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Friday Five: Ways to prank a fellow teacher

Here are five favourite practical jokes that are helping to relieve the pressure of work – except for the victims, of course

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Here are five favourite practical jokes that are helping to relieve the pressure of work – except for the victims, of course

Long gone are the days when sending a student to the science lab for a long stand was enough to amuse you. It seems that with longer working hours and increased pressure from every which way, you are being forced to find your thrills at the expense of those closest to you… your colleagues. Here are just a few of the ways in which you told TES you were brightening up your days.  

  1. Diminishing desk As you wander into your classroom, still bleary-eyed after a late-night marking session, you sense that something isn't right. You sit down, but the floor seems closer than usual. Have you had an adult growth-spurt over night? Are you suddenly a wizard in a school full of hobbits? Or has your colleague realised how fastidious you are about your desk and replaced everything with a tiny version from the Nursery class? It's the last one. It's always the last one.  Diminishing desk  
  2. Mysterious missive A letter is lurking in your pigeonhole. You open it, only to find that it's from Ofsted, on official headed notepaper. A subject specialist is coming to see you. Today. Panicked, you fly through your lesson plans for the day and spend each period in a state of heightened emotions. It isn't until two hours after school, when you're late for dinner with your mum and this inspector STILL hasn't arrived, that it suddenly clicks. Of course, your (now former) teaching friend sniggering at you from the other side of your classroom also tips you off. In retrospect, you should have realised there's no inspector called Peter Ian Staker (PI to his friends...).  Mysterious missive  
  3. Free food You're starving, you haven't eaten since 6am and now, just at the end of lunch, someone tells you there is free cake in the sports hall after a function ended early. You race there, hurling children out of your path, but when you fall into the empty hall, breathless and red-faced, there is no cake awaiting you, just a very amused PE department. If you had any energy left, you'd be ashamed, but instead you manage a weak "ha ha" and trudge back to the other side of school for your next lesson.  Endless absence  
  4. Mouse malfunction Whether it’s dealing with yet another paper jam or a video link that refuses to play mid-lesson, few things make you madder than technology letting you down. So when the mice on the staff computers stop working because – you later realise – there are little sticky notes covering their infrared sensors, you know you’re justified in your decision to remove all coffee supplies from the staffroom until the culprit comes forward. Mouse malfunction  
  5. Naughty novel Everyone seems to be smirking at you – the notoriously stern assistant head even winks. You assume that you've mysteriously become charismatic overnight. Until you arrive in your classroom and find it covered in the advertising posters that your colleague has had the sixth-formers mock up for your "Second Erotic Novel". Complete with review quotes. Cue you turning fifty shades – although not necessarily of the colour that people might now expect of you… Naughty novel

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