From the forums - Tentacles, testicles and praise from Mrs Washbucket

17th December 2010 at 00:00
Slips of the tongue, babies, excretions and making pals with support staff are on forum users' minds this week

As the term draws to a close, thoughts on The TES online staffroom turned to the things teachers wished they had known in their first year on the job.

Making friends with support staff is high on the list. As nomad concludes: "Never underestimate the worth of non-teaching staff including the site agent, dinner ladies and cleaners."

Cleaners, in particular, are worth getting on well with, nomad counsels. "In the minds of many parents, if Mrs Washbucket thinks you are an OK teacher, then an OK teacher you must be."

But it's not all about getting to know the right people, it's about saying the right things. Manic28 has learnt "don't say testicles when meaning to say tentacles during a science lesson", while Poet now knows not to "say vibrator when you mean vibrate".

Away from such frippery, MediaBecky wishes she had known that her second year in teaching was going to be easier than the first. "I had so many horrid classes in my NQT year and I kept imagining ... these various horrid students making my life a living hell for the rest of eternity," she says. "I wish I'd realised sooner how fast a year goes."

For beckidaniel, her best tip was a bag. A colleague gave one to her with the advice that she should only take home what would fit inside. Over the years, this has stopped her from being overwhelmed. "The bag makes me prioritise what needs doing that evening, and gives me the opportunity to organise my workload," she says.

Wisewinston has more prosaic advice: "Be very careful about taking off a polo-necked jumper in the winter," she warns. "Don't take the T-shirt with it."

Tartetatin is taking a risk when asking for the most disgusting things people have had in their mouths. (Those of a sensitive disposition should look away now.) For tartetatin, it is a mouthful of her daughter's snot. Not deliberately, of course. Said daughter was in bed with a cold and tartetatin went to give her a kiss. Still, pretty gross, but is it as disgusting as the contents of a sewer that found their way into oldsomeman's open mouth?

Not surprisingly, babies and their excretions feature heavily on the list except for this one from Cosmos. The worst thing in his mouth? "A camel's testicle!" Quite what the camel thought of this arrangement is unknown.

Talking of unwanted attention, resources4drama has a patented way of getting rid of telesales callers. A musical tie, he says, is great for playing on-hold music down the phone. "Saying 'just a minute' every so often, then restarting the music can be very cathartic," resources4drama adds. It must be a tie, though, just in case you thought you had found a use for your musical thong.

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