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Love is... dating a woman teacher

Tne nation's staffrooms should be awash with Valentine cards if a dating agency is right. Adi Bloom reports

Single man seeks attractive female. Aged 25-35, ns, gsoh, likes socialising and dining out. For friendship, possibly more. Oh, and must be a teacher.

More and more men are seeking single women teachers as their ideal love match, according to a leading introductions agency.

Thousands of clients, interviewed over the past year by London-based agency, Drawing Down the Moon, were asked to name the ideal professions for their perfect partner. Men's top 10 list included designers, PR workers and the presumably euphemistic performance-artist. At number 10 was teachers.

Mary Balfour, agency managing director, said: "Teachers are caring and nurturing. Most people want to have a family, so it's nice to have someone who gets on with children."

Women teachers though, find the reputed allure of their profession slightly puzzling.

Stephanie Curry, 23, a science teacher at South Dartmoor community college, said: "I would have thought nurses would have been far more popular.

They've got the uniform.

"Teaching doesn't have any mystery. Everyone has memories of their own teachers at school. And it's usually teachers they didn't like." Levels of interest also vary according to subject. Ella Dickson, 25, a teacher at Acland Burghley comprehensive in north London, said: "People ask me what I teach. When I say maths, that's the end of the conversation."

Chantal Green, a 27-year-old single physics teacher at Broadgreen high, in Liverpool, said: "I'm not fighting men off with a stick. If they do like me, it's because I'm gorgeous, not because I'm a teacher."

She said teachers do incur a level of interest unusual for other professions: "Most people work in an office, so they are interested in teaching. They think it's really hard."

But she added: "I wouldn't go out with a teacher. They'd talk about nothing but school. And they'd treat you like a child."

Teachers do not feature on the women's list of desirable men. They opt for high-earning professionals, such as stockbrokers and management consultants.

"Male teachers just aren't seen as sexy," said Ms Balfour. "They don't earn much, and they don't have a lot of time."

But male teachers are unfazed. Many react to the staffroom as a child would to a newly-stocked sweetshop.

Tim Clisby, geography teacher at Argoed comprehensive in Flintshire, said:

"As a young man, you could have your pick, couldn't you? If you're looking for a wife, you could do worse. Non-teaching friends have even asked to come along to school social events."

Mr Clisby is married to a teacher. But, after 22 years of marriage, he is circumspect about the appeal of the profession: "Female teachers have a mothering instinct. There's a sense of being looked after, told what to do and organised. But I don't think there's anything especially attractive about teachers."

Friday Dating 24, Jobs front, Matt Buck 31

Find your Valentine online this week at www.tes.co.ukdating

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