1. Cliff or quarry exposing chalk, e.g. the White Cliffs of Dover

2. To work in education, specifically in a school. This term, believed originally coined by Prof. Ted Wragg for his Times Educational Supplement column, should be seen as a metaphor for the coalface. At the time the term was coined, coal mining was still seen as the hardest, dirtiest, most dangerous job there was. The term must have resonated strongly with a put-upon teaching profession as it quickly came into general use. In 1991 the BBC broadcast a TV series called Chalkface, written by John Godber.

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