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Thread: Teacher Stereotypes

  1. #1
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    Default Teacher Stereotypes

    It's interesting how Grange Hill, and other school-based series can often give hints of the average stereotype of a teacher, especially in a comprehensive school. And most of us have come across some of them in our own school days.

    The stereotypes seem to be mostly of the following:

    French teachers are mostly female, blonde, are teaching their mother tongue of course, and wear short skirts. Cue the male pupil dropping his pencil to get some excitement in class... German teachers are slightly older.

    Geography teachers are nerdish, almost like Mr Bean, they wore tweed jackets with leather patches on the elbows, and wear a "Granville" (as in the original incarnation of Open All Hours) tank top.

    History teachers are excited middle-aged men who probably would have been historians themselves if it wasn't for their teaching job.

    Maths teachers are often male, young (20s or 30s), hip, and easy going, and always popular with the girls, especially at the end of term school disco. My sister also liked a male Maths teacher when she was at school as well. Think Mr King out of Grange Hill.

    Science teachers are like mini-professors, often bearded in lieu of losing the hair on their head. They may wear Dolland and Aitchison National Heath glasses. Biology teachers resemble David Bellamy, while Psychics teachers resemble Harry Hill. Chemistry teachers resemble someone not far removed from Count Dracula.

    English teachers are assertive middle-aged women, or conservative Ken Barlow stereotypes if they are men. They read the Guardian in the staffroom as well.

    Drama teachers are similar to French teachers, although they are British, and they made have done a bit of acting once upon a time. And she is very popular with the Year 10 and 11 boys.

    Music teachers are punctual, assertive, and think that they are leading the band at the Albert Hall. He plays the piano like Richard Clayderman, and can spot a false note in Au clair de la lune a mile off. And he also plays the piano in assembly as well. And they drive a Mini or VW Beetle and listen to Classic FM or Radio 3 whilst driving.

    PE (and to a degree, Swimming) teachers are non-smokers and probably non-drinkers as well. They are pro-fitness all the way. Male PE teachers are parodies of Mr Baxter but not usually with a beard, and look as if they are about to take part in the assault course round on The Krypton Factor, and come down on lads who can't throw a ball straight. Female PE teachers are into keep-fit, but not always in the legwarmers category. They always like a Ski yoghurt and a Horlicks in the staffroom during break when they are not training for the London Marathon.

    Home Economics teachers are mostly middle-aged women, they seem to resemble a sub-Woman's Hour or Farmhouse Kitchen presenter from the late 1970s. And she is strict about you licking the bowl as well.

    CDT teachers are easy-going middle-aged men who spend a lot of time in their toolshed at home, and have no problem chiseling furniture out of wood in their spare time.

    Art teachers are more interested in their creative work rather than how they dress, well the men are at least. Men are almost like Scruffy McGuffy (I know he didn't teach Art, but still...) Female Art teachers are rather different and really enjoyed the subject from their schooldays onwards. Textiles teachers are not a million miles away from female Art teachers as well.

    Student teachers or supply teachers cannot control the class and probably decide a new career before the end of term (cf Mr Knowles and Mr Scott from Grange Hill).

    Deputy Heads are excited men in their 50s resembling Alastair Stewart, or assertive if they are female (who may also be the same member of staff as the English teacher that I mentioned above).

    The Head teacher seems to be the most powerful person in the universe, and is rarely seen outside of assembly or his study.

    Meanwhile, school secretaries are middle-aged, and are nothing like the Sid James' favourite Carry On stereotype; caretakers are close to retirement and are very much the odd-job man who is not far removed from the CDT teacher. Cleaners are almost Hilda Ogden without curlers who wear nylon coats and carry their disinfectant, 15 minutes after the end of school. And she wants to get on with her job but can't because one class is still being occupied for detentions or after-school clubs. Lunchtime supervisors are similar to cleaners, except their job is a little more pleasant.

    Meanwhile, in Primary School, the class teachers are usually female, and have mannerisms like the snooker referee Michaela Tabb, (she's strict and will not take any nonsense from anyone), or it could be any international presenter of The Weakest Link. They rule the roost when on playground duty.

    Now, I am certain that most schools have had some teachers with those mannerisms, and watching programmes like Grange Hill is a good way of observing these "traits". I am certain that they existed in most of our schools - or did they? They did in mine to a certain degree...
    I am a man (just in case anyone asks).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Teacher Stereotypes

    At my high school many of the maths and science teachers were also the PE teachers and coaches.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Teacher Stereotypes

    I can't really say all that many teachers at my secondary school fitted those stereotypes.

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    Default Re: Teacher Stereotypes

    The cleaners at all the schools I went to were all men, generally in their 50s and 60s, who wore gray or dark blue work uniforms and had dozens of keys dangling from their belt. As for playground supervisors, they were either one of the teachers or volunteers, usually older women in the case of the latter.

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    Default Re: Teacher Stereotypes

    Quote Originally Posted by Arran View Post
    I can't really say all that many teachers at my secondary school fitted those stereotypes.
    Perhaps not, you could probably tell what sort of subject a teacher taught a mile off.
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    Default Re: Teacher Stereotypes

    Only one teacher fitted the stereotype has described above. Interestingly, that was the French teacher. She was blonde, but did not wear a mini skirt. She was in her late thirties. She did used to sit on her desk with her legs "folded" back on her. One boy who used to sit at the front corner of the room, admitted he did see her knickers on two occasions. She left halfway through a term to teach in Trinidad. She came back about two years later. I saw her back last year, although not to talk to. She was instantly recognisable, but admittedly looked older .
    Who cared about rules when you were young?

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    Default Re: Teacher Stereotypes

    One of my friends claimed his French teacher had a habit of siting on the edge of a desk, but wasn't good looking at all.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  8. #8
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    Default Teacher Stereotypes

    Oddly enough we had a young , slim , pretty French , french student teacher in our high school a few years ago . Very stylish looking as well . There was one day when she wore a rather short skirt something that was kinda frowned upon given we had around 600 pubescent teenage boys in the school. Anyways at break time she came into the bustling staff room and out loud said in a lovely French accent " what does putting me off mean" ?

    It transpires that she'd been quite innocently 'perched' on the edge of her desk at the front of the class and it was clearly a distraction to a few of them

    Hence the comment "miss, you're putting me off "


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