it is an anti-student zone. By that I mean that many comments that I hear are anti student. I especially stay away at the beginning of the year when I get a new batch of kids. I don't want to be contaminated with stories about how students behaved with another teacher.

La Brown Girl said...

That's a great idea. We will be in a new building next year. I think I might do something like that with my kids.

Yeah, that's how it is at our school, too. You can only complain about the same kids so much.

Not Quite Grown Up said...

I don't like the Teacher's lounge, for the reasons you described, but also because I enjoy having 20 minutes to just take a breath in the middle of the day. However, I'm always afraid that I'll be perceived as someone who is not a "team player" or one who doesn't interact well with my coworkers if I don't go to the teacher's lounge. (And I got comments along that line from my CT while student teaching, though I did make an effort to visit the teacher's lounge of often as I could stand it.)

I remember the air of mystery surrounding the teacher's lounge when I was in elementary school - it was a secret room with an air conditioner in it. It was magical.