Put that clock away: it’s Teacher Sum­mer Time

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - MICHAEL TIDD -

IF YOU’RE a sub­scriber to this fine pub­li­ca­tion, you’re prob­a­bly one of the few teach­ers who knows when it’s Fri­day. There’s some­thing rather won­der­ful about the end­less week­end that is the sum­mer hol­i­days, and that joy­ous feel­ing when you re­alise your body clock has switched to Teacher Sum­mer Time, and you no longer know what day it is, let alone care about the time.

Sadly for me this year, re­lo­ca­tion means the first half of my sum­mer will be spent chas­ing solic­i­tors, in the hope that the sec­ond can be spent un­pack­ing boxes and un­cov­er­ing foibles in the prop­erty that I’ve just spent a life­time’s earn­ings on.

Still, I hope to cling to some of the usual sum­mer rou­tine as best I can.

Week One

Re­alise that this year the hol­i­day lasts only five-anda-half weeks. It doesn’t mat­ter that we know the time will have been gained else­where, it feels like we’ve been cheated. For the first few days, we’ll maybe check the school email, but that soon wears off.

Week Two

You’ve still got a rough idea of how long you’ve been off, the last of the gifted choco­lates are still avail­able for the mid-af­ter­noon snack, and you’ve fi­nally started to break the cy­cle of wak­ing up min­utes be­fore your alarm would nor­mally go off. If you’ve got kids, it’s prob­a­bly time to make use of the Pizza Hut buf­fet lunch; if not, maybe a pleas­ant af­ter­noon tea in the grounds of some coun­try house sur­rounded by re­tirees.

Week Three

It is only week three isn’t it? I hope so, be­cause if not, I’ve wasted too much of my hol­i­days al­ready. This is usu­ally the week to con­sider things like iron­ing, or maybe re­dec­o­rat­ing that spare bed­room like you’ve planned for the last two sum­mers. In re­al­ity, a col­league might drop you a text invit­ing you for af­ter­noon tea, and while you al­ready had one last week, it’d be rude to refuse, right?

Week Four

If you had a break booked at the start or end of the hol­i­day, you now wish you’d picked the other op­tion. Ei­ther your tan is be­gin­ning to fade, or you re­alise you’ve wasted the bulk of your hol­i­day and still haven’t even be­gun to pack! For the rest of us, the re­al­i­sa­tion that we’ve seen this episode of Homes Un­der the Ham­mer be­fore strikes a blow.

Week Five

One of those keen teach­ers sends a sup­pos­edly in­no­cent mes­sage – prob­a­bly to a group chat – ask­ing if any­one has seen the paper trimmer from the in­fants cor­ri­dor. Of course, she knows ex­actly where it is, but now she knows we all know that she’s in school. No doubt, the trimmer is re­quired for yet an­other read­ing cor­ner mas­ter­piece. Best ad­vice: slowly count to 10 and eat the last choco­late from the box that you don’t even like. Do not, un­der any cir­cum­stances, count how many days of the hol­i­day re­main.

Week Six

Time to cross “sort the garage” off the to-do list and start call­ing on all the peo­ple you’ve been mean­ing to meet up with all sum­mer. Af­ter all, the new tray la­bels can wait.

Michael Tidd is deputy head at Edge­wood Pri­mary School in Not­ting­hamshire. He tweets @Michaelt1979

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