In a recent post on TES Forums, a student about to start a PGCE asks for some hints and tips.
The part I find concerning is that the OP then writes this:
"I had a bit of trouble in my last placement school on my degree because i didn't quite fit in... unfortunately as a degree student rather than a student teacher on pgce the teachers didnt want to include me in their 'group' and relegated me to lunching alone in the classroom and getting grumpy with me when i asked questions relating to their teaching techniques and experiences and the TA's at the school didn't want me in their camp because i was a 'teacher'! it was all very confusing and a bit upsetting!"
There is then lots of advice on how to deal with cliques within the staff at work, including:
"Make an effort with all of the staff, particularly resources (this will make all the difference in a cliquey school) "
"Try and go to an after school club that isn't in your subject (less relevant for you but maybe helpful for someone who's doing secondary...) it's a good way to meet other teachers and can make a big difference in your relationships with your students as you see each other in a different setting."
"Ingratiating yourself into tricky schools? Bake! "
Why is this sort of thing even necessary? Are we not all professionals there to achieve the same goals? I can understand wanting to forge good working relationships. I can even understand how and why some other jobs are like this, in business for example.
But in education? Where we are supposed to be setting a good example but treating each other like this? Do new teachers really need to bribe the other staff with cake just to avoid being treated badly?