A great list written by Andrew Cunningham:
The too-busy-to-breathe head of year
Heads of years have to keep on top of the curriculum in their subject and maintain control over an entire intake of pupils. No mean feat. Snatched conversations in busy corridors are the best parents can hope for.
To win them over, preface each encounter with comforting, understanding words: “I realise how desperately busy you are, but could you possibly spare five minutes to help my son plan his revision?” Their indispensability duly acknowledged, they’ll be delighted to help out.
The career teacher
School’s not about you or your child: it’s about their fast-track progression to becoming a head by the age of 35. You can spot the career teacher from their habit of looking over your shoulder at parents’ evening, eager to catch the eye of a passing school governor.
To get them onside, ask about any important education conferences they’ve been to recently, before adding: “My daughter’s so lucky to have you – you’ve no idea how difficult your subject is for most people!” Just watch them preen…
The overzealous homework setter
The bane of teenagers’ lives, these conscientious teachers set five hours of written homework each night, ignoring the umpteen other subjects your little one is taking.
Don’t be too harsh on a homework setter: they’re only trying to cover off the curriculum, and they’re often really enthused by their subject (who wouldn’t want to spend the evening reading up on the Franco-Prussian war?).
If it really is getting too much, seek the sympathetic ear of your child’s form tutor, who can tactfully point out that anxious pupils have other deadlines to meet.
The marking shirker
You’ve watched your child stay up until midnight finishing that essay on Macbeth and then… nothing. A month later and the paper still hasn’t been marked. Marking shirkers come in many shapes and sizes, but don’t be surprised if the English teacher turns out to be one.
He’s an aspiring novelist, you see – his evenings are spent tapping out high-minded prose. Marking is a big part of teaching, and late marking is unacceptable.
The trainee teacher
Easy to spot from a mile off. Young, enthusiastic, occasionally hung-over, and quite possibly the object of your teenager’s first harmless crush.
Trainee teachers pose a conundrum for parents. It’s wonderful that your child is being taught by someone who knows exactly how young minds tick – but they’re still learning the trade and may struggle to keep order.
Try to show patience before complaining about any shortcomings. Trainees are desperate to do well and deserve support for choosing such a tricky profession. And remember: the alternative to young-and-callow “Ms X” might well be “Poor Old Mr Y”, who stopped caring long ago.
The faded star
Almost always found in the drama department or on the sports fields, these teachers are never shy of talking about past lives – “I once played Blanche DuBois in Streetcar”; “Sir Alex came to watch my Under-12s trial”.
Like the overzealous homework setter, they may not appreciate that your child has other educational priorities. Keep them sweet by listening when they retell old stories and never, ever, withdraw at the last moment from a school play or football match. These events mean more to the faded star than you may realise.
The inspirational teacher
A keen eye can spot an inspirational teacher just by walking into their classroom. Bookcases are stacked with well-thumbed books and wear a “Please take what you want” sign. The walls are covered with evocative pictures of faraway places, instilling a subconscious urge to explore and expand horizons. Desks are clean of graffiti, because pupils don’t need to find ways to pass the time.
Click on the link to read Questions to Improve Your Teaching Performance
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Click on the link to read Tips For Less Talking and Better Teaching
Click on the link to read What Type of Teacher Are You?