Would you miss your school staff room?

These days staff rooms are emptier than they used to be, but can you imagine not having a space to have a laugh or much needed moan with colleagues? Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

When I was at school, the staff room held an almost mystical station within the school. Along with the head's office, it was the one place that you hoped you would never be sent to. Being sent there was a frightening experience; that long walk down the corridor, the smell of Woodbines filled the air. By the time you arrived you were overcome with the heady scent of nicotine and coffee. On the opening of the door it was like being smacked in the face by Mr Nick O'Teen, only I didn't have Superman to save me (I fully understand that anyone under the age of 30 won't get this obscure reference). I'm sure this never happened but I have a vague memory of a teacher actually opening the door with a lit cigarette in their mouth. Like many students now, I often wondered what went on behind that locked door.

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