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Teachers confess

Staff tells of days when they behaved badly

With the world and his dog bemoaning the behaviour of today's "yoof", and film-makers making fly-on-the-classroom-wall documentaries, you have to ask: is behaviour really getting worse or 'twas it ever thus?

The TES website's staffroom forum suggests that if pupils ever had a role in life, it was to get up the backs of their teachers.

A thread, called Things YOU did at school to annoy your teacher, has thrown up some guilty, if not always remorseful, confessions.

Tommy77 admits to humming hymns during RE, prompted by a classmate hitting a metal hook on the side of the desk, intended for hanging your bag.

"Because it sounded like a church bell... once someone would do that, the rest would hum in a church hymn manner," he said.

It gets worse. "During French when the teacher would turn to write something on the board, the boys would perform a Mexican wave."

Celticqueen offers this gem: "Before the days of whiteboards, (we'd put) chalk handprints on teachers' chair so they walked round looking like they'd been fondled."

And here's one dreaded by estate and lettings agencies: "Kippers down the back of radiators and prawns in the curtains on the last day of term," suggests kittenface.

And if you ever wondered why teachers get so stressed, it isn't just down to league tables and targets.

The aptly named madwoman admits: "We used to wait until the teacher was mid- flow, then we would start to hum, while all looking straightfaced towards her... we would only stop when she cried.

I'm so ashamed now! She left, apparently, due to her 'nerves'."

Admin princess blames it all on her husband, whose trick was "to start the lesson - usually geography - sitting perfectly upright in his chair, and see how far he could slump down before the teacher mentioned it."

Subplop, meanwhile, revelled in the discomfiture of his teachers. "When our humanities teacher would leave the room, we used to routinely turn his desk around so that all the drawers were at the back, and then place all of the items on top of it as if it was the right way round... always good for a laugh..

"Actually, I did the desk thing to my HoD the other week. Hilarious!!"

Bbibbler urged colleagues to show some remorse for their youthful exuberance.

"Sounds like the person who had to leave because of her 'nerves' had her career and maybe her life ruined by a load of oiks. Shame on you," she said.

Dorothy Lepkowska

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