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It’s easy to get lost in the anxieties and meaningless goals as a teacher, but the tiny everyday kindnesses make the job

It’s easy to get lost in the anxieties and meaningless goals as a teacher, but the tiny everyday kindnesses make the job
​ He was a kid I'd barely noticed. I'd been teaching the class for just a few weeks and, as is always the case, certain heads had raised themselves above the parapet: the defaulters, the jokers, the forgetful and the attention-seekers. But this lad had been quietly going about his own business. He always gets the work done; he rarely forgets t...
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Take it from an IT manager, schools are being flogged tech that they don't need

Take it from an IT manager, schools are being flogged tech that they don't need
I get an average of 15 people a week phoning me up to sell me something. I'm an IT manager, so in many ways it is no surprise: from salespeople and trainers, to course organisers and seminar sellers – you name it, they have something my school couldn't function without. They often use underhand tactics to get through reception, my favourites being:...
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In with the old and new: we need the arrogant NQT and the experienced head of department in the same staffroom

In with the old and new: we need the arrogant NQT and the experienced head of department in the same staffroom
It's not just the kettle that gets heated in the staffroom. A combination of pressure from pupils and pressure from management often results in outbursts directed at the wrong people. "You've only been here five minutes, I've got 20 years' experience" was the inappropriate response levelled at a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in my previous school, ...
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‘My students don’t care that I am a woman teaching a ‘male’ subject – I wish other people would follow their example’

‘My students don’t care that I am a woman teaching a ‘male’ subject – I wish other people would follow their example’
I recently taught a PSHE lesson to a year 8 group on the assumptions we make about people. I started with the word "Australian" – students said common judgements were that they would say "g'day", wear cork hats, like beer, wear shorts, have barbecues all the time and be good at rugby. Then we moved on to "American" – apparently they like burgers, a...
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The pride, the workload and toilet breaks: my life after teaching

The pride, the workload and toilet breaks: my life after teaching
It feels like barely a month goes by without seeing another blog or report about teachers are walking away from the profession and the recruitment and retention crisis. I'm not judging: I was one of them. After four years at the front of a classroom, I put away my interactive whiteboard pen for the last time and went back to journalism. It's been a...
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