It's nearly Christmas, you are doing some last-minute shopping, and top of the list of people to buy for is a friend or relative who is a teacher.
This is where you need some help. Teachers are too often bought things that seem like something a teacher might like, but which are actually a terrible idea.
Here are five things to avoid.
1. Books on teaching
Put. It. Down. If you’re considering giving a good teacher friend a book on cognitive-load theory, then click REMOVE FROM BASKET. Or put it back on the shelf. Back away from the CPD.
Christmas is a time for luxuries, indulgence and frivolity. If cognitive-load theory comes under any of those categories, then your problems are bigger than your Christmas list.
2. DVD of Dangerous Minds or Dead Poets Society
For any teacher past term one in their training year, dreams of students standing on the desk proclaiming "Captain, my Captain!" have firmly fizzled away into a standardised ball of dust.
When I see a film with children standing on a table, my heart doesn’t leap with joy, I think about how I’m going to write this up in the incident report when one of the cherubs falls off and breaks a leg.
3. Funny ‘those that can’t…teach’ mugs/posters/T-shirts
"Oh ha ha, yes teachers – useless aren’t we? We only work 9-3 and have loads of holidays. I love people taking the mickey out of my job," said no teacher ever.
4. Tickets to anything on a school night
Forget anything that involves going out on a school night or during the day in term time. "Can’t you book it off?" friends ask. No. No we can’t. So stop asking.
5. Little extras