There have been various conversations and articles about the length of the summer holiday, whether they are too long and whether teachers deserve them. Nick Overton wrote ‘Should Teachers go in?’ and as I was reading I could feel a comment forming in my mind. As it was longer that a normal comment I’ve turned it into a post!
The basis of Nick’s post is that he will only have been into school for 3 days (he says 5 but two would be in-set so directed time) and asks if this is acceptable. I have to presume that he feels fine with it as that it the amount of time he’s been in.
My first question would be ‘acceptable to who?’ (or should it be whom) It is a school holiday so there are no official requirements to go in. Most schools are not open all the time anyway so visits have to fit with cleaning and caretaking.
The question ‘Should teachers go into school during holidays?’ is another matter To answer that you have to look at the reasons why they would go in. These include:
- Sorting and tidying from the previous term ( or in some cases the last year!)
- Creating a new space for the new class
- Providing an opportunity to wind down (see The First Day of the Holiday – Heaven or Hell? )
Teachers always work during the holidays, just like they work over the week-ends. Some prefer to do that work in the atmosphere of school so do go in to do it. I know some colleagues who like to get everything done in the first week or so then they relax until the start of term. Others like to get away as soon as possible after the final bell and come back towards the end of the break when they are chilled and relaxed. I have also known teachers who do not come into school at all and do all the tidying and sorting when school starts and the new class is in.
It is a matter of each to his / her own and I think there is a link to your general philosophy of the role of the teacher. That got me thinking. Is it a gender thing? Is it the female staff who have to go into school during this long break to tidy, change, create?
Whatever it is, what are your views on it? Are you angry that although not ‘directed’ there is a hidden expectation that you will give up some of your holiday time for school?