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Teachit staffroom roundup--hot topics.

Book group: The Road

The Teachit book group is back! The premise is simple: one of our contributors chooses a book (it can be aimed at adults or young people, but will hopefully stimulate some kind of discussion) and then writes the start of a thread. Following the mixed reaction to Marcus Sedgwick's My Swordhand is Singing, last month's selected read was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. With some overwhelmingly popular responses to this text and statements including 'spare and skilful', 'one of the most powerful books I've ever read' and 'brilliant and bleak', why not put thoughts of exam preparation aside for one moment and add your own thoughts, positive or otherwise, to this absorbing discussion? On the other hand, if you're suffering from cinematic over-exposure to Cormac McCarthy, why not jump on board with this month's book group choice--Benjamin Zephaniah's Gangsta Rap. Unrealistic, sexist, sensationalist money-for-old-rope or a gritty, finger-on-the-pulse examination of hip hop culture? You decide.

A level poetry/The comfy sofa

If you haven't yet found Teachit's satellite sites then (to coin a terrible cliche) there's a whole new world out there waiting for you. Various staffroom threads link current discussions to both the Poetry Place and the Subject Leaders' Sanctuary. If you're in the midst of grappling with AS or A2 poetry and are beginning to regard 'Tennyson' as a juicy swear word then drop Trevor Millum an email ( He's just the man to restore your faith in poets and poetry. So far he's been extremely quick to respond to any cries for help, but it might be an idea to get yours in before the 'Eek, I've got to teach that in September' rush. Alternatively, if you're a HoD or second in department with any middle management gripes or questions, then check out The comfy sofa (the Sanctuary's answer to the staffroom). It's a restful, supportive place designed to help relieve your leadership burdens. So put your feet up. Tea (metaphorical) and sympathy (genuine) will be with you shortly.

The Jobsworth

It's a no-win situation. If, as a teacher, you're determined to maintain some sort of work/life balance and talk openly about your free evenings or your up-and-coming weekend(s) away, then you're branded a lazy good-for-nothing. But if, on the other hand, you're fired up with enthusiasm for the job, ensure that your car is the first in/last out of the car park, and joyfully go about telling colleagues that teaching allowed you to find yourself, then you'll be labelled a jobsworth of the highest order. With responses from teachers 'regularly accused of trying to be perfectionist' and those 'determined to have a life outside of work', both sides are represented. If reading/adding to this thread makes you less tempted to murder your self-satisfied colleague(s) with a bent teaspoon, then the Teachit staffroom can feel very proud of itself indeed.
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Title Annotation:Secondary
Author:Hewitt, Lucy
Publication:NATE Classroom
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 22, 2008
Previous Article:Reading discovery.
Next Article:Reading aloud's allowed.

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