Work Etiquette

Yeah, 2 posts in one morning. I got a lot on my mind! I am thinking about having to go back to work in 2 weeks. I'm ready to go back, but I'm not ready to deal with the crap that will be school.

Anyway, I was thinking about work etiquette. I don't know if many people know what that is. It should be used many times a day, yet I don't see it often. Some people know what it is, but others are completely clueless. Here is my list of things I see wrong with some people's work behavior. I like to think I don't do these, but I may be guilty on some! They are in no particular order, just how they came to me in my thoughts!

1. Show up when you are supposed to and leave after you are able. We are, by contract, supposed to be at work 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after school. I try to be there about an hour before and leave way later than I should. I shudder when I see teachers getting to school after the bell had rung and leaving when the kids leave. One teacher leaves a minute or 2 before the bell rings. But, they have been allowed to do it.

2. Be on time to meetings. Staff meetings were always scheduled 15 minutes after school. The only teachers who can be late are those with duty. But walking in 10 minutes late? WTH? The other thing - know when there is a meeting! It's posted everywhere!!!! Is it really so hard to plan one day a month for a meeting? I know, we are lucky!!!!

3. Clean up your own damn mess! I already have to pick up after my kids, but I'm not going to pick up after another teacher. At times, our staff lounget is a mess. Crap everywhere. If you spill on the table, wipe it up. If you know something on the floor, pick it up. Throw your trash away. DUH! If you spill something in the microwave? You see where I'm going with this!

4. If you don't want someone to take a paper you copied, then don't leave it lying around. Enough said!

5. If someone says "Good morning" to you, the least you can do it say it back, even if you don't mean it. There is a teacher in my grade level who must be very angry. I know she doesn't talk to another teacher in our grade level (makes for fun collaboration times!) but now she doesn't talk to any of us. One morning, she actually grunted at me. WTH? Well, screw you, too!

6. You don't have to like the person, but don't treat them like the plague. This is 2 fold for me. Our former secretary (thank goodness) did not really care for those of us who came from a new school. We were imposing on her territory. She didn't have a kind word to say about me, though I honestly don't know what I did, other than come to the school. I'm always super polite to the office staff! But, I had to dig deep to say good morning to her and try to make idle chit chat at times. She treated me like shit, but I tried to be nice (she told me one time I couldn't teach. WTH?). So glad she is gone. The other is a teacher in another grade. About 10 years ago, we got into it after a staff meeting at another school. There was lots of yelling and screaming. Not my best moment, but a moment nonetheless. She has been at every school I have been at, which is 3, if you're counting. For 6 years, we were in the same grade level. Then there was some drama, and things were even worse. But, I try to be nice to her and talk to her when she says stuff to me. I don't want to, but I try. Could I try harder? Yes. Will I? Maybe. It also goes along with number 5. Don't grunt at me. I'd rather you tell me to eat shit than grunt at me!

7. Don't walk away when someone is talking. This is for my last principal. So glad he's gone, too! He would just walk away in the middle of a conversation because he was done, even if you weren't.

8. Be on time for duty. If you have duty, it's your responsibility to be out watching the kids. Don't show up late saying you forgot. Again. On Thursday after having duty all week. Now I know it's BS!

9. Be on time to pick up kids after recess. OK, so I don't always follow this one. Sometimes there is a line for the bathroom or I get talking or....But, most of the time I am there like I should be. I will do better this year. I promise!

10. Don't let your kids go thrash the bathroom. I watch my kids when they use the restroom. It's across from my room. They have "one minute" to go and come back. They don't know what one minute really is, but they know they'd better hurry! And, if they leave it a mess, another kid will rat them out and they will be in deep doo!

11. Don't let your kids roam the campus. I hate it when there are kids just wandering because their teacher doesn't care where they are. Mine know better. Or they should. If they don't, they are in deep doo. Just ask 2 of my kids from last year!

12. Teach the kids to walk in a straight as can be with 6 year olds line. Kids can walk in a semi-straight line. You just gotta teach them. And, teach them how to line up. Yelling at the every day about how to walk in a line doesn't teach them how to do it.

13. If kids line up outside your room, have them line up quietly. I don't want to hear them! We have and RSP room and some intervention rooms by my classroom. The kids have to line up outside and they just talk and talk and run and scream. My poor kids can't think! I don't know how many times I went out to tell them to be quiet, just to have to go back out 3 minutes later.

14. Don't take things from other mailboxes. I alwasys keep a stack of copy paper in my box, because it's a long way back to my room. It's there for me, not for you. Id on't take your things, don't take mine!

15. Don't expect others to make you copies. I will gladly make you a master of something I have, but I will not make you a set to use in class. Use your own time and paper!

16. At a meeting, try to be prepared or at least have something to share. This goes with number 5. We meet each week as a grade level. It's horrible. We try to share ideas about what we are doing, since we are all on different things. We are very dysfunctional. 4 of us will bring stuff to share while 1 teacher will sit and not say a damn word. Sorry, but, bitch.

17. When you have to give a test, please follow the rules. It doesn't make you look good when we know you cheated. Enough said.

This is my random list of how not to be a jerk at work! Anything I missed? This probably pertains more to me than others, but I think there are a lot of good things! Anything else you would add!


  1. I agree with a lot on this list: 1-3 definitely. We had a kindergarten teacher this year who arrived as the bell was ringing and I could count on one hand the number of times she stayed until after 3:40 (after dismissal). I always wondered how the hell she ever got anything done. And I HATE when people are late picking their kids up from recess because then I have to stand out there and wait for them. It especially ticks me off in the winter when the 15 minute recess is torture enough because I'm freezing, let alone to be waiting for someone else.

    Sometimes I am thoroughly convinced its harder working with the other adults in the school than with the kiddos with behavior issues.

  2. I am so glad you posted this list because I was just thinking of the same thing! Thank you! We all have a job to do, but etiquette rules still apply. Just knowing that the kids are learning from me--not just in class--but in the way things are handled outside of class, tends to keep me in check.

  3. I have to agree with you on most of these (particularly saying "Hello" to me back, I try DARN hard to be nice and it annoys me when I'm ignored). The only think I will say, is I usually DO leave within 15 minutes of dismissal... Quite simply, after spending the whole day with a gaggle of kindergartners, I'm totally exhausted and worthless. I do arrive at least 1-2 hours before the kids do to get everything done early (I usually leave my house by 6 a.m.). For me, that just works - I do get some looks when I leave early, but I remind those folks that my car was the first one there. :)