ENQUIRING after the well-being of a teacher can be dangerous. A seemingly innocuous query can unleash a torrent of vitriol from staff worn down by long days in front of unresponsive pupils.
Now a website will let teachers vent their frustration online. The Ranting Teacher site serves as the personal bile repository of its history-teacher author but also lets teachers share the anguish that a life in the classroom can involve.
Online rants are neatly categorised into themed sections dealing with aspects of school life such as pay, poor excuses for failing to do homework, and boastful PE teachers. Ranting Teacher also waxes lengthy on parents living out unfulfilled revenge fantasies through their children.
"We tend to picture the pushy parents sending their little angels to ballet classes and tennis lessons, but there's a flip-side - the nasty pieces of work who now exact revenge on the teaching profession in remembrance of canings past."
As well as submitting their own lines of invective, users can find useful tips. There is advice on how to ensure a stress-free parents' evening:
"Inform children who misbehave that you can't wait to see their parents...
Watch as they guide their parents away from you."
Nursing a painful hangover? "Lots of activities can be knocked together that require almost independent work from the kids. The favourite is called 'make a poster'."
Looking to impress inspectors? "A question to the class should have one of two reactions. A raised right hand means they know the answer. A raised left hand means they don't know the answer. Result: a sea of raised hands to every question."