Is it unreasonable to ask teachers to work, like the rest of us have to?
THERE are no certainties in life but death and taxes – and teachers whining about their bloody holidays.
This week the Government quite reasonably suggested taking a look at term times to see if the current system is – to use that hateful phrase du jour – “fit for purpose”.
After all, the current six-week summer holiday was designed not because Sir or Miss needed an abnormally long time to recover from a school year.
Timetables were in fact constructed in this way so kids could help their families bring in the harvest.
Seeing that as many kids these days bring in the harvest as they do work up chimneys or down mines, clearly it’s an antiquated system that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Or to borrow another hateful phrase from the world of middle-management speak, “an analogue system in a digital world”.
Whatever. Six-week summer holidays in these modern times are an anachronism serving precisely no one at all – except, of course, teachers.
On a radio phone-in this week teachers bleated that they “need” this extraordinary amount of time off after the “pressure cooker” of working a whole six weeks of three quarter working days (interspersed by three week-long stints of half term PLUS a fortnight off at Christmas and Easter).
How they found the time to ring up the programme I have no idea – my teacher acquaintances always give the impression that these six-week super holidays are crammed full of course planning. One teacher caller even suggested that six weeks holiday in the summer wasn’t long ENOUGH – and that it was simply “tough” on parents who had to find money for childcare.
“We’re not babysitters”, he whined. But the problem is, sunshine, actually you bleedin’ well are.
When our kids go off to school they are VERY MUCH in teachers’ care. There’s even a Latin legal term for it – in loco parentis, or “in the place of a parent”.
No one is suggesting teachers should sit in with your kids while you go off to the pub for the evening. But is it that unreasonable to expect them to do their jobs full time like, you
know, the rest of us?