I have spent today at my new school, where I will start work in September. It was very interesting. I was withthe two colleagues I will work most closely with; they have known each other for eight years, so their relationship is well-worn.
For brief periods of time, I had a sense of navigating a mine-field, trying to pick out how they feel about one another and the rest of the staff. I find it wearying, this playing politics; trying to interpret little comments they made, or insinuations as subtle as a shared joke. As the outsider, it is so tempting to just smile and tacitly agree with their opinions, just because I know I need to build good relationships. But I have a fear of forming unwise alliances by leaping before looking.
It reminded me of early days of University, the way you're tempted to form too-swift friendships with the first people you catch sight of. Although, that ended happily enough for me; the first person I met is my best friend still, sixteen years on. So perhaps I should trust my snap judgements a little more than I do.
I'm going to err on the side of caution, though, and concentrate on finding a safe path through it all. It will give me chance to sit back and observe. Despite my reservations, I have high hopes for my new job, and in the meantime, I have a staff room full of fresh sources to inspire my creativity.