- The anxiety dreams are back, with a flies-open, blouse-unbuttoned, lesson-plan-forgotten, broken-technology, rebellious-student vengeance.
- You find yourself sitting through a motivational talk in an ice-cold assembly hall.
- You go to the staffroom for chocolate, and find only Ryvita and a big bowl of apples.
- You start wondering whether nervous energy is an effective way of burning off Christmas calories.
- 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.
- There is a noticeable drop in the amount of glitter-based make-up being worn in school.
- Gill in accounts is no longer wearing a vibrating turkey on her head.
- 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.
- 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.
- The countdown to mocks begins.
- 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.
- The heating is on full-blast, regardless of the temperature outside…
- …until the early March cold snap, when it will suddenly switch off entirely. And remain off for the rest of the year.
- 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.
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