The end of term is nigh and so is the promise of a staff Christmas party. Whether it’s a cosy gathering in the staffroom or a full-blown sit-down affair, you can guarantee you’ll never be more than 2ft away from a glass of something cheap, a mince pie and a string of conversations about how tired you are. With all that festive fun, it’s easy to get carried away, so here are five things to be careful of if you want to keep your dignity intact:
1. Alcohol. The wine might be awful but it’s been a long term and after a few mouthfuls you stop tasting it anyway. Next thing you know you’re stumbling home blind-drunk at 4am with only one shoe and a questionable mark on the collar of your shirt. Yes, only a teacher would bring a whiteboard pen to a party…
2. Conversation. It’s true that marking has taken over your life, that the photocopier is still broken and that this year’s Grade 10 mock exam results were a total shambles, but are they really appropriate topics for a party? Now is the time to be merry and talk about the things you get up to in your spare time… Oh, wait.
3. Singing. Unless you’re the staffroom’s resident Beyoncé, it’s best you remain at a safe distance from the karaoke machine at all times. There’s a reason you haven’t been invited to join the staff band. And if there are any recording devices present, you can bet you’ll be the highlight of the next full-school assembly on "trying your best".
4. Declarations of love. Christmas is a romantic time of year and it may seem like it’s the perfect opportunity to confess your undying love to Ms Fowler from the geography department. It's not, for so many reasons, the main one being that while in your head you may sound like a charming Leonardo di Caprio, in reality you are just making slurring noises while your eyes dance to some end-of-the-night Abba.
5. Dancing. While you’re pretty sure you’re the next Michael Jackson when it comes to dancing, the rest of your colleagues will just assume you really need the toilet. And the PE department will most definitely be laughing at you, not with you. Just because your students taught you how to do the Whip/Nae Nae, it doesn’t mean you should.
That being said, someone’s got to take the fall, so why not grab that Christmas jumper, knock back some mulled wine and make this your year?