Attempts by teachers to show they are au fait with "yoof" culture can backfire horribly. But one geography teacher has gained fans among pupils by break-dancing in lessons.
Steve Paisley, 29, from the Ralph Allen School in Combe Down, near Bath, has won a regional nomination for the 2008 Teaching Awards for his playful antics, which have also included having his head shaved in assembly and turning up to lessons without shoes.
An anonymous fan of his windmills and head spins, believed to be a pupil, put his name forward for the awards, where he hopes to win the outstanding new teacher title.
His head, Libby Lee, a nominee for secondary head of year, said: "He is an exceptional character," adding: "The fantastic thing about these awards is that it gives you the opportunity to celebrate someone who isn't conventional.
"Steve has made a rapid rise through the school. His role as head of year is perfect for him because the children look up to him."
There are limits to how much teachers should try to impress pupils, however. An unnamed supply teacher was reportedly asked to leave Sudbury Upper School in Suffolk after pulling off his shirt and pointing to his left bicep, in front of a class of 13- and 14-year-olds. Reports said the children were screaming with delight as he did so.