Bill Hicks takes a snapshot of one moment in the TES forums, frozen here for posterity
As this is the last of these columns for a while, I thought I'd give some exposure to the thousands of helpful, sensible, friendly and even educational discussions that continue week after week in our forums.
Over the past year I've given you a taste of only a fraction of our many online communities. You've heard about the prospective student teachers, befriending course-mates even before they arrive at their colleges. You've enjoyed (I hope) the gentle self-mockery of our erudite English teachers in the still-flourishing Pedants Anonymous thread, and had a peek into the alcohol-fuelled bacchanal that is Bauble's Bar.
In recent weeks you've had to endure my attempts to make sense of the non-stop ideological bare-knuckle fight that continues in the Opinion forum and explain our context-is-all approach to moderation. (I failed here. You told me so: "Bill Hicks, TES website editor - you are talking nonsense!").
In my journalistically warped quest for the weird, the wonderful and the outrageous, I have failed to give you even a glancing report of the specialised discourse that typifies the Governors', CPD, SEN or Teaching Assistants' forums. I'd need another 50 columns to do justice to these areas. The best I can offer, in these final 150 words, is a snapshot of the live topics at 5.30pm on a steamy Friday afternoon, two weeks from the end of term.
In ICT, indigotony was suffering: "35 degrees! I'm hacked off with working in an ICT suite at over 30 degrees C regularly, and today it hit 35 degrees. Health and safety issues, but deaf ears at school. HELP! I'm withering fast - any ideas?"
In New Teachers they were on to "dress code and mentors", with one poster miffed at being labelled "unprofessional" for having worn "a black T-shirt which happened to have 'Tigger' on the front".
In the TAs forum, little. H needed to know whether there were "any NNs or AUXs out there who have had their contracts changed as a result of job evaluation" (now you see why we have a jargonbuster on our website).
Historians were wrapped in this pedagogical debate: "Chronology; the indispensable backbone of history. Do you worry about its marginalisation?"
And in Opinion, of course, they were firing off in all directions: "Is the EU about to implode?"; "Don't you hate the 'my best lessons are made up walking into the room' brigade?"; and "TES Staffroom in crisis?"
What was that? Crisis? I'd better go. Maybe see you in September... Bill Hicks is editor of the TES website: www.tes.co.ukstaffroom. His column returns with Friday magazine on September 9