Friday, 28 March 2014

I Should Have Just Asked Her…

…yesterday was a good day doing agency supply in Foundation Stage in a school not too far away. But one thing is still confusing me, and I know I should have had the confidence to ask my colleague at the outset. But I didn’t, and then it was too late…

teacher tiara

I’ve been in a number of schools where the teacher, or assistant, will don a fairy tiara at some point . This is a signal to the pupils that they must work independently and not disturb her. I know about the fairy tiara thing.

But yesterday, when I arrived, my assistant [who was extremely competent, and really clued up, and an absolute delight to work with] said “Would you like me to take the register? I know the children, and some are very anxious about new people” I assured her that would be fine, and I was grateful for her support. She knew the school, the routines, and how things were meant to work – and I was perfectly OK taking my lead from her.

She seemed quite relieved by that, and said that some Supply Teachers come in and want everything done Their Way – and they are The Teacher, the rest are Just Assistants. I said that I didn’t see it like that, and hoped we could work together. She smiled, and walked to the door to let the children in, muttering cheerfully “Oh that’s wonderful. I shall be The Elf in the classroom today then!”

elf teacher

There was an inrush of happy pupils, and no immediate opportunity to ask “What did you say? What does that mean?” and I am still wondering about it. Is it “Elf” or “E.L.F”

Is the main teacher the Elf, and the assistant in the tiara the Fairy? or is it some sort of acronym ? [like Education Leader in Foundation] I never saw a tiara whilst I was there – and I never found the right moment to ask for an explanation. What does it mean to be The Elf In The Classroom? [I have been known to appear as an elf myself, remember!]

Please – is there anyone out there who can explain this term to me?


  1. What about male teachers? Do they wear the fairy tiara?

    1. I have heard that some do - but never encountered on myself! I will ask L. at church on Sunday, as he may have met some diamante-wearing dudes in the classroom!

  2. New to me - both the tiara and the elf. I'm keen to find out all about it. Do tell ---- someone!!!!

  3. I've never heard of anything like that at all. Was she older, maybe Elderly Lead Fairy? lol!!!!!

  4. Do tell when you find out!
    Jane x

  5. Looks like she's got a wand in her hand too.....

  6. Never heard of it!!! Intriguing!!!! X

  7. This is new since my days in the classroom!

  8. I remember wearing my "SAT Hat" the year SATs came out - it was a great way of signalling to the class that I was not to be disturbed...My hat was a little Russian toque. I think it suited me better than a tiara would!

  9. There is a book "The Elf on the Shelf" that children here are given before Christmas. It comes with a toy elf that is moved around to various places in the house the month before Christmas to watch and make sure children are "being good"…..perhaps that is what she is referring to? LOL


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