It’s the summer holidays! Woohoo! You’ve worked all year long and now it’s time to rest and recuperate. This year, more than any other year teachers need a break. Covid has hit all school staff extremely hard and made it a tough year for everyone. You’ve coped with bubbles, lack of staff, isolation and loneliness and rules changing overnight at times. Many things have made it an exhausting year and school staff have limped to the finishing line.
So shouldn’t ‘having a rest’ be at the top of the ‘to do’ list for everyone? You’d think so wouldn’t you. Yet by Friday evening, barely even the end of the first week for some teachers, and not even the start of the holidays for others we saw pictures on Twitter of teachers going into school and putting up new displays and preparing rooms for September. We see this every single year and every year I’m shocked by it.
Every teacher enjoys their holidays differently. Some like to have 5 weeks rest and then do their planning, curriculum, seating plans, displays etc all in the last week. Some like to rest for 6 weeks and cram all school work into the final weekend before school starts. Others do all their work at the start of the holidays and rest later. Lastly, there are those teachers who prefer to work steadily throughout the holidays, chipping away at the workload bit by bit. These are the teachers who deny themselves a true break and their batteries may not be fully recharged for the new term. Everyone works in their own way and it’s entirely up to the individual how they spend their holidays.
So what’s my point? My point is that I worry about the example being set to NQTs and ECTs. I implore experienced teachers who choose to work through their holidays to set a good example for others. Please don’t take to Edutwitter to demonstrate that you’re working through and denying yourself a break. It’s not healthy and it causes those who are new to our profession to worry that they should also be doing more work. By all means, work as hard as you want to, if that’s how you like to spend your holiday no-one has the right to criticise you but please don’t feel the need to tweet everyone and tell them what you’re doing. As experienced teachers we have a responsibility to set a good and healthy example for the new generation of teachers. Let’s remember that it’s not a competition to see who can work the hardest in the holidays. Let’s also remember that working through doesn’t prove you’re a better teacher. Well being should be high on everyone’s agenda just now, especially this year, let’s try and keep it there.
Happy holidays everyone.