Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

Different strokes for different folks: Noisy staffrooms

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Remember that 80’s sitcom different strokes? At the time I didn’t know it but the series was named after the line in the song Everyday People “diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks”. 

What’s that got to do with teaching? Well, it came to mind while I was reading this post in Expat Teacher in Thailand. Now I really enjoy this blog about a Science Teacher going about his business of teaching in Thailand. In this particular post though he mentions how he dislikes being the roving science teacher who goes from class to class and then goes onto to say how he finds it difficult to work in the staff office area, which he calls it the “orifice” 😉 This got me thinking about how different we can be when it comes to what we enjoy about our workplaces.

I currently roam from classroom to classroom. I’m relatively new to the teaching game and have never had my “own” classroom but I quite like moving around. I talk to students while moving through the corridors and have the occasional laugh about something silly going on. I enjoy the mad chaos that occurs between lessons. I don’t think I’d like my own classroom. Perhaps it’s because, for many years, I had my own office and now I enjoy not having an office or my own classroom.

As to the “orifice”  – well, I love a noisy staffroom. I’m sure I contribute to the noise but I think (or I’d like to think) a noisy staffroom is indicative of good staff morale. Come to think of it, perhaps I just think that because it helps me to justify the noise I make, while colleagues work quietly in the background seething and gnashing their teeth hoping I have to go to class soon 😉


I could bore you with some business studies behavioural management theories and their link to morale and productivity but instead I’ll just tell you that I like being distracted by others. I like the jokes, the laughs, the professional discussions, the unprofessional discussions, the conviviality and the sense of camraderie. That doesn’t mean I’m right though … it’s just that a noisy staffroom suits me. Different strokes for different folks.


Image used under creative commons licence:

Written by backpackingteacher

October 17, 2008 at 4:50 pm

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