Whilst I love the job I do as a Teaching Assistant, the students and the variety of things I do and the things I am learning, I don't enjoy the staff room and am also feeling undervalued on minimum wage, something I'm going to raise in a meeting later this week.
I opted not to return to teaching as I've always felt far too much is expected in terms of classroom prep, planning, meetings, markings etc within the working week and whilst school holidays are long, most of the work, such as marking and prep has to be done during term times.
Last week a new member of staff was invited to join the WhatsApp group 'oooh says I, I'm not in that' and it was met with silence, I then added 'well I've been here since March and don't feel I've missed out on anything' A few days later, in front of me, they were discussing a potential evening out in October. Everyone in work is nice, but a lot of them just aren't my type of people anyway, but excluding someone in the work place, particularly in education is unacceptable and verges on bullying IMO.
When I started the job I locked down my Facebook account, but still blog freely. I'm not bothered if anyone at work finds this as I'm not writing anything negative about anyone, just writing about how I feel as a result of their behaviour.
There is a group of staff who have allocated themselves seats in the staff room and in their absence their seats are left empty. I made a mistake of not realising one woman was in and went to sit in the seat, at the same time she walked past and dumped her bag, without a word, so I just walked off and sat in the base with the students to drink my tea.
If I say anything I'm sure I'll just be told I'm over reacting, that there is no need to feel left out, it was an oversight and we'll add you to the whatsapp group now, but if I'm honest, I don't really want to go with the majority of them, I'm sure if they were neighbours or we were in the school playground I'd probably only pass a polite good morning anyway.
I don't know if it's because it's a group of women or because they started working there around the same time and as an individual new comer it feels like it's my responsibility to set up my own seating group with a few other staggered newcomers. I don't know if I'm a threat or they just don't realise what they're doing and the impact it has had on me? I suspect they are aware, I hope they're feeling embarrassed, but I for one will be finding my own tribe.
In the meantime it'll be 'table for one'. mug of tea and my book and I'll exclude myself in the hope they might just feel less embarrassed and not do the same to anyone else. In total it's only 30 minutes of my day, so not really a big deal, but it does hurt.