Every staffroom is unique. Some schools go for the battered but comfortable look, while others stick with minimalist chic. But whichever school you find yourself in, there are two things you can always rely on – a plentiful supply of coffee and the presence of these five teacher stereotypes:
1 The activist
The head has just announced a reduction in PPA time, but you’re not worried. You know that your school’s answer to Fred Jarvis will be on the case faster than you can say “workplace dispute”. Guaranteed to bring a bit of controversy to any staff meeting, this teacher type has considered confrontation down to a fine art.
2 The gossip
In the same way that a pig can sniff out a truffle, this teacher type is an expert at sniffing out and extracting information from unsuspecting colleagues. They are siren-like in their ability to make you feel at ease, while probing for your deepest, darkest secrets. Nobody is safe. Not even the students.
3 The burnt out
Despite every teacher feeling this at some point, there are a few teachers out there who seemingly embody this on a more permanent basis. They have heavy eyes, above-average caffeine intake and you might catch them falling asleep during a morning briefing or an after-school training session. Check in on these guys occasionally – ask if they need help with anything. They’d probably appreciate it.
4 The technology teacher
Their classroom looks like a showroom for an upmarket electronics’ store. There’s a flash new projector, an Apple iMac, visualisers, tablets and every cable with every connector presently discovered by humans. These teachers use their iPad from the front to control their slides like an absolute wizard and you begin to wonder if the school provided this stuff
5 The old-timer
Having been teaching since time immemorial, this teacher type has quite literally seen it all before. Every new initiative is something they’ve already done, just rehashed and under a different name: “Restorative practice? In my day, we called it apologising!” Too many years in education may have worn them down, but they’ve always got the energy for an impromptu rant.
6 The Fashionistas
This group of teachers always follow or conform to the current fashion They are so careful with their appearance and will never go unnoticed.
7 The subject master
They know their subjects to depth and breadth, and real-world applications of their subjects. Additionally, they possess a deep understanding of how students learn and develop.
8 The silent listener.
They rarely contribute to staff debates/ discussions and are always busy with marking or preparing lesson plans
9 The broke one
They spend about as much as they make and live paycheck to paycheck. They have a good tongue when borrowing but find it hard to repay back.
10 The clown.
This group of teachers never take matters seriously. They are always fun having around and their absence is usually felt by everyone.