Putting up backing paper by @shenalewington

Name: Shena Lewington
Twitter name: @shenalewington
Sector: Primary, Secondary 
Position: Retired teacher with time on her hands
What is your advice about? Putting up backing paper

  1. Hang backing paper vertically like wall-paper. Choose 60cm wide rather than 1m if possible – it’s much easier to handle, and even though you need more drops, they’re quicker to hang in the long term.
  2. Counsel of perfection is to start at the side furthest from the door, so that overlaps are less visible. If you must work horizontally, start from the bottom edge.
  3. Use mapping pins to hold paper in position until you are ready to staple. Most ordinary staplers will open out flat – I recommend using a mini stapler for backing paper and having dozens of tiny staples in the board – or if you have a staple gun, think about angling it very slightly so that one day in the future you will be able to get the staples out again.
  4. I would avoid borders unless they are for a specific purpose – eg. icicles on top edge of “Winter” display or dancing crochets round the music board – or if you actively want to reduce the available space for putting up children’s work. Don’t waste time cutting your own manky ones out of off-cuts – if you really want to have borders, buy rolls of commercial stuff.
  5. Top tip for notice boards – cut two pieces of coloured A4 to length 23cm, overlap to make them 32cm high and staple them into position as a permanent mount for any changing A4 notices. Top tip 2: Why not recycle your displays by offering them afterwards to the main hall, corridor or local library?
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What to wear if you teach teenagers. Advice for all genders. by @621carly

Name: Carly Waterman
Twitter name: @621carly
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Former Deputy Headteacher of Northampton School for Girls
What is your advice about? What to wear if you teach teenagers. Advice for all genders.

  1. All teenagers get distracted by sightings of parts of an adult’s body that they do not ordinarily see. To avoid distracting teenagers from the business of learning, be aware of cleavage, side-boobs, thighs, tops of bums, bottoms of bums and any form of underwear that you might inadvertently be showing – and don’t.
  2. Professionalism is created in many ways, but one way is via what you wear. Whilst comfort and practicality are priorities, always consider the messages you are projecting through your choice of clothes, especially if you want to be taken seriously by Year 9 last lesson on a Friday.
  3. School is not a fashion show is a sensible thing to remember.
  4. Clothes are important to teenagers, so they will notice your clothes – especially if you wear something different, or wacky, or luminous. I’m not saying don’t wear something different, wacky or luminous, but don’t expect it to go unnoticed.
  5. When you wear a green jacket with brown trousers, teenagers will ask you why you came to school dressed as a tree. Don’t let it get to you; just smile sweetly and say it’s because they are your seedlings and you are helping them to grow.

Key People by @andylewis_re

Name: Andy Lewis
Twitter name: andylewis_re
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): RE
Position: Assistant Headteacher
What is your advice about? Key People

  1. Caretakers and Cleaners – for when you lose your keys, break stuff or make a mess
  2. Receptionist – for all those Amazon deliveries, and as a general fountain of knowledge
  3. Reprographics – for last minute photocopying (after last minute planning) and ‘complex job’ you can’t work out how to do yourself
  4. Bursar – for when you need more money as you’ve spent it all
  5. Chef / Cook – for bigger portions at lunch

Cycling a fair distance to school by @moleycule

Name: Chris Macfarlane
Twitter name: @moleycule
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Biology
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Cycling a fair distance to school.

  1. Have spare clothes in school. Lots of them.
  2. This means pants.
  3. And also socks.
  4. Have spare lights or charge lights every day.
  5. Resist temptation to take books home.

Tights by Anonymous

Name: Anonymous
Twitter name: Anonymous
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Tights

  1. Buy them from Primark where you can get 5 pairs for £2.50
  2. Keep a spare pair in your work bag in case they ladder.
  3. Be organised: You can never have too many pairs of tights. Sometimes you can only wear them once so treat them as if they were disposable.
  4. Wear nude rather than glossy as they look more natural.
  5. Avoid stockings or hold ups as they are not practical and won’t stay up.

UCAS References by @RequireImprove

Name: Requires Improvement
Twitter name: @RequireImprove
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Phyiscs
Position: Teacher & 6th form tutor
What is your advice about? UCAS References

  1. Get as much done in summer term, year 12 as you can. The deadlines in autumn come up very quickly, especially for Oxbridge & Medicine.
  2. Don’t over-inflate predictions (rounding up to the next grade is usually OK). There’s no point a student getting an offer that they have no chance of meeting.
  3. If year 11/12 grades are below expectations, try to explain what went wrong and what the student has done about this.
  4. One big reason unis are interested in extra-curriculars is that they show “spare capacity” beyond school/college work. If that is caring for families, that’s good to mention.
  5. Showing an interest in the subject beyond lessons is good, independent interest is even better. Facilitating student-run activities will help applicants a lot.