Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Editorial - Teacher Seeks Partner for Quiet Nights In: Opinion

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Editorial - Teacher Seeks Partner for Quiet Nights In: Opinion

Article excerpt

As we head towards the end of the school year in the northern hemisphere, teachers are inevitably faced with jibes from friends and family members about the "ridiculous school holidays". The lengthy summer break (not to mention Christmas and Easter) is perhaps the most significant dividing line between teacher communities and their muggle neighbours.

To be fair, most lay folk engage in this banter with tongue firmly in cheek, vaguely aware of hideous working hours during term time and certain that they could barely hack a day at the chalkface, let alone 39 weeks a year.

Partners of teachers, of course, have long known not to engage in this kind of jesting; no one understands the commitment that school staff make better than husbands, wives or other halves (which is probably one of the reasons why so many teachers settle down with other teachers). Indeed, no one is better positioned to appreciate that the long summer break is well deserved.

In fact, they would probably be the first to observe that the 13 weeks of holiday a year in England is not about teachers at all, but is necessary because children need far longer than adults to recharge their batteries.

So what does it take to be a teacher consort? What qualities are needed to design pencil holders, collect rock samples at midnight or simply keep pouring the coffee that fuels marking?

First of all, acceptance: if it's a school night, then spontaneous fun is out of the question. That probably goes for Sunday afternoons, too. Marking and planning take precedence - over just about everything. …

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