Teachers bond over lunch

Much like students, teachers often don’t recognize the sea of faces they walk past in the hallseven if it’s the face of their own coworker. To bring the staff together, several Diamond Bar High School teachers have collaborated to create a club that focuses on getting to know their colleagues as a way to promote social-emotional learning.

Math teachers Dawn Daza and Maureen Baiz started the Grub Club  in September. The club meets once or twice a month with the intent of bringing as many teachers together as possible, so they can have more casual interactions with each other. With music and craft-related activities, Baiz said the club is an outlet for teachers to have fun with one another. 

“Ms. Daza and I were brainstorming about getting our teachers together and having them build great connections with one another, and so we came up with the Grub Club,” Baiz said. “It’s a way for us to get to know our staff and to also build relationships with our staff. It’s so great to see the people that come and… just to be silly.”

Courtney Corona, a DBHS math teacher, joined the club as a way to support her faculty members and spend time with her friends. She said  that while teachers do speak with each other, it is primarily about work. The club, on the other hand, has allowed her to get to know her coworkers more personally. 

“I think it’s a good way to build community within our staff,” Corona said. “A lot of the time when we’re here at work we are working and collaborating and doing our jobs, so this is just another outlet to get to know your coworkers in a different capacity.”

The Grub Club has engaged in activities such as paper-flower making and 30-minute workouts, allowing teachers to step outside their comfort zones. With the variety of activities the club offers, teachers are able to share their interests and skills with their colleagues. 

“I think it’s a really good opportunity for teachers to share… hidden talents that we didn’t know a certain colleague of ours has,” Daza said. “We teach students all day, but now we teach our colleagues or just share with them something that we’re passionate about.”

The activities are also providing  examples on how teachers can incorporate social-emotional learning into their daily lives. According to Baiz, one of the psychologists on campus introduced meditation to the club as a way for the staff to work on their personal wellness. 

As the club grows, it strives to bring teachers closer together and to create a sense of camaraderie between DBHS’ staff. In  such a large school, the club has allowed Baiz to get to know the Spanish teachers that reside on the opposite end of the campus. 

“I love being able to say ‘Oh, I know that person,’” Baiz said. “Just building that sense of having a club and having a community that you can rely on.”