Sometimes it can prove a thankless task, but salvation is here in the form of the Education Show 2005.
This year's Education Show promises to be one of the biggest yet, with more than 650 exhibitors lined up to showcase innovative ideas and money-saving resources. A packed seminar programme ensures that teachers in need of inspiration can pick up guidance from key industry figures and experienced teachers.
The seminars dominate proceedings, providing valuable guidance in the latest teaching methods designed to optimise pupils' chances of success.
With the Smith Report still causing ripples, maths plays a large part, including an appearance from Charlie Stripp, chairman of the teaching committee at the Mathematical Association, who asks: "What does the future hold for secondary mathematics?" Barbara Ball, of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, argues that real-world problem-solving presents a better model of maths learning than solving exercises.
Other seminar highlights include a keynote speech from Alistair Smith of Alite, where he proffers his ideas on how to turn average lessons into exciting and entertaining classes. The Association for Science Education is running one of four association half-day conferences, and invites teachers to discuss new ways to teach engaging science to pupils of all ages.
With childhood obesity a recurring story in the news, a special PE feature in the Sports and Recreation Zone aims to address this issue, thanks to a range of sports and lesson demonstrations. Paralympic bronze medallists from the Great Britain men's basketball team will be there to demonstrate their skills, as will members of the British Gymnastics Association.
The British Judo Association showcases the sport's benefits as a physical and self-motivation exercise for pupils, as well as a potentially vital tool in the fight against bullies. Bullying also crops up in one of the show's keynote speeches, where Gill Francis of the National Children's Bureau points towards more effective approaches to combating the blight of bullies in our schools.
The Sport and Recreation Zone is just one of 10 dedicated features in the show, each devoted to a particular area of education. The Publishing Village, now a mainstay of the Education Show, is the largest showcase of educational publishers in the UK, and this year contains musical versions of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes, not to mention a presentation from Pie Corbett on the importance of whiteboards in reading skills.
Whatever your teaching level or area of expertise, the Education Show has a resource or presentation to suit you. What's more, you can even keep the people who hold the purse strings happy!
Alite Stand A666
The Association for Science Education Stand B810
The Association of Teachers of Maths. Stand A470
British Gymnastics Stand EY38
Mathematical Association Stand A470
National Children's Bureau Stand A124
* The Education Show runs from March 17-19 in Halls6-8 at the NEC, Birmingham Tel: 0870 429 4580 www.education-show.co.uk