From the forums - Feeling your age, tricky TAs and overdoing it

24th September 2010 at 01:00
As term takes its toll, ruminations on when is the best time to hand in that whiteboard duster

Only a few weeks into the new term and thoughts on the forums are already turning to retirement.

With the end nearly in sight, Nedkelly is worried about the old adage, "Teach 'til 60, dead at 62." "Is there any chance of us living a full and normal life should we dare teach to this arcane age, before finally handing in our whiteboard dusters?" he asks.

Early retirement is something that a lot of posters are considering, if only to make sure there is no burn-out as soon as they log off.

But the prospect of living off the state pension is less appealing. "I reckon (it) will be worth a bag of spuds and some spam by the time I reach 68," says Sandman.

There is plenty of reassurance from retired teachers enjoying a new lease of life, however. At 81, and on a state pension, Mde.edwinakelly spends her days gardening, reading women's magazines and enjoying the odd glass of sherry. "Simple pleasures I know dears," she says, "but life is what you make of it, at any age."

Over on the primary forum, NQT Nickybo wonders how much is too much to ask of your teaching assistant. They seem to have a good relationship so far, but the laminating and classroom tasks are stacking up and a colleague suggested she ask the TA.

Waterfin is one of those who doesn't think this is the TA's job: "I feel that a TEACHING assistant should be assisting your TEACHING."

Nickybo suggests having a permanent "To Do" tray with any displays or sheets that need to be laminated for whenever either of them has a spare minute.

But seasoned TA Daffofilval says it's all about how you ask and building up a good relationship so that both teacher and TA don't mind helping each other out.

She also suggests the tried-and-tested trip to the pub. "It does strengthen your relationship and shows your appreciation," she says, "and it's a great way to unwind."

Oprah Winfrey might be one of the richest, most influential women in the world, but that doesn't necessarily make her a good person, according to hard-to-please TES forum users.

The talk-show queen recently told a live audience that she was taking them all to Australia on a whim. Nutella described Oprah's behaviour, perhaps quite reasonably, as "bizarre".

As the audience screamed and cried with happiness, the_evil_tokoloshe and How_We_Laughed were appalled at the "Oprah screamers", as was Kiobish who said: "Yuck. My Scottish sense of restraint is sorely offended by even the thought of these dramatic displays of emotion."

But when teachers are the recipients of such largesse, attitudes change. Coffeekid remembers being a teenager and watching the chat-show when the audience was made up of teachers. "Later on, it turned out she'd bought every single one of them a car because she thought teachers did such a great job," she says.

Good old Oprah.

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