Website verdict: it's oddly addictive

11th February 2005 at 00:00
"Strangely addictive" was one teacher's verdict on the new digital channel devoted to their profession.

The art teacher posted the comment about Teachers' TV on the TES website and said: "I watched it for 30 minutes without realising it this weekend."

"It looks great," said another viewer, who had picked up tips on behaviour and lesson management after tuning into programmes showing new teachers embarking on their first weeks of teaching in job.

"It's like observing lessons without going to school," the teacher said.

One beginner saw the digital channel as a lifeline: "I've watched a couple of programmes and found them quite interesting - as a newly qualified teacher, I need all the help I can get."

And they were not alone.

"There have been some great resources presented, including 15-minute programmes you can record for use in the classroom," one teacher said.

"Each section is key stage organised so you can watch exactly what you need. I've been finding the NQT parts really interesting with ideas on classroom and behaviour management."

Another added: "I've been watching some of the programmes and I have found some of them very informative. This is just what someone of my experience (very little!) needs."

However, another teacher fretted: "I can just imagine kids watching it...

and seeing where we get our tips."

Others were more cynical. One thought it would lead to teachers taking work home with them: "Is it just me, or is this simply a way of getting mugs to do in-service training in the comfort of their own homes?"

Some were keen to watch but were reluctant to spend money doing so: "Why do we have to subscribe to this channel? Looks good, but I haven't got the cash to spare and don't actually see why I should." Another teacher joshed:

"The Government will take the fee out of our wages."

The channel is available free on cable, satellite and Freeview (though only between midnight and 6am) and teachers can get discounts on digital set-top boxes. Once programmes have been transmitted they can also watch them on the internet (

Teachers were divided over programmes being repeated.

One said: "Like most cable channels, it doesn't have the material to run 24 hours, so it is rehash after rehash I'm afraid."

But another said: "With us all being so busy we'll have the opportunity to watch things when we get a chance. I'm sure many of us would have a little moan if a programme was on just once and we missed it."

A teacher featured in one programme was all for the repeats: "Tis gonna be like the Discovery Channel. Lots of programmes repeated. So I could still get screen time when I am a haggard old lady. How ace."

One early-years teacher was "hacked off" that the channel covered only ages five to 16: "The early years always seems to be either an afterthought or anadd-on.

"The powers that be do not yet appear to realise that you can't build anything without firm foundations."

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