Put that clock away: it’s Teacher Summer Time
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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