Teachers Get Holidays

‘You teachers. You get great time off’. Spit. OK, I exaggerate. No one spits. Often. This clichéd statement is one of the many flung in accusation or even bitterness at a teacher on a typical weekly basis. There are others, but let us stick with this one for now.

I don’t doubt the verity of the sentence.

Clichéd because it is true.

We get amazing time off!!

It is the tone that often accompanies the few words that gets me!  I will not deny however that I can see why acidity may drip malevolently from a non teacher’s tongue as they discuss the educators’ holidays especially when June looms. We are becoming giddy ourselves at the image of endless weeks away from the desk. The poor accountants, farmers, shopkeepers and everyone else must stay at the grind and I can empathise having worked at many jobs myself that boasted normal holidays.

Combine the ten week break with the one continuous hot spell Ireland has seen since the glory days many moons ago and yes, teachers are hated and begrudged!

A bitter medicine.

How do we justify the holidays?

Largely because we need it or both staff and students would have major melt downs and relaxation is key to education.

They are part of the package.

So what happens in an Irish secondary school when June begins her flirtatious advance, coquettishly cocking one hip and rolling a scarlet tipped finger towards her whilst staring in your eye, beckoning to you to something beyond the red pen and PowerPoint ?

Life can be better than this…

Many changes. Some small. Some so minute you may not notice. Some in our heads even. ..

The angry teacher begins to smile a little more. The suited one has left a top button open. Cracks an unintelligible joke. The stringent teacher suddenly doesn’t seem to realise how late you are. Again. Lunches beome lazier. Were they ways this chilled out? Windows are thrown open. The sinners in homework detention are becoming a rarer breed. The pedants are now colouring ever so slightly outside the lines. The classroom rebel loses his patience as his most trying behaviour is ignored and in fact is the teacher throwing him a jeering half smile herself?

Role reversal is on the table.


Those exam sitting students facing three weeks of state tests in June suddenly are feeling the fear. They have become the worker bees. They are asking questions they were too cool to ask before.  Last minute revision is desperately undertaken. Teachers help. Yes. They give final tutorials and notepacks. They will not refuse extra advice however their job is pretty much done. They taught their subject. Examined it. Gave tips, support and encouragement. They can do little more than issue more advice, wish them luck and see them on the other side. Their own difficult job is over. The students’ challenge is on the table now and right ahead. Do the students feel the change however?  Do they realise that are now the stressed one in the room? They are the ones almost frightened to stray from topic in case the course is not covered or sweating with pressure to get notes made and stapled, over zealous in correction, almost blindly hopeful they might learn from it for next time?

I actually always needed the glasses  Miss. I haven’t seen that board in five years.

Do they observe the teacher is quietly eating Malteasers and wearing flip-flops, casually tidying up those BBC Shakespeare cassettes, filing old handouts and dumping uncollected homework as they listen to your pleas? Considering the next boxset they might watch (we hear Boardwalk Empire is worth a go) and recklessly, mentally ‘letting go’ King Lear and his need of Super Nanny for those unruly daughters? Have you realised that she is no longer asking Padraic McGinty to take out his books? That Padraic McGinty is in fact now twitching in apprehension at his table and realising the days to listen are over and he may be in fact approaching pretty deep excrement? He actually has his books out. Boy, are they shiny clean. It is past that time. Teachers are not able to do much more. Students now must take the baton and it is up to them if they choose to run. (Did you like that analogy? We teachers have MANY!).

What do we do now? The teachers I mean.

It is likely students feel that we all slink away to our museum going, instant coffee drinking, cat hugging homes for the summer. I believe some of the younger students think we don’t leave at all,  just sink back slowly as they leave, motionlessly self-cementing  into the wall, standing lifeless until the end of August when we rise again, automaton style to repeat ourselves for another nine months!


Hate to break it to ye guys.

You are all wrong.

We do what you do.

We party.

We party like we are in 1999 and we are still nineteen. (Prince, we remember you).

Move over Kim, this butt is ready to knock yours out of the ball park.

