Staffroom Stereotypes

1st November 2013 at 00:00

Which type are you?

Professional development is a journey of self-discovery. To help you along the way, TES is offering an ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek series of questions that will uncover who you really are. Supportive colleague or anxious newbie? Passionate part-timer or management material? Log on to www.tesconnect.comquiz to find out the truth.

But before you bare your soul, do you recognise this harassed individual?

Martyn Middleman, head of department

After more than a decade at the educational chalkface, Martyn is looking hard at his work-life balance. Principally, he's trying to work out which side of the see-saw of existence is winning in the race to kill him first.

By the time he's cycled into work, he's usually been up for three hours already, either bashing through the controlled assessments that have been sitting on his desk for weeks or pacing the garden in his boxer shorts, bouncing the newest addition to the family in his arms while trying to find where another of his children has hidden his house keys.

Remarkably, he's still dedicated to the job after so much time. Sure, there may be some truth to his wife's suspicions that he attends those training courses at the other end of the country just to get a peaceful night's sleep at a motel, but he is still trying to make a difference. He ploughs on relentlessly with experimental classroom carousels, colour- coded merit charts and those little envelopes containing slips of paper that the students have to rearrange into the right order.

But he's started to notice younger colleagues being promoted ahead of him. And, in last month's election for staff governor, he was pipped to the post by the delivery man from The Book People. Even his second-in- department seems to have given up the teasing quips about his clothing. ("This is not just a jacket. This is an Mamp;S baby-vomit-splashed jacket.")

He's feeling a little ignored.

Still, Martyn consoles himself with the fact that some of his students do still seem genuinely captivated by his teaching: "Go on, Shaniah - you've been straining to ask your question all lesson. What is it?"

"Sir, is that banana stuck in your hair?"


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