Too tired for love?
I got so fed up with hearing other teachers complain about being single and their lack of dates, I set up an online "speed dater" database less than a year ago, via a discussion thread on The TES website.
There was obviously a gap in the market: more than 80 teachers have registered, and the thread I started now has around 2,000 posts on it.
But why are so many of us single? Are teachers impossible partners, or is it a lack of talent in our staffrooms?
Many of the teachers on my database have cited various reasons for finding themselves reluctantly on their own, but when I read through their posts on the original speed dater thread, I realised that we all have quite a bit in common...
Most teachers work long hours and some even work into the night, so it's hard to find the head space to think about finding a "soul mate". We're too tired. And anyway, going down town on the pull runs the risk of ending up in a snog with a parent. And that's not a good feeling when you meet them again while you're on school gate duty.
More of us are getting to know new people through chatrooms on the internet, and discussion forums like the one on The TES website. There are advantages - you can take part at any time and you don't need make-up or a clean shirt. Ideal if you're feeling a bit haggard.
But who, in real life, is the person you're flirting with? He could be the 33-year-old, 6ft tall fireman he claims to be, but there's a chance he could be the slimeball deputy head with wandering hands that you narrowly escaped from at your last school. You just don't know.
As for other teachers, fancying a colleague can be a delicate matter, especially if pupils get any whiff of a staffroom romance. I read somewhere that six out of 10 people in this country have had relationships with someone at work. It certainly goes on in schools I've known but, pupils aside, isn't school just too small a community?I don't want to be in the same room as someone else's affair, that's for sure. Lots of teachers on my database have got together because they know the stresses and strains of the job, but work in different parts of the country. It's good that there's a bit of distance, but how can we make sure that being the lover of another teacher won't turn you both into school bores?
I know there are great catches on my database, and at least six couples have begun relationships in the last six months, but single teachers need more options. Clubs and bars? Dodgy. Online? Limited. Romance in school? Less than ideal. We don't want to end up lonely. How can the nation's teachers find love?
Likes: people who smile when I make Blu-Tack penises for their desks, and Janet Street Porter
Must have own hair and appreciate kids are part of the package
I'm tall, all my own hair, don't smoke, active but tend to ache afterwards
No hang ups, no kids, no ex East Mids
Sporty type, Great legs (so i've been told!) Secondary PE and maths