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Art of survival;Letter

"From their day of qualification a teacher can be asked to teach almost anything" (TES, Letters, March 20). Not long before my first chemistry lesson as a newly-qualified teacher the head burst into my laboratory and said: "We shouldn't have advertised for a chemist - it should have been a biologist."

For two years I taught biology by the seat of my pants, by being one page ahead in the textbook, with the support of a laboratory technican. The school then appointed another chemistry teacher.

Survival in a subject is deemed sufficient qualification to teach it for 14 years.

DENNIS SINCLAIR, 5 Alexandra Road, Pudsey, West Yorkshire

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