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When you started teaching...

(82 Posts)
TheFifthKey Thu 14-Sep-17 18:44:46

The thread about how office jobs have changed got me thinking about how teaching has changed (apart from turning from a great job into a crap one...)

I started in 2003. Nobody used emails and we had internal memo envelopes used between buildings. This carried on for years! Not every room had a computer and we did registers on Bromcoms (handheld things, like overgrown Kindles, that did registers and you could also do reports etc on. They used AA batteries and were always running out of power! You'd have to send a kid down to the office for batteries if you didn't keep a secret stash).

No projectors, the odd Smart board which was regarded as the very height of technology (even though they were utterly shit to write on). Mobile phones weren't an issue as hardly any kids used them and even then they were basic ones. No name badges, no passes, no lanyards, all doors left unlocked all the time and half the site was barely even fenced.

People used to go to the pub on Friday after school and on my last day of teaching practice the department took me to the pub at lunchtime and we had a drink!

OP’s posts: |
PotteringAlong Thu 14-Sep-17 18:50:59

I had a proper blackboard when I trained. Ah, the smell of chalk!

BackforGood Thu 14-Sep-17 18:51:22

No-one had computers. Well - there was a massive one on a trolley to be wheeled across the playground, with floppy discs that were actually floppy. grin
All reports were handwritten
As was planning
All lesson plans for the whole week fitted on to a sheet of A3.
We had topics, which everything (or most things) connected in to. This was replaced by National Curriculum and individual subjects and 'Literacy Hour' and 'Numeracy Hour' before the full circle turned again and someone came up with this 'wild new idea, called Integrated Curriculum' wink
Milk was 7p a carton
Everyone at my first school had a cooked meal midday - no-one was allowed a packed lunch. It was the head's way of making sure all dc got a proper meal once a day (very poor area)

Staff weren't allowed to wear trousers grin

BackforGood Thu 14-Sep-17 18:52:06

Oh, and forgot about the mahooosive tele on a trolley that got wheeled in occasionally.

TheFifthKey Thu 14-Sep-17 18:59:14

When I started classes did have (tiny) TVs mounted in he corner of the room. I used to bang my head on them constantly. They had VHS cabinets attached that were locked! So if you didn't have a key you couldn't show a video! And if you wanted the specific VHS tape for your class you had to go to the library, check in the book if it was there, and sign it out. Wow betide anyone who didn't bring it back!

OP’s posts: |
EmilyAlice Thu 14-Sep-17 19:00:01

1976. People used to knit in staff meetings and most of us went home for lunch. No trousers allowed and I taught with someone who had been forbidden to wear an uplift bra.

MsAwesomeDragon Thu 14-Sep-17 19:03:56

I started in 2004.
I remember bromcoms in my first school, but then moved to my current school in 2006 where they were still using paper registers.

My first school had 1 projector that people could book for a lesson, or you could book a computer room if you needed a projector. We did lock all the doors though, as the pupils weren't allowed in classrooms without a member of staff because they couldn't afford to fix all the damage they caused.

alletik Thu 14-Sep-17 19:08:06


One of my classrooms had a blackboard, but the other was high tech and had a whiteboard. No PowerPoints, or IWBs, instead we had an OHP that we wrote on and covered up with a piece of paper. If you were very technical, you could print onto your OHPs.

Yes, TV programmes and videos were shown on the TV, registers were taken on paper and sent down to the main office. Lessons were predominantly based around worksheets and students wrote a lot more compared to today..

The staff and sixth formers had a smoking room in the attic of the sixth form building. This was a shared room and it stank!

The girls wore skirts and boys trousers. If the girls got house colours, they got a sash to wear around the waist.

But the basics haven't changed...

TwatteryFlowers Thu 14-Sep-17 19:48:29

My 1st class, back in 2002, had bought and
installed some brand new smartboards - one in each classroom and one in the computer suite. We had a twilight session (possibly two sessions) dedicated to learning how to use them. I stayed in that school for a term and in my next long-term post, 18 months later, it was the same so things don't seem to have changed much at all.
In my 2nd post they bought a new all-singing, all-dancing photocopier that would scan and save documents to your class computer, print from your computer, sort and staple multiple copies of worksheets etc etc. It was great and made life so much easier... until it jammed. It jammed pretty much every day and was broken at one point for several weeks. The school had got rid of their old photocopier so we didn't have a backup either. That was a pain in the arse! I ended up scanning everything on my home scanner and getting my class to copy and complete from the whiteboard.

EllaHen Thu 14-Sep-17 19:55:29

2002 here. Yy to blackboards, tv on a trolley and projectors. What was that stuff called - acetate?

One of the schools I trained in had a 'Ladies' staff room as well as the main staff room.

I think I had email but it wasn't really used as not all classrooms had a computer in them.

