Just For Fun: The Little Things That Drive You Mad

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Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn...
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What are the little things in school that make you twitch?

I’ve compiled a list of 25 little niggles that have bothered me during my work in schools. Not enough to be a major issue, but possibly enough on some occasions, to be the last straw!

25 ‘niggles’ all teachers understand

  1. Pupils who attempt to teach you how to use your own ICT equipment.
  2. The dried-out whiteboard pen.
  3. The classroom whistler you can’t spot.
  4. The question, ‘Can I go to the toilet?’ followed by ‘Will you bring the key back?’
  5. The meeting that could have been an email.
  6. A cancelled lesson observation you over-prepared for (this is actually a big thing).
  7. Photocopier queues 5 minutes before the lesson starts
  8. The word pedagogy said wrongly (ped-ee-gog-ee). Ditto the word genre (gen-ree).
  9. An erroneous apostrophe (written by a teacher).
  10. Specific vs Pacific.
  11. Full moons and windy days – take cover!
  12. Other people’s Pinterest classrooms. Do they even have a life?
  13. There’s only decaf coffee left in the staffroom.
  14. Glue stick wastage, shortages and those missing a lid (top tip: use a sharp knife to cut off the dried out bit).
  15. Cheap glue sticks where the sheets fall out after 3 months.
  16. Pupils who randomly miss out pages in their books.
  17. Pupils’ use of a knife and fork.
  18. Your car being blocked in when you want to go home!
  19. Pencils that are only 3cm long.
  20. When you try to shake the printer cartridge back to life, then the ink goes all over you!
  21. Putting a swimming hat on a child, multiplied by 30.
  22. The pupil who has to touch the smartboard every time they walk past it.
  23. That parent who ruins your day.
  24. Having to lead a last-minute assembly.
  25. The school office manager who doesn’t trust anyone with their stationery.

It didn’t take long to come up with this list of 25 little things and I could easily find 25 more! What would you add?

Whilst most employees face the same work challenges, not everyone is fixed to one room all day with 30 pupils with a limited budget …

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