What type of teacher are you?
There are so many teaching types in a school it would make an interesting Police line-up. Here’s just a few of the personalities that you might have roaming the corridors and milling about the staffroom:
1. The Maverick
Peppery, volatile, haphazard, disagreeable, belligerent and yet likeable. This loose cannon makes coming to school exciting because you can’t second-guess what they will do next. They might make nightmare Year group partners but they make school more unpredictable and fill the corridors with a pleasant whiff of danger. They reject the status quo and like the plant Venus, they spin backwards. Children love them because they are inspiring, engaging and funny and they have a twinkle of mischief in their eyes.
2. The Buzzword Baron
They know all the words that are in and all the word that are out. They also know what are fads are and can be relied upon to guide a school away from the gimmicks, bandwagons and snake-oil sales people.
3. The Coaster
Normally an apathetic veteran teacher who has been there, done that. In reality, they’ve been at the same school for 20 years and know little of the outside world. Coasters are just tired, bruised and victims of a fragile system. They plod on but drip bitterness and sarcasm.
4. The Fashionista
This teacher is immaculate and ready to walk the cat walk at anytime. Perfect nails, perfect hair, great clothes and a great attitude to match, this teacher is a bit of diva and never comes into contact with PVA glue.
5. The Time Stealer
A master of time management, this teacher can conjure up minutes from here, there and everywhere. They are experts in the 4 Ds of prioritising tasks: do, delegate, ditch and delay. If they can nick a few minutes here and a few there then they will. They often say “No chance!” when a pointless staff meeting is scheduled.
6. The Time-server
This teacher sees new teachers as a threat or a bit of a joke. They believe you have to put in the years, preferably in several ‘tough inner-city settings’ to prove your mettle. They reckon that 10,000 hours is just the beginning and you need at least three times that to be a ‘good teacher’.
7. The Chillaxer
This laid-back teacher makes living look effortless. They just breeze about from one lesson to another in a permanent state of centredness. Suspected by many to have been a habitual cannabis user, the Chillaxer lets nothing or no one ruffle their feathers.
8. The Alienated
This is an unhappy teacher who mutters during staff meetings, sitting with arms folded or eyes closed and shaking the head saying “We tried that before and look at the mess it caused. It’ll never work”. They are often stubborn, rigid and unwilling to adapt to changes in their work environment.
9. The Star
This champion teacher has the brain of a dolphin, superpowers galore and is the prodigy of the school. They are born teachers and make everything they do look effortless. They can switch between Year groups and teach across the curriculum with expertise and are really good with children of all ages and abilities. They are true utility players, 100% teacher and will turn their hand to any task as the ‘Jack’and ‘Jill’ of all trades and master of everything. Doyen, virtuoso and Jedi, the star teacher is one to look up to.
10. The Smiler
A genuinely happy soul who manages to smile in just about every situation going. They can make your day just with one look and they are vital for a school as smiling can go viral and benefits everyone. Their classes are normally very happy places to be with happy learners.
11. The Charismatic
This teacher has any class in the palm of their hand just by being present. Their presence is so powerful that they don’t really have to say much or anything to control a class. They have that something special about them that everyone is envious of. They are normally tip-top teachers who are well-liked and a little bit feared too.
12. The Kaizen Teacher
This teacher used to work on the production line at Toyota. Their philosophy is that change is good which involves continuous improvement by making small incremental improvements in all areas of life. They believe that they are one small cog in the machine but an important one just like everyone else. They believe the school works best as a team solving problems together in Quality Circles.
13. The IKEA Teacher
This teacher is a strong believer in children finding their own way even if this means following arrows that lead nowhere. They are hands-on teachers who like children to figure things out for themselves using Allen keys and perseverance. These teachers have SOLE and encourage children to ask ‘Big Questions’.
14. The Whinger
This teacher is not a happy bunny. They keep a diary of staff incidents and “people who get away with murder”. This means that they will tell you that they are short of PPA for that week by 4 minutes and 27 seconds and “that’s not fair”. They will moan about anything and can be seen tutting and shaking their head in assembly, meetings and staff training.
15. The Turgid Teacher
You know the type. Bombastic, pompous, overblown, overripe and super-inflated, this is the teacher who insists that creativity can be taught and we should all be able to inspire children to be inventive….but not as good as they can. They are legends in their own lunchtimes and love to tell everyone their lessons go beyond outstanding.
16. The Salami
This teacher expects you to stop a look at them immediately whatever you are doing and that means now! They reject windchimes, rain makers, bells and whistles but instead favour ‘call and response’ techniques and they will use them without warning.