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Put yourself to the test

How professional are you? Have a go at John Marley's quiz. Each question has one answer worth maximum points. Check your scores and your rating on page 17. Come on, be honest! Illustrations by David Hitch

1 It's the last day of the summer holidays, do you

(a) look forward to being back at work

(b) mark the weeks to half-term on your wall calendar

(c) buy an extra Lotto ticket

2 Children are...

(a) the enemy

(b) the future

(c) the reason you became a teacher

3 The Government announces yet another curriculum change, do you

(a) welcome it with open arms

(b) look up the Samaritans' number in the phone book

(c) decide you are going to teach what you have always taught anyway

4 You haven't marked the set of books that you promised you would give back next lesson, do you

(a) get into school as early as you can to do a quick tick marking exercise

(b) apologise to the class and make it up to them next lesson

(c) stand in front of the class, put the books in a bin, set fire to them and say "look, I'm prepared to allow you to make a fresh start"

5 Parents' evening, faced with an unknown child, do you

(a) fake it and give a bland report

(b) confess you have no idea who the child is

(c) say "your child really has failed to make an impact"

6 You are called into the head's office accused of swearing in class, do you

(a) say that "you know fuck all about it"

(b) argue for the need to address pupils in their home language

(c) apologise and promise it won't happen again

7 An angry parent confronts you in your classroom, do you

(a) scream for help

(b) speak to them in a calm voice and suggest it's better to discuss things in the head's room

(c) tell your mum you wish she wouldn't bother you while you are at work

8 A colleague makes an unkind remark to you, do you

(a) let it go, we all get stressed

(b) make a doll image of them and stick pins in it

(c) speak to them and explain your feelings

9 A younger teacher is promoted ahead of you, do you

(a) accept that the best person won and look forward to the next opportunity

(b) look for grounds for grievance

(c) doubt yourself and your abilities

10 You are sitting in assembly as a guest speaker drones on, do you

(a) look at your class and roll your eyes

(b) sit up, smile and go to the special place in your mind

(c) offer to take the next assembly

11 You see a pupil you don't know crying, do you

(a) tell them to "cheer up"

(b) report it to the child's teacher

(c) cry with them

12 The reports are due, do you

(a) write the same report for every child

(b) accidentally put your writing hand in a blender

(c) write an individual report for each child

13 At the end of every term your pupils give you gifts, do you

(a) open a market stall selling toiletries

(b) suggest they make contributions to a charity of your choice

(c) drop hints that you would prefer alcohol

14 There is a class you can't control, do you

(a) shout yourself hoarse to no avail

(b) ask your head for help

(c) keep it to yourself because you are the head

15 It's the day before Ofsted's inspections, do you

(a) look forward to it with nervous anticipation

(b) consult NHS Direct for some symptoms that would allow you to call in sick

(c) say "all things must pass" as you go to the pub

16 An interactive white board is

(a) a great teaching tool

(b) something you have to use when you're being observed

(c) a good place to put up displays

17 You see two children fighting at break time, do you

(a) run towards them

(b) run away from them

(c) walk calmly towards them

18 In an evening staff meeting, after an hour, do you

(a) suggest that you finish as tired decisions are poor decisions

(b) ask a question about the number of sheets of A4 in a ream of paper

(c) pretend to have a seizure

19 The best thing about teaching is

(a) the summer holidays

(b) making a real difference to the lives of young people

(c) the pay

20 In the future do you see yourself

(a) still doing the same thing as you are now

(b) running your school

(c) running away

Check your answers and add up your points out of 40

1 (a)2 (b)1 (c) 0

2. (a) 0 (b) 1 (c) 2

3. (a) 2 (b) 0 (c) 1

4. (a) 1 (b) 2 (c) 0

5. (a) 0 (b) 2 (c) 1

6. (a) 0 (b) 1 (c) 2

7. (a) 0 (b) 2 (c) 1

8. (a) 2 (b) 0 (c) 1

9. (a) 2 (b) 0 (c) 1

10. (a) 0 (b) 1 (c) 2

11. (a) 1 (b) 2 (c) 0

12. (a) 1 (b) 0 (c) 2

13. (a) 0 (b) 2 (c) 1

14. (a) 0 (b) 2 (c) 1

15. (a) 2 (b) 0 (c) 1

16. (a) 2 (b) 1 (c) 0

17. (a) 1 (b) 0 (c) 2

18. (a) 2 (b) 1 (c) 0

19. (a) 1 (b) 2 (c) 0

20. (a) 1 (b) 2 (c) 0

So, to which group of teachers do you belong? Check your scores (with apologies to Ofsted for using their grade descriptions)

31-40 Outstanding

You are the creme de la creme, you are a teacher for the right reasons. You are doing a professional job. You work hard for your pupils, you are honest and you're a good colleague. But remember worklife balance is important. If the only time you stayed out after dark this term was for a parents' evening then you need to get out more.

21-30 Good

You clearly have it in you to be an outstanding teacher, your intentions are good. Perhaps sometimes your inexperience lets you down. For example, if you walk calmly rather than run towards an incident then you are giving the pupils a chance to say "look out, teacher's coming", you've already started to deal with the matter before you arrive. And if you don't get your marking finished just say so, as long as you are prepared to be as understanding when your pupils have similar difficulties. Come on, let your inner teacher out.

11-19 Satisfactory

Oh dear. Your heart's not really in it, is it? We all know the days of being content to be "satisfactory" are long gone. Teaching has never been more demanding. Are you sure you're the one to help children to fulfil their hopes and dreams? Perhaps you would be happier as an estate agent? After all, houses don't have feelings.

0-10 Inadequate

There are websites that carry your picture, so just give yourself up now.

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