Schools are funny places. A large number of teachers haven’t ever really left school. They went to school, then university and then back to work in a school. Sometimes feels like they’re caught in perpetual adolescence. What I am talking about applies to everyone. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, people like to gossip.
It takes a lot of guts to withstand what others say. The test in this is not changing or bending who you are in order to be liked or accepted by others. There is a lot to be said in staying true to who you are. It actually feels really good!
It takes more guts to actually challenge gossip. Not many people do it. They either engage in it or remain silent. Both just as bad as each other.
I respect anyone that stops gossip in its tracks and says, “what you are saying didn’t happen like that” or “if that person was here what would they think?” or “I don’t think what you are doing is ok”.
I watched a video many years ago, the title escapes me, but there’s a scene where one of the actors refers to gossip as feathers. The image above shows the effects and destruction of gossip – a lot like a feather pillow bursting open. The feathers go everywhere and spread as it blows in the wind and is carried far away. It is almost impossible to collect the feathers and put them all back in the pillow. This is a lot like gossip and the irreversible effects it has. Gossip can colour reputations. A teacher’s reputation is all we really have and can take away with us.
There is a real upside to this post. I can confidently say that I am at a school where gossip does not really exist. I am sure it is there, just not in the malice or nasty ways that I have heard and experienced. It feels so good to be in a school that does not feed or fuel gossip. If there is gossip, it is just the latest scoop on what’s going on, pretty light-hearted stuff.
What is your work place like with gossip?
Have you or would you be able to stand up to gossip and shut it down?