Why Do Teachers Get A Student-Free Day After The Holidays?
Enough already. You've had two weeks off. Get teachin'!
Teachers often say the reason they get 12 weeks leave every year -- unlike the rest of us who have to make do with four -- is that they spend large portions of the school holidays marking work from the previous term, and preparing for the term ahead.
Fine. Explanation accepted. So why the extra day on the Monday after the school holidays?
This is not an anti-teacher rant. Teachers deserve love, respect, more money and a break from work like the rest of us. Teachers are awesome. Kind, intelligent teachers in the public education system have made a huge difference in the lives of my kids.
But let's dig deeper here.
Do teachers work every single day of the holidays? And if they do, are there not a few hours here and there where they could prepare for the term ahead?
As a working parent with a Sydney mortgage, who is married to another working parent, it's not easy juggling kids and jobs during the four long school holiday breaks each year. We manage, somehow, but that extra Monday is a killer.
It's especially tough for parents with little kids, who have to arrange activities or playdates to keep the family dog from eating the kids, or the other way around, or both.
For us it's a little easier. Our kids are both in high school now, which means we've reached a stage where we feel safe leaving them home alone. All the same, you don't like to, because:
a) they will spend too much time on screens
b) did we mention screens?
c) no really, those screens, and;
d) it kind of just seems lazy, like we're failing somehow, like we just became a chapter in a hoity-toity know-it-all parenting book about selfish parents who can't even take a day off for their kids.
If you Google "student free day" , interesting results appear.
"Student free days are days designated for staff professional development or school professional development activities..."
And this from South Australian government:
"Public schools organise student free days when all staff at a school are required to attend training and development."
Super. So go and professionally train and develop yourself in your ample holidays.
Look, it's Tuesday already, so this no longer matters as much as it did yesterday. But the fact is, kids get enough days off. And parents are stretched. And teachers -- hard-working and stressed and deserving of more money though they are -- have more leave than the rest of us.