Heard the one about crazy teachers?

21st September 2001 at 01:00
The recruitment crisis must seem like a myth to the 10,000 out-of-work teachers but is all too real to heads who are running out of cash

THE Government paid consultants Hay McBer pound;4 million to identify the characteristics of a good teacher.

But Year 3 children at Portway junior in Andover, Hampshire, have offered the following list of ideal qualities free of charge:

* happy and helpful;

* clever at everything;

* patient;

* a bit crazy and funny;

* wears glasses and looks smart.

Headteacher James Levett was so impressed that he used the list in an advertisement for a Year 4 teacher.

He said: "It set out everything we wanted in a teacher although we felt we had to say that wearing glasses wasn't absolutely necessary."

In Kent, a plea has gone out from children who insist their new deputy head must be able to tell genuinely funny jokes.

Mrs Wendy Sykes, head of Horsted junior, Chatham, said: "In assembly I said we needed a new deputy head and asked them to write down what they wanted."

The pupils asked for someone "good at important papers", strict but not too strict, friendly, able to explain things well and let them have a go at things.

And the sort of jokes Horsted pupils favour? What's the difference between a train and a teacher? One goes choo choo, the other goes "spit that gum out".

Helen Ward

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