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Tricks of the trade

Teachers are mines of sage guidance when it comes to survival tips for new colleagues. The latest edition of Teaching Scotland, that estimable journal of the GTC, has much advice as you would expect - arrive before your class, when you make a classroom rule keep to it.

Other tips are more unexpected. One advises: "Be cautious about accepting the results of a cookery lesson. A sausage roll may look tempting, but remember rolling pastry is very good for getting hands clean."

And another: "At the end of each term, take your mug home for a good clean unless you are growing cultures for a specific lesson. Teachers are notorious for a 'rinse and go' mentality after break and often abandon mugs."

Finally: "If you must lend a pupil a pencil, make sure it's not the one you use for your marking later that night. Chewing on a pencil brings back the memory of just how itchy the pupil's ear was that day."

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