Five things non-teachers get wrong about teachers

Thirteen weeks holiday a year and finishing work at 3pm? That’s what they think…

Nicola Davison

Toast with jam

Despite the pressures of the profession, most teachers would agree that teaching is an incredibly rewarding job. But it’s not easy. And when you’re still marking books at midnight, there’s nothing that will tip you over the edge faster than one of these five irksome assumptions.

1.  Teachers finish work at 3pm 
Which is obviously why you’re still marking books at midnight…Of course, you’d have done it sooner but you’ve had faculty meetings, a school play rehearsal and detention duty already this evening. And to top it all off, you’ve just received an email asking if you can spare a couple of hours to do a stint on the tombola at the school fair this Saturday.

Coffee in an IV

2. Teachers get 13 weeks' holiday 
This might be true on paper, but so is the fact that the average teaching contract is based on a 37-hour working week, with an hour for lunch… Ha! Forget the Costa del Sol, your "holidays" are for marking, planning and putting up displays. Only after you've finished all that will there be time for sleeping.

Leave me alone

3.  A school trip is a free holiday 
Absolutely! If your idea of a holiday has you up at dawn, making packed lunches and encouraging 60-plus overexcited kids not to be silly/break something/spend all their pocket money on sweets.

Field trip

4.  Teachers are full of clichés 
It’s a little-known fact that teacher training courses do not actually include a module on clichés. If you hear stock phrases like, “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” and “It’s your own time you’re wasting!”, then they are being said because they are true. So do something about it.

Eye roll

5.  Teachers are just big kids 
Erm, yeah. We might give you that one.

Big kid

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Nicola Davison

Nicola Davison is a former teacher and school librarian, who now produces content for TES Resources.

Find me on Twitter @nicolajdavison

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