Mugs step in where angels fear

27th August 2004 at 01:00
Ascot ladies' day has passed. Henley regatta has been and gone. But the most exacting social event of the season has yet to occur: the new school year.

Teachers starting at a new school should not take acceptance into the higher ranks of staffroom society for granted. Debutantes should ensure that they arrive well-versed in the necessary social graces. This is the advice of seasoned teachers, who have given newly-qualified colleagues the benefit of their experience on The TES online staffroom discussion board.

Key among the social faux pas is encroaching on a rival's territory.

"Check which cups are for common use, otherwise you will make enemies of the sweetest, meekest people," one teacher advised.

"And check where it's OK to sit. Oldies who've been there aeons get very uppity if people sit in our seats."

Brash newcomers who flout these rules, though, should not assume that they have committed social suicide. One teacher suggests that the situation is redeemable with a few simple gestures of obsequiousness. "You can't go wrong if you bring in bickies, alcohol or home-made cakes," she said.

Another recommended: "Make tea for other people when you are making yours."

But, perhaps most importantly, newcomers should remember that it is their duty to be seen and not heard. Should this prove harder than anticipated, there will be numerous older, more experienced teachers on hand, to patronise them into acceptable conformity.

"Don't stick your chewing-gum on the side of the kettle," one such teacher reprimanded. "Don't send text messages during staff meetings. Always put things back when you borrow them. And never swear in front of the wrong people."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Comments

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today