15 ways you give yourself away as a teacher on holiday

Think you're blending in with the rest of the crowd on holiday? Think again - a teacher is always easy to spot

Shannen Doherty

How to spot a teacher on summer holiday

It would be nice to think that we all shed our teacher personas and blend into society seamlessly over the summer, but, alas, no.

There are some instant giveaways that most of us will be doing at some point over the holidays.

Quick read: The five absolute worst times to bump into students

Quick listen: The truth about mental health in schools

Want to know more? What’s the perfect teacher summer holiday?

How to spot a teacher on holiday

Here are some of the most obvious:

  1. Befriending families around the pool or at the beach on holiday and asking the children what year group they’re going into and what their favourite subjects are. 

  2. Carrying a fully stocked first-aid kit along with baby wipes and spare pants for any and all eventualities. You never know when there will be an accident, after all, and you’ve been on enough trips to know it’s always best to be prepared. 

  3. Having a bag full of pens, just in case. If you don’t have upwards of five pens rattling at the bottom of your bag, are you even a teacher? You might need to write a list, do a crossword or plan your schedule for the week.

  4. Head-counting your friends whenever you do anything, despite there only being adults on the holiday.

    teacher summer holiday


  5. Reading children’s books by the pool. You need to stay up to date with the latest kids’ fiction, after all. 

  6. Showing off the latest dance moves at the mini disco each night. It’s a well-known fact that teachers make the best flossers...

  7. Knowing all the words to the chart music that gets played. After the countless requests for Old Town Road at your end-of-term party, you’re well versed in the latest hits, whether you like it or not.

  8. Giving children the teacher glare when they’re running around the pool. There’s something about seeing kids messing around and flouting the rules that trigger your inner teacher. Their parents will be grateful, right?

  9. Using non-verbal cues to communicate with people who don’t know what you’re on about.  It’s a well-honed teacher skill and going away on holiday gives you the perfect opportunity to bring out your inner charades expert.

  10. Risk-assessing every excursion and ensuring that you know where the toilets are before setting up camp. If only you could have got it signed off a few weeks before!

    And even if you’re holidaying at home, the signs are still there:

  11. Traipsing up and down the stationery sale aisles. WH Smith, here we come!

  12. Turning up at the cinema to see kids’ films without any kids. Toy Story 4 and The Lion King? Yes, please!

  13. Mentally preparing to count down from five when an unknown child is having a tantrum.

  14. Buying a huge leaf or a plush toy pencil from Ikea. Your book corner obviously needs revamping this year.

  15. Repeatedly muttering “I must remember that for September...” whenever something comes to you. Why do we have our best ideas when we’re not at school?

    Regardless of how many of these actions you’re guilty of, don’t worry – everyone loves a teacher. Just don’t forget to relax this summer! 

    Shannen Doherty is a Year 4 teacher in South London

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