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From the TES forum

Portfolio queries

One NQT wanted to know if she could take photos of pupils involved in teaching activities to add to her portfolio, but was told by the manageress of the nursery she works in that she'd have to get permission from the parents.

A helpful poster responded: "When I was on teaching practice, no one seemed to mind as long as the pictures showed a group of children involved in the activity and no child was singled out. In the school where I work now, we have a general permission letter that goes out at the beginning of each new year and parents sign to say that they agree."

Words of support

Some NQTs are having a hard time out there and are thinking of quitting.

A forum member has the following practical advice for anybody that feels they're not getting the support they deserve: "Read all the induction documents carefully so you know how much support you should be getting. Your induction year doesn't have to be spent in the same school, so you could leave and complete the induction year elsewhere."

We love teaching, honest

While a lot of teachers use the forum to let off steam about the profession, there are still plenty of you out there that love the job, as the following recent postings prove..."I'm in my seventh year of teaching and I still enjoy it. The job has good and bad points, but what job hasn't." "Most jobs are hard work, but few are as rewarding as teaching. Stay positive!" "I met a primary teacher who had the right idea. She used to teach for 3-4 years, then have a year or two doing something totally different and then return to teaching again. She's been doing this since 1977 and is still fresh and interested in the job." And then there's the more cynical view..."Now, let's be honest, we're all in it for the holidays."

Burning questions and your answers

Q What do I do when I'm off work sick? Do I have to set work for my classes?A If you're sick, the classes are not your problem - if you're too ill to teach, then you're too ill to set work.Q I've been teaching in Japan for three years. When I return to the UK will I find it difficult to get a job?A You need to pass an induction year before you can become fully qualified to teach anywhere in the UK.Q When do you tell the children you're leaving the school?A The best advice I can give is not to tell anyone. It's the responsibility of the head to inform staff and students.Q Should an NQT have a desk for personal use?A A desk is essential. For example, I'm sure your headteacher wouldn't want you to leave sensitive documents lying around the place for the kids to see.

The ideal school

NQTs have been dreaming about what would make the perfect school. Here's an edited shortlist...All parents would agree to a charter to support teachers, to acknowledge their child may not be an angel and to supervise homework. Teachers would actually be considered as key staff rather than irritating paper pushers.The head would have some social skills and understand how kids learn.

What bugs you?

A hugely busy thread focused on phrases that teachers dread hearing...

From parents...I know my rights

We're going on holidays for three weeks. Will heshe miss anything?

From the kids...But sir, nobody else sets us homework


Is it lunchtime yet? (At 9:05am)

Go toilet

I don't do detentions


From the head...We'll just have a quick meeting

Lets touch base on that

From SMTs...Could you just have a quick look at this and get back to me?

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