The Life-Cycle of the Lesser-Spotted Teacher (Magister Abjectus)

Teachers are ground-dwelling, predominantly omnivorous educators who inhabit the schools of the United Kingdom. Once abundant on the plains of the UK, loss of habitat and a changing economic climate have led to declining numbers and the threat of being classified as an endangered species.

Teachers are, for the most part, pack employees who will often work as a team to take down much more dangerous threats like politicians (mendax mendax). Lesser spotted teachers can usually be identified by distinctive colourful pen marks on the fingertips and deep bags under the eyes.

Teachers have an unusual life cycle, which has been studied extensively by the Healthy Educators Life Project (HELP). Although several papers have been published on the similarities between the lifecycle of the teacher and the domestic parent (parens patiens) there is still no conclusive evidence on the matter.

Pre-teachers begin life with other trainees in a cluster called a ‘PGCE course’. A thick layer of paperwork and meetings protects the pre-teacher from too much educating whilst allowing the slow passage of information inwards. Some pre-teachers suffer from a condition known as TF which causes them to emerge from this cluster before full maturity. These TF teachers inevitably go on either to become pack leaders or fail to survive.

Having emerged from the PGCE course, pre-teachers metamorphose into NQTs. These NQTs are very vulnerable to attacks from parents and even leaders and often require the support of the more mature teachers. During the NQT stage, the nervous system becomes adapted for hearing and stereoscopic vision and the skin becomes thicker and thicker.

Reaching full maturity, adult teachers tend to leave their birthing school and to find a new pack in another region. Groups of teachers are highly territorial and it may take a while for the new teacher to be accepted into the pack. As a part of the group, the teacher can now look forward to a consistent stream of pupils. Although many species of pupils exist, most adult teachers prefer the disciplus nequam or ‘challenging pupil’. An adult teacher hunt can be divided into five stages:

Locating prey: Challenging pupils are usually tracked for several months. Often the hunt is preceded by a group ceremony in which the teachers stand close and discuss strategy and approach.
The stalk: The teachers will sometimes attempt to conceal themselves as they approach, making sure they are as close as possible without startling the pupil.
The encounter: Once the pupil sees the group, they will either defiantly stand their ground or attempt to flee.
The rush: The teachers now pursue the pupil intently offering advice and support. It may take several teachers working in tandem to direct the pupil towards the best path for success. This is most crucial stage of the hunt as the teachers may never reach the pupil if they escape now.
The chase: A continuation of the rush, the teachers attempt to complete the transformation. Teachers are known for their tenacity and rarely give up on a pupil once they have started the hunt.

When a teacher loses its instinct for the hunt, if they don’t fall, they can go on to become leaders. These are often the most weathered and seasoned teachers and can be identified by the lines on their face, white or no plumage, and a hoarse voice. Leaders are the alphas of the pack; they make the decisions and determine the movements for the whole group. Leaders are considered highly intelligent, often using tools to achieve their goals. Once a leader becomes erratic and ineffectual, they are replaced by an adult teacher who becomes the new alpha.

Though much has been written about this noble creature, their ways are still not completely understood meaning they provide a constant source of interest, intrigue, and sometimes criticism from all corners of society.


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