Teachers turn tat police in show and tell crackdown

27th October 2006 at 01:00
False teeth, stuffed dogs and photos of racy underwear are just a few of the bizarre entries seen by teachers during classroom show-and-tells, a survey has found.

Caroline Enstock, a former primary school teacher, asked staff to submit their most harrowing tales of show-and-tell misery to her Teacher Timesaver website, and the results make surprising and sometimes unnerving reading.

One Yorkshire pupil submitted a photograph of his mother in lacy lingerie to a display about "families". Another, the son of a taxidermist, showed off a stuffed dog, formerly the family pet.

"For some reason a lot of the weirder ones come from up north," says Ms Enstock, who taught at a Yorkshire primary, said: "I don't know if it's the children up here or what. It also always seems to happen to newly-qualified teachers.

"The lingerie incident had to be mentioned to the parents. The child had found them in a brown envelope in a bedside cabinet. I think it is engraved on that teacher's soul for life."

On the TES website Staffroom some primary teachers have admitted to imposing a "tat crackdown" on pupils who flaunt lacklustre items from half-coloured-in pictures to 2p coins.

"Last year's lot were terrible. They used to fish out grotty bits of torn paper and just stand there vaguely waving it about," complains one would-be Brian Sewell.

Responses advocate everything from an all-out ban, to squeezing items into a 10-minute slot on Friday. "I'm honest with them if it's just a bit of old tat," admits one.

Another poster takes a more sober approach, lamenting, "What does it say about how teaching has gone? We have no time to connect with pupils."

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