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'The chocolate in the staffroom has been replaced by Ryvita': 14 ways teachers know it's no longer Christmas

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  1. The anxiety dreams are back, with a flies-open, blouse-unbuttoned, lesson-plan-forgotten, broken-technology, rebellious-student vengeance.
  2. You find yourself sitting through a motivational talk in an ice-cold assembly hall.
  3. You go to the staffroom for chocolate, and find only Ryvita and a big bowl of apples.
  4. You start wondering whether nervous energy is an effective way of burning off Christmas calories.
  5. You spot a tiny fragment of tinsel, stuck to a piece of Blu-Tack in a corner of your classroom, and know that it will still be there in July.
  6. There is a noticeable drop in the amount of glitter-based make-up being worn in school.
  7. Gill in accounts is no longer wearing a vibrating turkey on her head.
  8. The prospect of snow no longer conjures up visions of a winter wonderland. It’s now a broken-wrist epidemic waiting to happen and/or a Duvet Day.
  9. The contraband confectionery of choice – sold behind the science block for the knockdown price of three for a pound – is no longer Cadbury’s Snowmen. It's Malteasters.
  10. The countdown to mocks begins.
  11. Cue Jordan in Year 9 saying, “What use am I ever going to have for algebra in my life?” and then pausing to be commended for the unique genius of the observation.
  12. The heating is on full-blast, regardless of the temperature outside…
  13. …until the early March cold snap, when it will suddenly switch off entirely. And remain off for the rest of the year.
  14. You’re already trying to work out whether the three wise men’s costumes can be reconfigured as Pink Lady outfits for Grease, or whether you’ll end up staging Jonah-Man Jazz yet again.

With thanks to Geoff Barton, Sarah Ledger and Sarah Simons

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