For many, the start of the new term is a return to the comfort of routine, but some teachers on The TES online staffroom are finding one particular element of the school day unwelcome - the staff meeting.
"Does anyone else leave staff meetings feeling totally bewildered, armed with yet another pile of CPP (completely pointless paperwork) and 101 stupid things to do by yesterday ('that should give you enough time')?" asks Savannah1. Cue a chorus of disapproval from staff who would happily take their worst Year 9 for a double lesson than sit through discussions about a new initiative. They have a range of strategies for coping with meeting fatigue. ESOLtutor uses meetings to "proofread and correct the handouts which are supposed to tell me how to teach English", while Empireofthesun wears "glasses with eyes painted on them so I can take a nap while appearing to be alert".
After a hard day of meetings, and perhaps even a few teaching hours, discussion turns to what teachers like to do when they get home from work. The_Pobble likes to stand outside her house drinking a bottle of beer while her other half smokes a cigarette, share a whine about work "and then go in and shut up about it". Coffeekid, meanwhile, says: "I quite like talking about my day when I get in. Especially if it's been particularly good or bad. And being told there's cake in the fridge is always good. Or wine. Wine's even better." Others simply prefer to do nothing at all, as inky comments: "After a day's non-stop talk, I love it when I come home to an hour's silence."
Clearly, silence is eluding some of the posters in the online staffroom, however. Egyptgirl is at her wit's end now that her fiance has started snoring, and needs advice on how to get a good night's sleep. Cosmos and Lapinrose are among the posters who suggest the ultimate solution for someone who sleeps with a snorer - sleep in another room. Others offer a range of cures, from Shifter's "stop snoring ring" that works on acupressure points, to nasal sprays and a dig in the ribs. Given the snoring has got so bad that even her neighbour has commented on it, let's hope Egyptgirl finds a way to stop the racket soon.
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