Posted by Gary Martin on February 10, 2008 at 12:29:
In Reply to: Back to the chalk face posted by Judith on February 10, 2008 at 12:26:
: "Back to the chalk face" What does it mean and where did it originate?
The chalk face means the classroom. It is an allusion to the working environment of coal miners, i.e. the coal face. This seems to have originated as an ironic comment that teaching in schools is as arduous as mining coal. I've heard the phrase for some years now in the UK, but don't know if it originated there, or when exactly.
'Back to the chalk face' means 'back to school'.