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Dealing with the One Direction split: 10 tips for teachers

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It has finally happened. They said they could carry on when Zayn Malik left, but we knew they couldn’t. One Direction have finally split.

According to reports, 1D are to go their separate ways. At least, they are for a year or so, during which the group are to pursue their own agendas before (so the story goes) reforming. But anyone who’s dropped a raspberry jelly and tried to reassemble it knows how likely that is.

Well, that was well-timed, guys. Could you not have announced this on day one of the summer holidays, rather than just before the nation’s teenagers mope back to our classrooms?  

How are we supposed to get pupils’ minds back on coastal erosion, the Industrial Revolution, and possessive apostrophes?

Teachers, follow these tips, or prepare for a start of term like no other:

  1.  Pretend not to notice the black armbands, especially those on their legs.

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  2. Don’t comment on their plain ring-binders and pencil cases. They’ve buried their 1D stationery in the garden, sung Abide With Me, and yelled at their mothers for thinking the spotty cupcake design from WH Smiths at ALL appropriate.

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  3. If your school is co-ed, it’s an excellent opportunity to try the boy-girl-boy-girl seating plan. If it’s all boys, that was a great career choice. All girls? Now’s the time to get shingles. Or extradited.

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  4. Forget the tiny packet of Boots tissues in your desk drawer. Clear those hundred copies of War and Peace off a shelf and replace with a stock of mansize Kleenex boxes. On Day 2, replace with more.

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  5. Maths teacher? Don’t mention four-fifths of ANYthing and don’t do lessons needing arrows.

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  6. Science teacher? Forget anything linear. Chaos theory?

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  7. Games teacher? Get them running all over the place.

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  8. Music teacher? Bin that "Music of Boy Bands" scheme of work. Chopin’s cool, honestly.

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  9. Textiles teacher? Find another word for styles. Or die.

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Number 10 is a suggestion for headteachers. Postpone the autumn term until spring, and let the parents deal with it. There are times when home-schooling is one direct-

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… is the only sensible option.

Fran Hill is a writer and part-time teacher of English at a girls' independent school. 

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