When attending a ‘work social’, at what point does professionalism become blurred?
As all teachers across the country approach their well-deserved holidays, there is a likelihood that the majority will be attending a staff party to celebrate the end of term. During my career, I’ve been to many staff parties; Christmas and end of summer term celebrations and so forth. The reader will no doubt have attended some too. Few may be memorable and many will be forgettable for whatever reason!
But how often has it gone wrong for you or a colleague?
During your career, as your role/responsibility has evolved or changed, how has this influenced your decision to attend a staff party? Or more importantly, how to behave/relax?
It takes a very long time to build up your own reputation as a teacher and gain respect from colleagues. However, it can take less than a minute to damage it and throw it all away!
Every teacher has a reputation to protect. The line between work and personal choices are hard to define when at a staff social; whether on-site or off-site with colleagues. I say this because of all the horror stories that we each hear in the aftermath of the staff end-of-term party.
A Professional Reminder:
Without imposing anything on a teacher’s personal decisions or lifestyle, it is important to keep in mind the Teachers’ Standards when attending a staff party with colleagues; especially when alcohol is involved. This paragraph is worth remembering!
A teacher is expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct .… Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school.
10 Party Tips:
With all this in mind, teachers deserve to unwind and have lots of fun, but please look after yourself.
Here are a few tips before letting go!
- Dressed to impress but don’t let it all hang out!
- Pace yourself. You will feel exhausted and will probably not have had much sleep, nor be working on a full stomach. If you’re an old man like me, it’s probably best to have a good night sleep the night before and lots of carbohydrates before you go out!
- Be jolly and generous, but not to extravagant. Be careful with the cash and spend in moderation.
- John Travolta is John Travolta. You are not … Mobile footage may also tell the true story the next day.
- Avoid the ‘I love you’ conversations after a few drinks …
- Stay off social media. Absolutely no selfies!
- Avoid work politics. Do everything you can to talk about something else …
- Don’t do something you later regret; especially things that will impact on you personally. We all have friends and colleagues we love and trust; including those at home.
- Stay safe. Make sure you have your journey home planned …
- Finally, have fun; let your hair down and for goodness sake, be careful.