Classroom: Should teachers go in?


I have not been into my classroom since the beginning of the holidays. I finished on Friday 15th July and then went in again on Monday 18th July to sort things out. I have not been in because my room is still being cleaned. Although I have not been into school, I have been working. Although the major thing I have been doing is relaxing as it is my holiday!!

However, I have been following a conversation on twitter that talks about “what are the expectations for teachers within the holidays?”  the major points that came out of this are:

  • The holidays are for Teachers- they shouldn’t have to do anything!!
  •  The holidays are for Teachers, although they should do a little in preparation
  • The holidays are a time for teachers to continue working but at home

I have to admit that I agree with the first one. Teachers work hard all year round so they deserve to have this holiday in the middle of the summer.

Personally I have two more weeks then I am away on Holiday for 10 days and then it will be the beginning of the autumn term. This would mean that I would have had a total of 5 weeks away from school, and would have gone into school for a total of 5 preparation days (including the two teacher days).

Is this acceptable?

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10 thoughts on “Classroom: Should teachers go in?

  1. I’ve just popped in to school for the first time these hols to pick up some paperwork I need to do.
    I once added up the number of hours directed time, planning, marking, report writing etc I do. I probably underestimated, but it still averaged out as doing a 40 hour week for 48 weeks a year with 4 weeks holiday, just like a “normal” job. For us, our work is just compacted into 6 week bursts of 55 hour weeks. So I don’t feel guilty at all for resting and making full use of my summer holidays. I’ve earned it!

    1. Thanks for your comments

      I have seen this said sometimes. I know teacher work hard and these times are time to relax and recharge. This article came from that fact I was asked this question and my answer became a blog post. I know there are no definitive answers although like I mentioned as long as you can fur fill your job as a professional I believe there should be no pressure. I know there are no pressure for me to go into school but I do because I like to have a very ordered classroom, I know staff who manages to do it in the first few weeks and I am sure I could but I like to have as little pressure as possible when I first start back.

      I do a lot of this to make my life easier at the start of term.

  2. I’m about to start a PGCE, so will soon be thinking about this too. My Mum taught in a primary school and we would usually go into school together for 2 or 3 days at the most together (I remembering learning how to clean lots of Lego at an early age!). Otherwise she was pretty good about not working in the summer holidays. I saw a quote from someone earlier, may have been in TES, that teachers holidays are their ‘bonuses’, so getting paid in time not money. I liked that idea :-))

    1. Thanks for your comments

      I like your idea that we get paid in time back not a salaried wage. I go into school because I like to have a very ordered classroom, I know staff who manages to do it in the first few weeks and I am sure I could but I like to have as little pressure as possible when I first start back.

      I do a lot of this to make my life easier at the start of term.

  3. As a member of support staff, I have conflicting opinions on this matter.

    I’ve been employed at a school now for 8 years, full-time, on a salary much less than that of NQTs, and am entitled to 30 days’ holiday a year (which have to be taken during the school holidays. But not at the same time as other members of my department. And the nature of the job means that some of my workload simply cannot be done during term-time).

    However, the positive side to this, is that during the holidays, it is such a relief being in work but without the constant hassle from the members of staff. Can you do this–, I need–, … and the like.

    The must irritating parts are at the start and end of the holidays, when they comment and ask “have a good holiday!” and “did you have a nice break?”

    1. Thanks for your comments

      I understand your irritation to the comments on coming back to work. I am also sympathetic to your situation, within Primary the support staff has the whole 6 weeks off and do not have to come in at all until the teacher days. I go into school because I like to have a very ordered classroom, I know staff who manages to do it in the first few weeks and I am sure I can but I like to have as little pressure as possible when I first start back.

      I do a lot of this to make my life easier at the start of term.

      1. I don’t blame you (or any teachers, for that matter) for using the holidays – if I had them, I probably would use them too 🙂

        I think the bigger issue is system-wide, with support staff and teaching staff being treated very differently within education, as a whole. I’m speaking from a secondary perspective though, and from the little exposure I’ve had to primaries, I do understand it’s different 🙂

        Hope the rest of your summer is a good one.

      2. Thanks,

        I would agree that there needs to be transparency between the two sectors and I would say that all schools should allow their support staff to be off like teachers, or pay additional money for their time within the holiday. In any other profession this would be the case. Overtime is paid if you go beyond what you would normally be expected to do.

        Have a brilliant holiday and try not to work too hard 🙂

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