Overheard in the staffroom

31st March 2006 at 01:00
The TES online forums are a hotbed of debate. Here is just a taste of what users are saying this week. Join the discussion at: www.tes.co.ukstaffroom Teaching Assistant Lone Striker Elsy:How many of you were the only one from your school to strike? And what was the reaction of your colleagues?

MistifiedTA: We had 11 staff taking action, eight of them stayed at home and myself and two other members went on the picket line.

Bluebell27: We only had one Unison member out of 20 going into work.

baileysonice: I'm the only striker at our small primary so it's good to know others are going it alone too. I wondered if my solo action would make much difference, but combined we all add to the figures.

How should school ties be worn?

shininghalo: My school is really strict about ties-top buttons must be done up, tie knots up to the top. If pupils are sensible, they can keep their top button undone while keeping the knot high. A reprimand for incorrect tie means a detention.

Silver2:Personally I think ties are an outdated status symbol of a male orientated society - yes my school makes them wear them - and what are we really saying to the students "You are only smart if you have a tie like the men" ergo what are we saying about the women?

peanutlion: I don't see it as making women stand up to a male symbol of status. I think it just is a symbol of status and professionalism for everyone.

Do you call parents by their first names?

Gizzy: Do you know the first names of your parents? (No, not your mum and dad!) Do you address them by those names? Do they know your name and use it? Do you feel it lowers your status in their eyes in some way, or do you feel it helps you both to work as a team on behalf of their child?

Lilyofthefield Absolutely not. I don't call anyone by their first name unless they have expressly invited me to do, and I would very much prefer that people returned the courtesy.

These comments are the personal opinions of individual contributors

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