Summer party time!


The big staff night out is important so we can look at each other in delight one last time for the season knowing we don’t have to interact again without choice until the end of August.

Oh joy!

So as the big kahuna (summer) arrives, attitudes tend to change. People become lighter. Gentler. More insane! Add temperatures hitting the mid twenties and staying so for seven days in a row (this is Ireland remember) and you have hit paydirt. Release, holidays and hot, hot sun make teachers go crazy.

We have staff night out. A lethal combination of staff room tensions, normal end of term edginess, retirements, redeployment, wine AND 25° Celsius weather make for a potent send off.  I can liken it to TV series  Black Books when character Manny has an outbreak of ‘Dave’s Syndrome’. An instant mania sets in when the heat reaches a certain melting high. Hence crazy Lord of the Flies style behaviour ensues.

Comedian Bill Bailey captures the moment beautifully in central London!

How does this manifest itself in the world of Shakespeare, verbs, compasses and overhead projectors?


Precursor: It begins with cones after work. 99 with a flake. Passing students may be fooled into thinking this is as loco as we go, shaking their heads at how ‘sad’ we are.ice-cream-cone-1274894_640.jpg

  1. We continue to tequila shots with the grown up teachers with adult children.


2. 80% staff attendance at a night club. A real night club. There are always a few who can’t quite get there, but in this case people who haven’t seen midnight in months chanced the flashing lights and loudspeakers. No age, subject or gender distinction. All accepted, daring someone to try stop our outlandish behaviour and ask us to leave.

3. Air Guitar release. This is therapy for a stressed Mammy and teacher like nothing else. DJ does a quick age calculation and also decided the club was full of teachers from various schools losing the plot so we were awarded a variety of hair rock classics, topped off by Take That. Never Forget at that. Think   Paradise by the Dashboard Light. The French sub who has barely spoken all year all fists and hair, screaming into a bottle. Wowsers. Head banging like a Kurt Kobain worshipper to Lithium. 

Lest we forget!

4. The single guy/lady making a two am drive of Dutch courage towards the other single guy/lady, usually lucking out and to the hilarity of us around them. No prisoners.

5. We all tell the principals/ vice principals how to run the school.

6. We all squeal at the one poor student we spot when we leave the club yelling at him/her that they should be at home studying while we laugh hysterically at our own wit.bitmoji-20160607112738

7. Dancing like no one is watching or Facebook isn’t real. Head banging. Shouting. Yelling. Heckling other schools and their teachers who are also dancing like monkeys on mind altering drugs and feeling very brave.


How we see ourselves dancing…
…versus the reality.

8. Hugging each other. That does not happen. Ever.

9.Vegetarian teachers may eat meat. Or whatever is in a chicken ball from a three am takeaway.

Fried food injection.


10. Non smokers can be found chain smoking in the smoking area. Happily.

The rest must be kept hidden..!

There you have it. Not much different to a standard work do, I know. I like to think we do it with style though!

Teachers get holidays. They can celebrate too. Immorally, drunkenly or soberly but always in an insubordinate fashion.

Thank God for role reversal time.

Let us have our moment. Let us believe we are rock stars before we make an instant coffee, hug a cat and ooh let us go to the National Gallery! New exhibition!!

Sounds pretty nice right now…

Tequila can hibernate until next June.

The Pramshed


60 thoughts on “Teachers Get Holidays

  1. Wow! Congratulations on making it to summer vacation! I never made it to the point in my teaching career where I had summers off – while in Canada I was working full time at a dead-end job just to keep my bills in order, which always switched to part-time in the fall. In Korea, for hogwan teachers there are no technical holidays. We get national holidays off of course, but while the public schools have holidays we still have classes….all year long…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The dedication is amazing. My friend worked in Korea and said the students attended no matter what. Our attendance rate would be shameful on comparison. I worked in the UK where we had six weeks holidays but in Ireland we get nearly three months. Sounds unbelievable! !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah at after school hogwans students come no matter what -even if they are sick. And for teacher’s its the same thing. There is no way, even with having a fever and no voice right now, that I could take a full day off. Like in my contract I have 3 sick days for the year but the other teachers would be completely screwed if I stayed home. I was able to cancel my adult classes and just rebook them. This hogwan does take holidays though – a week around Christmas and a week in July. but the whole school is closed so it’s no problem

