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Are you the Miss from hell?

What will your end-of-term report be like? Do Susan Young's quiz to find out the truth. Illustration by David Hitch

Are you a fiend in human form, or a politically-correct pushover? Do you shout at the kids or shower them with sweets? Those are the questions your new class are busily asking of anyone you've ever taught, to find out what next year holds for them.

So do you know what the kids think of you? Have you become the teacher you swore you'd never be, or have you worked hard to create the classroom personality you want?

Take our quiz to find out and, if you discover the worst, you still have time to come back in September a different teacher and really confuse your pupils.

1. Your class is revolting again. "It's not fair" is the cry. You say:

a. Let me just check my bovvered drawer (rummage in drawer, smiling). No, it's empty, so back to the lesson

b. Life is not fair. My job is to teach you such important lessons

c. Tough

d. I'm very sorry you think that. Perhaps we need to explore this a little more

2. The little darlings aren't concentrating, do you say:

a. You don't know what to do? Ask someone who listened

b. Sharp as a marble

c. I'd ask you to stop acting like an idiot, but I'm not sure you're acting

d. Class, are we going to finish this at breaktime?

3. There's some talking in class and it's not coming out of your mouth. You say: b. One day you will interrupt me and be right

b. You have two ears and one mouth please use them in that proportion

c. Sorry to interrupt your social life with my lecture

b. AHEM. I haven't stopped because I've forgotten what comes next you know. Why have I stopped, Tyler?

4. It's windy, or there's a full moon or an R in the month. Whatever, you need to remind them who's boss. Do you say:

a. Put your right hand up. Now your left one as well. Now wave both of them. Excellent. We've refreshed our memory of who is in charge here let's get on

b. Are you having a bad day? No? Would you like to?

c. You are the cleverest person in that chair

d. Focus, children, focus

5. There's a lot of fidgeting going on. Which of the following words leave your lips?

a. Let me see some good sitting

b. Hands on the table and no noise until I say so

c. If you can't sit on four you will stand on two

d. Liam, am I going to have to move you from there?

6. Now you need to get really fierce. You say:

a. I think we're going to see Mrs Smith

b. I'm going to be writing to your parents after this lesson c. I am WAITING d. Right. You. Out!

7. Time for some praise. "You've all done well today" crosses your lips when:

a. They actually got through everything

b. They got through 50 per cent of what you planned

c. They got through 30 per cent of what you planned

d. Well, most of them did one thing

8. They're doing what they do best sorting out who was to blame. You say:

a. Let's all do some deep breathing

b. Are you his solicitor?

c. It doesn't matter who started it, I'm stopping it

d. Well, don't look at himher again then

9. When teaching, do you:

a. Pace backwards and forwards

b. Make calming hand gestures

c. Peer over your specs at miscreants

d. Definitely no mannerisms in my classes, thanks

10. Finally, have you ever said any of the following?

a. If you had brains you'd be dangerous

b. You can choose pleasant or unpleasant

c. (In response to a request to go to the toilet) yes, but not right here

d. We don't do that on this planet

e. Warning, sense of humour failure is now imminent

f. Liam, don't do that

g. It's your time you're wasting

h. We're all going to sit here until the culprit owns up

i. Perhaps you'd like to say that again so the whole class can hear

j. Because I said so

k. Please take your finger out of ther *

The awful truth

So are you a normal person, or a teacher stereotype?

* More than 75? You are Dr Evil: You've elevated sarcasm to an art form brilliantly. And, with luck, you're aware of it. The kids respect you and have a bit of fun probably from a safe distance. Stereotype? Yes. Have you considered getting a white cat and stroking it at your desk?

* 55 - 75? You are She Who Must Be Obeyed: You're definitely firm and usually fair but teacher cliches fall effortlessly from your lips. You do realise the kids probably take the mickey behind your back and it may not be affectionate?

* 35 - 55? You are Jo Public: Perhaps you're a maverick, perhaps you're an NQT. Maybe you just work hard at it. Cliches do pass your lips but, rest assured, you're more normal than stereotype.

** Under 35? You are Ms Socially Concerned. Dangly earrings? Cardi? Thought so. If you work in a primary school, you can probably get away with being as sweetpolitically correct as this. If you're in a secondary, you're doing well to survive. And yes, you are a stereotype.


1: a)10, b)7, c)5, d)1

2: a)7, b)5, c)10, d)1

3: a)7, b)10, c)5, d)1

4: a)10, b)7, c)5, d)1

5: a)1, b)7, c)10, d)5

6: a)1, b)5, c)7, d)10

7: a)7, b)10, c)5, d)1

8: a)1, b)10, c)7, d)5

9: a)7, b)1, c)10, d)5

10: This one doesn't count towards your overall score, but the more of these classroom cliches you've uttered, the more you've turned into a stereotype teacher, just like the one who taught you. More than eight? Be afraid, be very afraid.

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