Why I think August Bank Holiday should be banned!
August Bank Holiday – for many, the last holiday before the autumn and winter set in. The last break before Christmas. The time to get down to the beach put a knotted hanky on your head and be British!
What’s not to like?
For those folks who are not in education, that long week-end at the end of August is a wonderful gift. For teachers, it can be hell that highlights what is to come which is why August Bank Holiday should be banned!
School summer holidays
Those of you in education know about the breaks that the school year has peppered across it. I’m not sure that the present divisions in the UK are appropriate as their inconsistent allocation can make planning tricky. However, we will always have a longer break in the summer months I suspect. For some, this is a chance to do some quality work (See SLT To-Do list ).
The summer break is a time for schools to get building work done without the need for the work to be done outside the hours of 8.30am to 3.30pm. It is also a chance for teachers to clear out all the ‘stuff’ that has been gathered throughout the year. It is a time of new names on drawers, displays being constructed and a general time of a relaxed appreciation of the job.
So what’s not to like?
Those people who are not in education will often cite the holidays with an emphasis on the summer holiday as a perk of the job. Holidays can be used as an example of teaching not being a full-time job!
But that aside, what is it about the summer holiday in particular that can cause problems?
- Winding down – that last bell on the last day of the school year should be music to the ears of every teacher. If you are like I was, when it first goes it is, but it soon becomes an anti-climax when you realise how tired you are. Stopping, and starting your holiday can take a while
- Your To Do list – as we have seen some teachers use the holidays for those projects that might need more time and focus. If you don’t crack on with it, though, it can linger over your days where you may be thinking ‘I’ve plenty of time’.
- New year preparation – unlike other breaks, the summer holiday ends with the start of a new school year. This brings jobs like creating registers, looking at data for understanding your class and of course the old chestnut of planning, at least for the first week!
The end is nigh!
Now, I know everyone hates going back to work after their annual holiday. Hopefully they have had a chance to break from their routine, maybe visit friends or foreign places, get some sunshine. Above all relax so that they are energised to get back into the saddle of whatever their job is. For teachers, that break from the tight routine of a schoolday can be as much as six weeks. What is it the psychologists say? It takes 21 days to form a habit. No wonder, as the holidays draw to a close, the return to school can begin to feel like the sword of Damacles hanging over procedings. Then BAM.! IT arrives!
Why August Bank Holiday should be banned
Have you ever been the only sober person in a group of drunks? Maybe you were the driver. Around you there are people having a whale of a time and although you are part of it, you are looking at your watch, counting the minutes go by before you can escape from the revelry.
Well, that’s what August Bank Holiday can feel like to a teacher. Surrounded by people really enjoying an extra day to the week-end, all making the best of the last break before winter. But you can’t relax because you have that return to work heavy on your shoulders.
I always had a problem with Sundays, particularly after 5pm when the return to school was ever present in my mind. I know from twitter that others have this happen to. Our solution (well more of a sweetner) was to always go out for supper on Sundays. That gave me something to look forward to during the day. It snubbed a nose at the ‘not on a school night’ and as I wasn’t going to sleep now, it might as well be alcohol induced restlessness!
So, I have no magic wand for how to make the days leading up to the return to school in September easier but don’t let’s celebration it and that’s why August Bank Holiday should be banned!
How do you feel about the return to school in September?