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Let the sun shine on teacher friendships
Thank you to Tom Finn-Kelcey for highlighting the benefits of spending time with colleagues ("Why teachers who play together, stay together", Comment, 31 July). The article brought a smile to my face as it demonstrated how great a school team can become through socialising together.
Over a period of about 10 years, the primary school I worked at fully embraced this, with regular meals, birthday celebrations, a Come Dine with Me competition and even a wedding reception in the school hall. Best of all, a group of us spent May half-terms in Portugal relaxing together (one year there were 19 of us).
We were a strong team, going above and beyond for the children and for each other. The fact that we took the time to get to know each other, regardless of the positions we held within the school, made that possible. It motivated us, allowed us to laugh, cry, reach out and open up, to try our best, to understand, to reflect and to carry on. As a result, staff retention was excellent, as were professional development opportunities and the sharing of good practice with colleagues.
Three years on and times have changed. The school has become an academy with new headteachers and new ideas. Most of the former staff have moved on - myself included.
However, what remains is a large group of friends who no longer work together but continue to play together. I would highly recommend socialising with colleagues for rewards both in and out of school. Portugal 2016 here we come!
Primary school teacher, Oxfordshire
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