Teachers take very, very different approaches to holidays. Some teachers come home from their last day of term, calmly pack their school folders into a cardboard box, tape it up, dump it in the loft, and pretend they’re not a teacher for the entire summer. Others are consumed with toxic resentment for the first four weeks of the holiday because they feel they have to work for the last two weeks. Others will just come into school for a day or two to change their displays and seating plans with the zealous vigour of someone on The Great Interior Design Challenge.
And then there are those we are all envious of. I have a colleague who is going on a 6-week jaunt across South America. She will not be reading this blog. She will be sunbathing on Copa Cabana.
I am a teacher saying “Thank you!” and I am not being sarcastic…
Let’s face it, teachers have developed a pretty impressive reputation for complaining. “Well we have a lot to complain about!” I hear you say. Yes, yes we do.
But more and more, I’ve come to realise there are so many people who make huge contributions to our wellbeing – from loud and proud social reps to the unsung heroes working behind the scenes. I want to write briefly about them. Firstly, because I don’t think we thank them enough in person. And secondly, because I don’t want anybody in teaching to underestimate the incredible power they have to improve the working conditions of their friends and colleagues.
Picture a teacher, Jeff. Jeff’s an eternal morning optimist. As he strides to school, he gets excited about a creative lesson plan that’s brewing, and he rehearses saying inspirational nuggets to his classes. He believes that – this day – things will be different: he’ll remember to issue behaviour sanctions and put them on SIMs, he’ll take only 30 minutes to plan that Year 10 lesson, and he’ll definitely, definitely mark that full set of books before supper time.