5 Christmas phrases you'll soon be sick of hearing

As the Christmas preparations ramp up at school, there are a few choice phrases you're bound to get tired of hearing...
23rd November 2020, 12:00pm

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5 Christmas phrases you'll soon be sick of hearing

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/5-christmas-phrases-youll-soon-be-sick-hearing
The Christmas Phrases Teachers Get Sick Of Hearing In Schools

Ah, Christmas… there's nothing quite like it at school: paper decorations adorn your classroom, there are endless lessons interrupted by celebratory assemblies, and the staffroom is filled with discussions about the John Lewis Christmas advert.

However, as any teacher knows, Christmas at school is also exhausting, and there are some seasonal phrases that are enough to make you start wondering whether Ebenezer Scrooge had a point.

The Christmas phrases you can't avoid in school

Here are five that make it on to my "naughty list':

'Do you want to take part in the secret Santa?'

You ignored the email, the sign-up sheet, the reminder email, and the final reminder. You definitely do not want to take part in the secret Santa (especially not after receiving that weird home-made wine last year). But if you don't, you'll be forever labelled as "the person that didn't do secret Santa". It's probably best to accept defeat and just pick up a generic bath set.

'Have you finished your shopping/wrapping?'

Every staffroom has a festive uber-organiser: the kind that bought their presents in August, wrapped them in September, and now spends break time making others scroll through their Instagram-level tree pictures. You pledged to start earlier this year, which, of course, didn't happen, and you know time is running out… but it's nothing that a run to a 24-hour supermarket and some "eco-friendly" newspaper wrapping can't fix, right?

'Are we having a fun lesson?'

A classic line passed down from generation to generation, this one is universally able to infuriate every teacher in the land. Your idea of fun is testing them on algebraic fractions - and you did put a little holly sprig on the worksheet - but you know that they really mean "we want to watch Elf, eat contraband Haribo in your lesson and collectively call you 'The Grinch' when you say no".

Inhale deeply and choose from one of the following time-honoured responses:

"Every lesson is a fun lesson with me!"

"What could be more fun than *insert topic here*?"

"Do you know what else is fun? Having qualifications!"

'But it's Christmas!'

A lingerer, this phrase begins in November and runs all the way through to the end of term. It's used for everything: don't want to cover a break duty? Arguing about giving a detention? Trying to evade supervising the Year 7 disco?  There's no point. "But it's Christmas!" is the ultimate glitter-coated weapon that will break all your defences and leave you agreeing to all kinds of things.

'There's only X amount of days left!'

We know this one is meant with good intentions, but it often just serves as a reminder of exactly how little time there is left. The worst culprits for this phrase are those who break it down into how many individual lessons are left to get everything done; rather than inspiring hope and goodwill to all men, it just leaves frantic Year 11 teachers pouring black coffee and panic-eating mince pies in order to get through the remaining piles of marking.

Lauran Hampshire-Dell is a teacher and tutor

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