But on the other hand

28th October 1994 at 00:00
A light-hearted look through the catalogue of cautions and contradictory advice. Do remember to wish the head "Good morning", it pays to keep friendly.

o Don't greet the head - the staff will only say you're sucking up.

o Don't arrive in school too early - it annoys existing teachers who are perpetual late-comers.

o Don't arrive too late - a bad start with the head.

o Don't grab Monday break duty because you want to look keen - that day is reserved as the prerogative of the experienced. (No one will ever believe that you didn't realise there are fewer Mondays at school than any other day. ) o Do lend your possessions - NQTs are expected to lay down their last piece of chalk for a more experienced teacher.

o Do have an excuse ready for the head (other than the truth - the other staff have borrowed them) as to why you have no stapler, board rubber, chalk or red pen ready for your lessons.

o Don't borrow from other staff - NQTs in previous years have always had equipment in abundance, supplied by Heaven.

o Don't sit down in the staffroom - you'll definitely be on the chair of someone important.

o Don't stand about in the staffroom - you'll just get in everyone's way.

o Don't use the school's tea and coffee supply on your first day. You'll be labelled as stingy, as you won't have had an opportunity to pay your dues.

o Don't bring in you own tea or coffee - this will certainly alienate you from those collecting for the staff beverage fund.

o Do make sure you have a tea or coffee in the staffroom on your first day - otherwise you'll be viewed as antisocial or as a "health freak" who won't participate in the normal drinking habits.

o Do tell teachers how much you need their help and advice - it makes them feel important and less threatened by your brilliance. (Especially concentrate on those whom you realise haven't a clue about teaching.) o Don't ever mention that you need any assistance whatsoever or you'll simply provoke the remark: "Don't they teach you anything at college nowadays?" o Do remember that teachers are very absent-minded in such matters as forgetting to tell you that you could have applied to the head in the first week for an extra allowance for resources - but "Oh dear! All the money has now been allocated - I just can't think how I forgot to mention it!" o Don't forget that the very same teacher will have a phenomenally long memory for any minor mistakes you may happen to make.

ABOVE ALL: o Do remember to say to the class on the first day: "You're the best class I've ever had!" This will, of course, be true since it will be the first class. But most of all this is guaranteed to give the confident impression to the children that your many years of previous experience will more than equip you to cope with anything they can throw at you.

PS: Do be kind to the NQTs next year.

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