Overheard in the staffroom

6th October 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

Year of the living dead

Spectre: My Year 11s aren't badly behaved, in fact most of the time there's silence. What I'm worried about is their total passivity. They don't interact with me or each other, and just want to listen and copy from the board. They're bright, but I'm not used to this strange behaviour in a school where pretty much every other class is mayhem. How can I get them to be more interactive, or should I be lucky they're well behaved?

angelface: My subject relies on discussion and I have a group who are just like that. I'll start the lesson with a really controversial statement, which they have to discuss, evaluate and form a conclusion. They just sit there looking at me!

bongomaniac: I suspect your students see your class as an oasis of calm amongst the tempest of role plays, extended debates and multimedia whizzery they are exposed to elsewhere. Often bright children just want the teacher to get to the point then be left alone to get on with it. If they're making good progress, be happy.

Are the Kids more intelligent than us?

Potnoodle: Anthony Seldon said in The Times that it became entirely clear to him, as a new teacher, that he was teaching people cleverer than him.

Freespirit77: The kids at my school definitely aren't more intelligent than the adults! I had Y9s asking me what the capital of England was last year!

Penny10p: I put it down to my age! I know I was intelligent and could pick things up easily at that age but now I feel really slow, compared to my students.

Chevalier: The point of teaching is to bring out the best in your pupils.

If you have the privilege to teach a child of promise, don't complain!

Dodros: Pupil intelligence is simply a raw material, to be developed and nourished by wise, sympathetic teachers. Wisdom, unlike intelligence, is learnt throughout a lifetime. Intelligent people have a head start in life, but it's what they do with their brains that counts.

How teachers should be addressed

Kaimo: Instead of saying "Miss" to female teachers, the kids used to say "Ma'am".

Contra Mundum: Two kids called me "dude" this week...

shake_ya_thang: I quite often get called "Mum" by my Y8s.

Killerbees: I occasionally get called "Mrs Thingy". I reply, "That should be Miss Thingy, children."

Fairpins: The head calls me "Miss". Why don't I like it?

Stroodpaul: Call the head "Your majesty". It always gets them.

These comments are the personal opinions of individual contributors

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