#TeachingTruths by @TeacherToolkit

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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This is a blog about #TeachingTruths most teachers would not be willing to admit professionally.

This is a fun blog, designed to tease out a few teaching truths for non-teachers. I wonder if any of the following statements would shock anyone?

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  1. On managing behaviour: You design your seating plan with the naughtiest students nearest to the door. This is either because the student(s) will arrive late, or you are likely to send them out of class. Either way, this seat is the shortest journey.
  2. On classroom arguments with students: Not every child will like you, so in a classroom argument, you tell them you ‘don’t need any friends.’
  3. On marking avoidance: Snowed under with marking and towards the end of term, you ‘accidentally’ place a stack of books in a dusty broom cupboard and forget they are there. The cleaners recycle them …
  4. On managing difficult parents: You shake hands with Mr and Mrs. Difficult at parents evening, smile and say; “Thank you for your support.”
  5. On horrible children: “I can’t stand that child. If he spoke to me in the street, I’d … “
  6. On observing poor standards: I can’t believe [teacher] gets away with all that …
  7. On influence and development: At some point, someone or something will make you change your stance on behaviour management.
  8. On creating resources: You take ideas from other teachers; modify them and make them your own.
  9. On teacher assessments: You just make up these levels and go with your gut; and if you copy and paste them, these reports will be so much quicker to complete and you’ll meet the deadline. No one will have time to proof read them.
  10. On borrowing: It’s just a ream of paper!
  11. On doing things because you have to: You set a mock exam paper (at the end of the year) with no intention of ever marking them!
  12. On forgetfulness: Not knowing a student’s name at parents evening, you bluff your way through the 5-10 minute meeting and catch a glimpse of the child’s name at the top of the report, just as they stand up to leave.
  13. On missing deadlines: “I didn’t get that email. Can you send it again please?”
  14. On lesson planning: You have planned for the wrong lesson (so you improvise).
  15. On performance management: You know your line-manager hates filling in the paperwork as much as you do. “Let’s just tick the box …”
  16. On timing of lessons: You let the students out of class early and said you could trust them. A member of SLT has sent them all back to class.
  17. On lateness: You ‘apparently’ had a flat tyre.
  18. On professional development: Yes, you can read the PowerPoint at the same time the CPD leader reads each slide out to the audience. You give out a loud ‘yawn’ and turn a few heads.
  19. On revision sessions with students: Why should I spend more time with you out of class if you can’t focus during it? (Oh yes, appraisal.)
  20. On wellbeing: You really do not give two-hoots about school when you are not there. This makes you happy.
  21. On work-life balance: Despite not caring about your school, you find yourself working all hours ‘for the children.’
  22. On career development: Yes, you are the only applicant and the school is desperate to give somebody the job. You decide you need the money more than the opportunity.
  23. On pay progression: Yes. You really are going to be doing all this just to prove that you need an extra £100 per month!
  24. On social media: You know those pictures may be seen by year 11. It’s too late! You touched the vino and tweeted at the staff party!
  25. On meetings with the headteacher: You are glad you have a one-to-one opportunity to express your feelings and thoughts. On reflection, you cannot believe when asked, you said the idea was “stupid!”
  26. On your own graded lessons: You pull out the old lesson plan that ticked all the ‘Outstanding’ boxes in the past. It works again and again, and after feedback, you go back to doing what you do best. Teaching with the flow …
  27. On the school bell: You blooming hate that klaxon ringing in your ears every single hour of the day. However, your favourite moment is being caught walking between classrooms 2 minutes after the bell, knowing another member of staff will be standing at your classroom door managing your students to line up quietly.
  28. On professionalism in the modern world: You really don’t see why exposing your tattoos, trainers and piercings in the place of work is a problem.
  29. On staff room gossip: Yes, you really did ‘kop-off’ last night with [teacher]. You wonder if SLT know already?
  30. On Ofsted: What utter nonsense!

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