#52 Teachers Room Etiquette

Photo courtesy of diydelray.com
Photo courtesy of diydelray.com

You are counting down the minutes until you can bring down the kids for lunch so you can have, maybe if you’re lucky, 20 minutes of time to stuff your face. Normally this “lunch break” and the time that your students are at specials is the only time you get to yourself from 7:30am until 4:30pm, again if you’re lucky! With this being said, the teachers room can either aid your 20 minutes of relaxation or make you want to choke someone out. Let’s review two scenarios that occur in the lunchroom and evaluate how a teacher’s etiquette should be when entering the golden archway.

Scenario A: The teacher, stomach grumbling and feet on fire walks into the teachers’ room, flinging back the door to find a long conference style table. Her team teachers are already inside sitting down quietly, unpacking their lunch bags (which do not consist of any foul-smelling items), heating up their food in the microwave in order in which they arrived, and covering that food when heating it up with a paper towel, avoiding any spills or spatters. Each teacher has only one chair and one chair only, not one for them and one for their oversized purse that really needs to be cleaned out. The teacher sits down in her usual daily seat, as do the rest of the teachers, but if there’s a guest they is no fuss and they simply pull up another chair. While the teacher eats, she gets on her phone and checks her personal email (not her school email) and other social media she entertains herself with in silence. Some other teachers skim through magazines and will quietly show the others interested in an article or a trendy and outfit that a celebrity was wearing on the red carpet. No one is interrupting anyone’s light and airy conversations and if someone is not feeling good, well then everyone else is quiet. After a few stretches and final texts to the hubby, the teacher packs up her lunch bag, takes ALL of her trash and throws it away in the garbage, then lastly double checks she has all her items and that the table top is clean in her area, as it was before she came in. The teacher carefully planned her time as she left three minutes to quickly freshen up in the restroom and still be on time to pick up her kids from the lunchroom so that the lunch staff do not want to kill her. Now the teacher counts down the hours and minutes until the end of the day bell rings.

Ok, so now let’s look at another scenario…

Scenario B: The teacher, stomach grumbling and feet on fire walks into the teachers’ room, flinging back the door…oh wait, she can’t because there’s someone standing in the doorway talking to someone else and now has to wait. So after another minute lost, the teacher enters the teacher’s room and sees the long conference style table. There’s a guest in her chair so she calmly walks over and sits down at another chair, but long behold in comes the teacher who normally sits in that chair with a look in her eyes that could cut you like glass. Oh boy, time to move seats! The teacher gets up quickly, finds another chair and brings it to the table. Now, while settling into her new seat, that eye cutter cuts her again, but this time in line for the microwave, while holding her leftover Indian takeout food. Time for the air masks, headaches and stomach turns! By the time she can finally use the microwave, she opens it and inside finds what looks like a crime scene, so dirty and disgusting that she decides to just eat her Panini sandwich cold. Now with ten minutes left before she has to pick up the kids, she begins stuffing her face, but no this isn’t any quiet and relaxing face stuffing, it’s a chaotic hell hole much like the school cafeteria. Most of the other teachers are off on a bitch fit. While two teachers are across the table in fury about a parent who told the principal their child is too privileged to sweep floors or that a little brat is ruining their lives, another teacher is screaming to her ex-boyfriend on the phone behind her pacing back and forth, fighting about who will keep their cat, named Mr. Boots. Now since she literally had minutes to stuff down her food, she is the last one to leave the table, which also means she’s on garbage duty. Add on another hat to the multitude of hats you wear each day! So after cleaning up after everyone else who pretended that wrapper or spill wasn’t their’s, she runs to the cafeteria before the lunch lady too can cut her for a second time in the same hour, and not having time to use the restroom which she will now hold until the end of the day.

So listen, this may sound a tad bit exaggerated but think about it, which scenario would you rather be in? It’s a team effort, check yourself, and make it a great day!

-M. Healey- Guest Writer