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My teacher friends usually spend the first three days of summer break drunk. My best teacher friend though, can’t drink, and she gets another job all summer so she “won’t spend more money by being home”. I’m home anyway, I’m using these last two days to get all the things done before I have all three 24×7!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I get very little extra done when I have two 24/7 so I can see why! I will have mine all summer too but am letting Gigi have two days in her playgroup and then have to initiate Betsy into crèche which will be sad!! I think she will love it though.


  3. I’m a teacher enjoying the break in the schedule, but I agree, it doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything! I have 2 other part time, summer jobs I’m juggling. Yes, I will be traveling. With students!
    Anyway, I deserve the break. I’m tired. The academic calendar is a wonderful schedule. The break allows me to reflect and recoup. So here’s to you and me! We made it another year. I just finished year 17. What about you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Year ten. I find that hard to believe! ! You are right about summer work. Along with the babas, I am writing new units for our school year and planning for a new class of history that I will teach. It is a case of quick type ups in between feeds!! I like your blog topics a lot and just discovered it through Flickbox. Looking forward to the reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Having been married to a teacher for quite some time, I find people people assuming they get holidays quite laughable! My husband used to give himself five days off in 6 weeks and work the rest. He’s in a different profession now, but we still have many friends who are teachers and know how much hard work each and every one puts into their role. Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! My friend is working in Essex (I used to work there too) and I am always halfway through our break when she gets off. It doesn’t seem fair! ! Our long holidays were originally to do with the kids needing to be home in summer months as we are such an agricultural country. These days we are just lucky😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great post!!!I love the thought of the role reversal near the end of term. Have a fab summer hols….you deserve it!!! Thank you for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been working at the school part time since my kids started. I love the holidays. They are definitely needed. I’m going to have a hard time adjusting back to a full time job as there are none available for me in the school system. I don’t have an education degree. If I were younger, I’d definitely go back and get one. Enjoy your career. You deserve it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First I would formally say I hate you but more in a term of endearment way. Basically, I am insanely jealous! Now don’t get me wrong, when I spend the 1 day a year volunteering in my sons’ classes, in the spring, I’m suddenly wondering why on Earth you aren’t drunk as a form of coping.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I KNEW it! Teachers are amazing. The dedication, the commitment to kids–some of whom might be absolutely diabolical in their ability to defy rules–all comes from actual human beings who live actual, wonderful lives. I’m so glad. I love my son’s teachers–all of them. And I have a few in my family and friend circle as well who I admire and adore. But it’s just plain awesome to see it in black and white, so-to-speak, that teacher love to party in their own ways. Hooray!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From one teacher to another, goodness gracious me we need these holidays. It’s not a job I think any human being could sustain without the prospect of 6 weeks off every summer. Those other workers may think it’s ridiculous that we get long spells off, but then do they have a job where you literally get time to pee once a day and as for a coffee break….yey right! And yes we all go crazy when school breaks from the new NQT to the teacher who’s been there for 40 years, because we’re free! Loved this post. Have a great well deserved rest and get the tequila out. #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  10. For teachers, story is same everywhere. My sister was in this profession and I remember how everyone used to tell her about the benefits teachers get during school vacation. Yes it is true but other side of the story is different. Teachers have limited offs other these vacations. I have seen her going on duty even in fever. Taking extra classes for the weaker students. Missing family functions. At the same time I have seen her having fun time with students during vacation outside school. She was a lovable human being, an adorable teacher. We all miss her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes yes Yes!! The work load is heavy and plenty extra to do on duty to make up for time away. Always glad you understand.
      I am sorry for your loss xx sounds like she was a very dedicated professional which is not always the case. Thank you for your comment.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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