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As teachers, we are constantly trying to think up new creative ways to teach a concept. If you’re teaching grammar, you’re considering climbing onto the table to help them learn the difference between ‘up’ and ‘above’. If you’re teaching geography, you’re wondering if you can turn the classroom into a terrain that they can navigate with a map. The problem is, the most creative ideas often come and go. “Wouldn’t it be great to organise a field trip?!” you think, and then you’re overwhelmed with the thought of trying to secure a budget and get it approved by your head...

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On the surface, we may look similar to other professions. Walking along the pavement, you might mistake a young teacher (think: someone who still wears heels and a pencil skirt to school) for an accountant or a stockbroker. You might mistake a middle-aged teacher (think someone who has traded the heels for a sensible pair of flats) for a quantity surveyor or scientist. But there are a few ways that we teachers can spot a fellow teacher no matter where we are. Here they are: 1. You can eat lunch in ten minutes or less You can bolt down a...

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You walk into the staffroom at breaktime, looking forward to a nice warm lunch in a sunny spot on the couch. But just as you tuck into last night’s lasagne, you see the staffroom gossip making a beeline for you. Her eyes are dancing with excitement. “Oh my gosh!” she says, in a conspiratorial whisper. “You will not believe what I just heard!” You groan inwardly. You have no doubt you won’t believe it. Many of us have friends or colleagues that we’ve come to recognise as insatiable gossips. They’ve always got a story, usually from a dubious (or unnamed)...

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"No one gossips about other people's secret virtues." - Bertrand Russell Your students swap stories about each other all day. Some of them are silly little tales; others really hurt and have the potential to damage a child’s relationships or self-esteem. You see what talking about others does to your kids, but how often do you find yourself embroiled in gossip at the staff room? Some of us may see it as harmless banter, but gossip at work has the potential to damage a person’s professional image, hinder your career and destroy personal and professional relationships. So, for starters, how...

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We all know those students: the ones who raise their hands twice an hour and address you in that whiny tone. “Teacher, Johnny stole my pencil!” or “Mary keeps kicking my chair!” This child faces the same problems as every other child in the class. But she expects you to solve all of them.  Then, there’s the opposite end of the spectrum. The child who skulks into class, sits slumped in his chair, barely looks at you and says nothing. You know he is plagued by issues, but he won’t tell you what they are.  As teachers, we interact with...

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