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Teachers, get back to work!

It seems that we have to go through the same ground hog style events every year and 2018 seems to not want to miss out! The 6 weeks summer holidays are to long and everyone should be back to work by now!

The prompt for the blog? A recent local MP calling for the longer holidays to be shortened due to the impact of the burden of cost to the parents on lower incomes. (https://www.kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/news/mp-should-we-scrap-six-week-summer-break-188252/)

I really struggle with the whole 6 week too long arguments. Mainly as they often put across the point that the holiday should be spread elsewhere…I just can’t get my head around how the cost doesn’t go away…it just moves. Thus I think that the issue is less a problem with poorer families over this 6 week but more an issue in society with those on poorer wages that are not getting the support and pay they need to cope or it’s a budgeting issue (I am not saying that it is easy to budget but, for some without this skill added aid would benefit them too).

I am in the lucky position that I am not working over the summer so I can be the childcare for my children and I see in my non teaching friends the strain this adds but I still think the issue is our societies lack of flexible working conditions and less at the foot of the education holiday system.

The other option is to get rid of the 6 weeks of holiday BUT it’s a pretty big certainty that you will then lose a lot of people out of the profession. It’s a massive selling point! (I know due to the anger of people at my facebook status when I post about my massive holiday at the start from anyone who is not a teacher!). If I didn’t have the holiday I am not sure I could keep it up for a longer stint than 8 weeks at most.

Then we also come back to teacher well-being but also PUPIL WELL-BEING! Have you seen a 7 year old at the end of summer?! I have…about 3 weeks ago. He was so tired…he needs a break, he needs a break long enough to forget. Forgetting is part of learning! Also it’s pretty nice that he starts to remember who I am too, the weird lady that pops in a few times a week in time for bed! He actually had 2 days in bed…not ill as such but just out of it, he just slept. It took me a while to realise it wasn’t a temp, or bug but he was actually the same as me…just an overloaded little body needing to rest.

As for teacher well-being we need time too. And to do…all the things that we can’t do inschool-holiday-teacher-meme term time. Like clean, go to the optician/dentist/hairdresser/doctor (even though we needed an appointment 6 months ago and this is the first chance we have!).

Also we need to forget, in order to love again. It’s a bit like birth…it’s pretty traumatic at the time but give it 6 months to a year and we are happy to go through it again…time is an essential healer!

So…

  • Yes, it’s hard for non teaching parent.
  • Yes, it’s a strain on the bank.
  • Yes, entertaining the children is hard and it harks back to crop ploughing or hop picking or sheep shearing (or what ever else they used to do only in natural light hours!).
  • No I don’t be little it or go against it’s struggles…

…BUT PLEASE…think what would you want if you had an actual decent holiday and others didn’t. If I could fight for everyone to have a little bit more holiday I would be on the picket line for you all too!

Viva la summer holiday! 

3 thoughts on “Teachers, get back to work!”

  1. I find that overly long terms cause that extreme exhaustion so a more balanced system of holidays sounds great to me. I favour five eight-week terms, each with 2 week breaks (it would work out as 195 days once you factor in bank holidays falling in term time) and a 4 week summer. It might not save costs but it at least helps poor working parents manage cashflow.

    Or take a week off the teaching year (reclaiming the one that was nicked for INSETs way back when) and use the saved costs to fund 2 weeks of in school childcare provision for anyone who wants it.

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  2. 4 weeks in the summer would not be long enough for everyone in the office with kids to be able to take holidays so we would see an even greater rise in children being taken out of school during term time. 8 week terms in primary are still too long. The little ones are struggling by week 6 and for them 2 weeks is not long enough, they still come back tired. 4 weeks is not long enough for teachers. After a gruelling summer term of writting reports, organising school outings and all the extra stress that brings, coping with transitions, lack of school routine bought on by end of year performance practises, sports days, transition days ad infinitum AND still trying to maintain normal teaching teachers are totally burnt out. The first week of the holiday usually involves walking round like a zombie and /or catching every illness under the sun as the adrenaline they have been running on for the last 6 weeks suddenly drains away. Then as mentioned a week catching up all the appointments etc its impossible to do in term time and another week to clean/sort classroom for the new year’s onslaught plus planning and preparing (it takes a day just to renew all the display boards) hardly leaves time for the job of becoming reacquainted with family and friends and to actually have a holiday!!

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