We recently responded to a tweet from a journalist who called for a shortening of school holidays with these words.
Are you aware of:
1. Crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.
2. Issues regarding teacher workload and wellbeing, especially mental health.
3. Real terms budget cuts.
4. That UK summer school holidays are shorter than other countries.
In December we wrote three pieces on surviving until Christmas, on tetchiness and misinterpreting words and actions and finally on surviving the holidays.
The weeks before Christmas are tough but increasingly Summer 2 must now be the toughest of the terms; data, reports, OFSTED, inspection follow ups and action plans, excessive heat, grumpy children and maybe grumpy colleagues.
Whoever thought the final weeks of the school year were made up of DVDs, rounders and mindfulness colouring?
Yes we have Sports Day. Yes we do go on school trips. And yes we do take advantage of the sunshine to work outside more than we would in the depths of winter.
We are also still teaching, conducting parent evenings, staying after school for concerts, productions and leavers’ discos, dealing with challenging parents and children and handling safeguarding concerns.
Schools and teachers are a soft target for lazy journalism and stereotypes as we wrote last year. There is the usual assault on the six week break, from those with little understanding of the mental and emotional pressures that teaching in every sector and every age group brings. We are yet to hear from Mr King at Sky and somehow feel we won’t.
We are used as a profession to this lack of comprehension of what we do, but wouldn’t it be just amazing to be thanked for our work?
To every teacher and every teaching assistant, in every school and in every class: thank you. You are awesome.