Cliques. They’re not just for preteens!

First off, let me state something.

I. . .

HATE. . .

CLIQUES!

No matter where you go or what you do, you’ll always encounter them. It’s sadly inevitable and you know what? That just sucks. It sucks for those left out, those who are friends with those left out, and for those doing to leaving out. As teachers, parents, and general adults we are taught that cliques are bad right? And yet I honestly don’t know who has more cliques than adults! It’s true. Think about it. Think about your life right now. Do you have cliques at your work? What about in your social groups?  Hobbies, sports, other activities you participate in? As a costumer that’s a definite YES on my end.

But what sucks more are those cliques in your everyday life. I’m a teacher and I’m surrounded by cliques, and they’re not all around preteens.  It was going to happen at a school with such varied grades as ours (PreK-8) and steeped in such strong traditions as we have. And unless you have an administration that is VERY diligent in company or employee bonding (retreats, workshops, team building,) it’s just going to grow and grow and grow.

AND IT SUCKS.

I teach upstairs in the upper school. My homeroom is up there as are my classes. My office where I spend the other half of my day though, is downstairs. I work upstairs teaching social studies with upper school educators but during the other periods I am usually helping the lower school teachers directly with technology. My schedule is random and varied. I don’t have regular lunch duty (it changes every week and only 1 day then,) the clubs or after school activities I work with  vary in grades from 1st through 8th and rarely include other teachers or staff. My regular interactions are with specials teachers (art and library,) and support staff who are also situated in my hallway. As a result I get left out. Meetings or discussions, as casual or random as they are, often result in me overhearing it from other sources. Plans get made that I know nothing about and then look the fool. Decisions are made without my input or knowledge leaving me frustrated and angry.

I’m not the only one. Some of our support staff are left out. Sometimes they are included in too much. Sometimes the cliques are obvious and sometimes they are subtle. Sometimes people get forgotten or used, in no fault of anyone specifically, it just happens.

And poor PreK and Kindergarten! They are always forgotten. I worked down there for a year, I know.

AND IT SUCKED.

On all floors teachers and staff complain about poor communication between all the levels and administration. But they don’t actually initiate the communication themselves. They just complain about it. Often they don’t communicate with their own level teachers.

AND IT SUCKS.

There is a disconnect, almost a lack of respect. There is a lack of knowledge on who does what and why. I am pretty sure the upper school teachers don’t know the names of the lower school teachers, and vice versa.

Why do we continue to do this to ourselves as adults? Why do we feel the need to seclude ourselves from others and make our “inner circle” so exclusive? What makes us resort to preteen and teenage actions when that is the very thing we get on them for doing? Do we feel that as adults we should have been able to “figure it out” by now and that any hurt feelings are the result of “not getting over it” or “not being mature?”

And hobbies…. MY LORD! The cliches involved in some of the geek and costuming communities are insane! People pick on other people for having sub-par costumes or props. For not being “real” geeks or being “fake” gamers. We as a geek culture share a love for something so specific and so selective that we should be friends, or at the very least, accepting of others with the same likes. So then why do some of us talk down to others in our geek community? Why do we address others as idiots or fakes when they just want to be loved and accepted? Didn’t we just go through this in middle and high school? When was it cool for the bullied to become the bullies? It took us decades to come out of the closet and proclaim our geekness to the world and now we try to shove others back in. That sounds backwards.

Adults have a disconnect. AND IT SUCKS!

We as a society have a disconnect with others. With ourselves. With the planet. AND IT SUCKS!!

To just reiterate, CLIQUES SUCK! Even the teenagers know that.

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