Contrary to popular kid mythology, teachers don’t stay at school over the holidays. Well, I presume that’s what kids think because when you do see a child while you’re out in the real world they are truly shocked. The wonder and awe that you’ve been trying to inspire in them all year suddenly appears. Adults are equally curious, “What do you do with ALL those holidays?” Well…here it is, in all it’s ordinary glory.
1. Show off on Facebook
Let’s get this out of the way early. Yes, we gloat. We get six weeks off and we let you know about it. There will be the joyful exclamations on the last day of school and then tonnes of photos of us doing awesome things for weeks. Holidays are our job perk. We don’t get bonuses or huge pay packets. We get holidays. So bear with us.
2. Pass Out
Look at any teacher at the end of the school year and, frankly, they look ordinary. They have that worn down, broken look that can only be fixed by hours and hours of sleep. So we sleep…like the dead.
The novelty of reading anything that is devoid of spelling mistakes and bizarre tense changes is overwhelming. We read books for grown ups!
4. Wear What We Want
Being a role model can be a bit restricting. School holidays is the time for inappropriate t-shirts, piercings and clothes that show off the tatt you keep hidden for the rest of the year.
5. Go Away
If we can, we go away…far, far away! We love our students but we don’t want to spend our holidays with them. It doesn’t always work out though. I once ran into a student in a market in Vietnam.
6. Get Married
If a teacher gets married it’s usually in the school holidays. It gives them time to run away on honeymoon for a few weeks. Teachers are all about timetables, so if they can, they’ll also try and schedule births in for the holidays.
I’m a brave girl, I can face most things, but a class of 30 with a hangover is not one of them. Champagne in the sun is for holidays.
8. Make Empty Promises
Holidays are when all our good intentions fall apart. We plan to paint the house, revamp the garden, get fit, visit all our old friends. Nup. Never gonna happen. We will probably get distracted by trashy movies, long lunches with teachers (because they’re the only ones on holiday), lying on a beach and shopping the sales.
9. Get a New Look
I work in a single sex school. We have 1300 girls. That’s a lot of scrutiny and judgement. Holiday time is radical haircut time.
10. Worry About Results
We worry about how our students fared in the ATAR/VCE/GCSE or whatever your acronym is. We want our kids to do well. In Australia we also wait for the league tables to be released. These are horrendously over-simplified rankings of school achievement, published in newspapers. Teachers in the top 20 ranked schools breathe easy while all the rest start raging over the invalidity of the whole process.
11. We May Still Organise Things
You can take the teacher out of the school, but you can’t take school out of the teacher. We will write lists and they will probably be neat. If we start bossing you, don’t fight it, ignore it. Trust me, we’re used to that.
12. Take Off Our Watches
Teachers live by a timetable. We can’t even go to the loo without a bell telling us we can. So in holidays, clock watching goes out the window.
13. Spend Time With Our Children
Another perk…we get to share the school holidays with our own kids. Nuff said.
14. Count Down to the Start of the New Year
I start to get a sick feeling of dread when I see the first Back to School ad’s. I love my job and I look forward to seeing the kids, but seriously, I’m not rushing back. We’re just like the kids. We. Love. Holidays.