Great days. smile

AdmiralSirArchibald Thu 14-Sep-17 19:55:46

2004. My first school had a brand new suite of classrooms for English and we all had projectors, smart boards and electronic registers but email wasn't used at all across the school. If you were required for cover, you received a small handwritten note from the deputy head, who was most apologetic. I missed that at my second school where no one ever said please or thank you for cover. I can't really remember how the use of a million work emails crept up on us. I wish I had known because they are bane of my life at work and clearly schools used to run without them...

AdmiralSirArchibald Thu 14-Sep-17 19:57:48

Oh and also on my first day as an NQT a senior member of (female) staff told me she had seen my tummy when I reached up and I must not wear that shirt again because the children would laugh at me. It was just a normal shirt and I had been putting up a display. I wasn't wearing a crop top or anything grin

EllaHen Thu 14-Sep-17 19:58:36

Admiral - still paper slips here for cover.

EllaHen Thu 14-Sep-17 20:00:44

Ha ha. I split a pair of trousers in my first year of teaching. Sorting out poster paper on the floor during a free period. Luckily the school was in a town and I could nip out and buy new trousers. That made me chuckle for ages. grin

TheFallenMadonna Thu 14-Sep-17 20:02:25

We went to the pub for lunch every Friday.

lozengeoflove Thu 14-Sep-17 20:05:56

Oh god, I forgot all about Bromcoms! Ah, blast from the past.
I had a chalk board when I started in 2001, and we had orange envelopes to send messages between sites.
OHP projectors were still being used, and I had nowhere near as much marking as I do now shock

disappearingninepatch Thu 14-Sep-17 20:06:29

The staff went to the pub every Friday, for lunch and on the way home. This was a pub close to the school where the parents drank. We had a staggered lunch time so KS1 staff would order the food so that it was ready when KS2 staff arrived 30 mins later.

user1955 Thu 14-Sep-17 20:36:07

Showing my age here - banda machines. We did have a photocopier, but were supposed to use this instead.

Roller blackboard.

Paper registers where we had to handwrite the names and fill in with the right combination of red and black pens.

PicInAttic Thu 14-Sep-17 20:43:07

Alletik - started at same time as you and remember similar although primary.

Lived the OHP and thought I was bees knees when I realised I could print IN COLOUR. Liked the fact that you faced class when using it.

Massive TV trolley that hardly fit through the doors; 6 computers on big trolleys that filled the corridor (and where each was plugged into next one - def health and safety no-no); pub for long lunch on Inset days; alcohol allowed on residential; blackboards; handwritten reports etc.

Loved it then - still feel same (mostly) smile

curtes Thu 14-Sep-17 20:44:32

I started in the 90s and remember the Banda machine. We had a photocopier but we didn't use it for worksheets, that was too expensive. We had the tv/video on a trolley. We had BBC computers! In infants we only had a TA one morning a week. One of the office staff used to bring you round a coffee/ tea in the afternoon, she left the staff room carrying a tray with about 10 cups!! We also used to take a coffee / tea out with us on playground duty, and I remember one of the older teachers moaning that they weren't allowed to smoke on playground duty anymore.

curtes Thu 14-Sep-17 20:45:40

We also used to go to the pub for lunch on a Friday, then back to teach in the afternoon.

EllaHen Thu 14-Sep-17 20:57:27

Going for a drink after every Parents' Evening and disco.

Apple23 Thu 14-Sep-17 22:13:06

Dusty chalk on roller blackboards - if you needed e.g. a map for teaching Geography, you'd draw it free-hand on the board before the lesson.

Planning hand-written on paper - 1x A3 sheet per week (Maths & English on one side, all the other subjects on the other). In the summer, taking the whole class outside to work. Having on-going projects that children worked at in odd free moments e.g. Sewing, diary of bean plants growing in jam jars.

Children's work had proper titles, not Learning Objectives. Marking in red pen.

”Uniform” was own clothes with a school sweatshirt over the top.

grafittiartist Thu 14-Sep-17 22:23:26

These are lovely to read- thank you all! I can add the big Telly and video, brown envelopes for any message, o.h.p s and a staff room for smoking in!

IHeartKingThistle Thu 14-Sep-17 22:32:41

2001. Just in time to write on a blackboard with chalk before they all went.

I'd forgotten about internal memo slips!

I got told about tops riding up too. Spent years miming writing on a board in changing rooms to check appropriateness of tops.

We also hand wrote reports and the Year 11 reports used to all be on one sheet of paper with a box for each subject. So they'd be dumped on a table in the staff study and we'd all have to squeeze in there during free periods and sit round filling in boxes and going 'Who's got Lisa McGee?' grin They did give us Haribo though.

We had to do cover, unlimited, in free periods. We had to invigilate GCSEs. I'd never been so tired.

I loved it. Looking back now I can't believe I was only 7 years older than my first GCSE class. I'm 38 now and they'll be 31!

There's some amazing things going on now in schools but the Gove years killed the job for me. I still teach but not in schools. I miss it terribly but I doubt I'll ever go back.

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