Quiz: How ready are you to relax this Christmas?

It's not going to be the Christmas you hoped for – but will you return recharged? Take Sarah Ledger's quiz to find out
23rd December 2020, 11:00am
Sarah Ledger


Quiz: How ready are you to relax this Christmas?

Coronavirus: As A Teacher, Will You Have A Relaxing Christmas Holiday?

I'm aware that, once again, events have overtaken us and Christmas - or "Friday", as it's now known in some parts of our multi-tiered nation - is not the festival it might have been.

Still, the season brings its own joys and pressures. Take my quiz to find out how you will cope this Yuletide.

Coronavirus: Will you be able to relax this Christmas?

1. How did the end of term pan out for you?

a) I'm afraid I ran out of steam mid-November. My Year 11 mock marking took priority, and I ended up relying on Twinkl for most of my lesson planning.

b) I'm not going to lie: it's been tough. But I have a great team of colleagues, and together we made it through.

c) As usual, I knuckled down and cleared my marking - although, I have to admit, organising the online staff wassail concert ate into precious planning time, and I'm only up to February half-term with my lesson preparation.

2. What did you intend to do on the first day of the holiday?

a) I planned to look through my Year 7 assessments, and I hoped to get to the shops for some proper food. On the last day of term, my breakfast coffee was made from swilling out the granules clinging to the bottom of the jar with boiling water and my last solid meal was three Mr Kipling's Frosty Fancies.

b) Go for a run.

c) Pilates on Zoom with my Menopause Matters group, then deep clean the kitchen, defrost the freezer, await the Christmas food delivery (I booked the slot in September) and make a start on my home-made panettone.

3. What did you actually do on the first day of the holiday?

a) I lay on the sofa in my pyjamas, drinking the liqueurs out of my secret Santa chocolates, and watched all six seasons of Dawson's Creek on Netflix and up to episode four of The Queen's Gambit

b) I didn't manage the run, but I went for a socially distanced walk with the dogs and a couple of friends, so at least I got some fresh air.

c) Once I'd received the food delivery and realised they'd substituted Trex for goose fat and given me a large bag of monkey nuts instead of chestnuts, I spent the time I'd allocated for setting my starter dough for panettone composing a strongly worded email to the chief executive of the John Lewis Group. Very disappointing.

4. Who will you spend Christmas with?

a) I can't go to my mum and dad's - they're in Tier 4. But we'll FaceTime on Christmas Day, and my dad says he's found a way to pull a virtual cracker.

b) My partner, the kids and the dogs. It'll be quiet but, to be honest, I'm quite looking forward to the peace.

c) My OH and I will be livestreaming our Christmas Day on Periscope so anyone, anywhere can tune in. From the stuffing of the goose at 7am to the petit fours and cognac at 9pm - with a capella carols, a paper-hat-making competition and the merriment of cracker jokes in between - our house is your house.

5. Do you have a Christmas outfit prepared?

a) My mum sent me Christmas pyjamas and I'll be wearing those and a fleecy slanket.

b) Not really. We've got used to comfy lounge wear, so we'll be chilling in something casual. Next year, when we have all the family round, we'll dress up properly.

c) Indeed. As our theme this year is "A Very Austen Christmas", I will be attired as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. 

6. What would be your ideal education-based Christmas present?

a) Just to see my family. I know that's nothing to do with education, but, honestly, I'll be able to do my job so much better if I've had a hug from my mum, and one of my dad's famous Boxing Day turkey sandwiches.

b) If I can't have my own classroom back, I'd like one of those nifty little cabin trollies to get my stuff from one end of the school to the other. 

c) My edu-library is pretty full, so no books this year, thank you. What I'd really like - although we've mainly gone to zero written marking - is a Mont Blanc fountain pen. As I tell the NQTs in the department, there's no substitute for an elegant red ink comment on a student's work. 

Your answers

Mostly a): Oh, love, I see you. This is hard for you. However, you're not alone, and this, too, will pass. Enjoy chatting to your family on FaceTime and get out for some fresh air in the afternoon. Have a rest for the rest of the holiday and return recharged. Happy Christmas.

Mostly b): You sound sensible and measured. Keep up the good work - and drop "Mostly a)" a line - they could do with your encouragement. Have a good one!

Mostly c): Gosh! This sounds ambitious. I hope the day goes well for you, although you may want to keep some of your marvellous achievements to yourself, and consider that the reason no one talks to you at work is not entirely down to social distancing. Still, greetings of the season to you.

Sarah Ledger is an English teacher and director of learning for Year 11 at William Howard School in Brampton, Cumbria. She has been teaching for 34 years

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