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Teachers’ meetings

Workshops are pretty grim, but at least there is a small chance of learning something useful. Teachers’ meetings are another kettle of fish.

There are two types of teachers’ meeting. In Type A the DOS tells everyone to pull their socks up. In Type B certain teachers see it as their chance to “have a go” at authority.

Type A is preferable, because you can drift off. There is something soporific about the DOS’s voice as it drones on about unpunctuality, incomplete lesson notes, etc.

Type B meetings are more stressful, because mouthy teachers (of whom, strangely, there is no shortage in ELT) harangue the DOS about the timetable, salaries, annual leave, computers, lavatories and so on. If you do not participate or at least nod vigorously at each fresh accusation, you will be accused of selling out.

Most DOSes, of course, could not care less what teachers think about anything. However, if the school has sent them on a management training course, they will endeavour to hide this fact. They will crane forward in their chairs, frown with concentration and nod a lot.

The rule for teachers’ meetings is this: Say nothing at all. If asked directly for your opinion, look wise, smile and say, “Well...”, as if the question was really a bit too simplistic. You will get a reputation as a dark horse.

How to stay sane during teachers’ meetings

  1. Doodle. Draw caricatures of your less appealing colleagues.
  2. Pass ribald notes to your chums, or text them.
  3. Play Teachers’ Meeting Bingo (rules below).
  4. See if you can fart without anyone identifying the culprit.
  5. Pick nose, ears, scalp, etc and scrutinize findings.
  6. Flick paper balls at the other teachers.
  7. Devise elaborate sexual fantasies involving teachers, students, receptionists, etc.

Teachers’ meeting bingo

Draw a 4x4 grid and fill it with things your DOS is likely to do during the meeting. Other players should have the same things in different cells. The first to get a line of 4 wins. Example:

looks at clock coughs scratches mentions punctuality
says “OK” gets annoyed looks in briefcase for document rolls eyes
says “resources” points at a teacher refers to a course as a “product” says something sarcastic
complains about being overworked mentions the owner gives bad news smiles falsely at daft suggestion