The staffroom should be considered a safe space; a place where you can share successes and bemoan the latest stress-inducing addition to your workload. But don’t get too comfortable. Utter just one of these five provocative phrases and you can be sure that you’ll be next in the firing line:
- “They’re always well-behaved for me” A colleague has had a tough lesson. Just as they’re recounting the story of how Archie ripped down yet another classroom display, you pipe up with this choice comment, which goes down about as well as the news of another new initiative from the DfE.
- “The head just wanted to give me a pat on the back for my students’ progress” Hit your performance-related pay targets already, have you? Oh, that's just dandy. Meanwhile, the rest of the staff are running around in a state of panic wondering why their progress levels aren't worth mentioning and trying to locate Mrs Brown, the school's careers adviser.
- “And then we went back to her house…” Woah, stop right there! You're a teacher. How on earth do you have the time or the energy for shenanigans like that?
- “I never work in the evenings or weekends, I don’t know what you are whinging about” Any teacher who utters these words is a liar. And nobody wants to be friends with a liar.
- “I hate kids” Erm...have you met Mrs Brown?