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How to dodge other teachers when you're on holiday

It's surprisingly easy to run into fellow educators on your summer sojourn, so try these tips from Stephen Petty, head of humanities at Lord Williams’s School in Thame, Oxfordshire, to avoid unwanted school talk

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It's surprisingly easy to run into fellow educators on your summer sojourn, so try these tips from Stephen Petty, head of humanities at Lord Williams’s School in Thame, Oxfordshire, to avoid unwanted school talk

 

Get into the teacher mindset

If avoiding other teachers is a major holiday priority for you, delve into the teacher’s summer mindset and ask: “What locations are teachers most likely to seek in August?” Opt for places that seem diametrically opposed to the answer. 

 

Head to 18-30 resorts

Most teachers seek a break from noise and large numbers of children, so one way to avoid them is to consider places offering exactly that. Vibrant resorts such as Magaluf, Kavos and Zante fit the bill perfectly: loud, busy and almost certain to feature herds of intoxicated sixth-formers. And even if you do come across a teacher, the chances of you or them remembering it the next day are slim. 

 

Choose a holiday with a routine The highly regimented bus tour is another fairly safe option if you are keen to avoid fellow educators. We are slaves to the mighty timetable and bell during term-time, so we look for holidays full of easy-going spontaneity.

 

Steer clear of France

This same desire to feel free draws swarms of teachers to our Continental neighbour’s inviting open countryside. Village markets seem to have a particularly high teacher-to-normal-person ratio. They saunter aimlessly from stall to stall, relishing the experience – no bells, no targets, no risk of failing. So again, to avoid teachers this summer, opt for the other extreme. Put yourself under the usual term-time pressure by going on an intensive course throughout the summer holiday – perhaps even one with a rigorous exam at the end of it. 

 

Alternatively...

If the above options for finding a teacher-free trip sound distinctly unappealing, why not learn a part and present yourself as a holidaying vicar, opera diva, gunrunner or whatever. That way, we can all at least believe that we have escaped the world of teaching – which, at the end of the day, is all that matters. 

 

Read the full feature in the 17 July issue of TES. You can read it on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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