So as all of us teachers know, it’s the Summer Holidays. We can (metaphorically) let our hair down, enjoy the sunshine (ha!) and do whatever we so wish.
But I feel there is a danger in relaxing. I’m not talking an abrupt, “caution: hot” type warning you get on a cup of coffee from Starbucks, I’m talking a “don’t-let-your-guard-down-just-yet” slow burner of a warning.
To begin with, my hands have come up in this ugly, red rash, like they do at every holiday, as if my body has chilled the fuck out for a second and now can’t cope. It’s really attractive, as you can imagine.
Secondly, I’m so relaxed that I’m not going to bed until at least 11pm (risky business on a normal school night) but my lovely, school trained body is STILL waking me up at 6am. So I am ridiculously tired.
Thirdly, I keep forgetting about work completely. This is always dangerous in any given job, but particularly so when you have a whole stack of lesson planning and classroom maintenance to do at some point.
But fourthly, and possibly the most important of all, I relaxed enough whilst away in Dorset this week that I had my hair flying all over the place, Regatta fleece firmly on, minimal make-up on and was stuffing a big-old hunk of brownie in my mouth, when one of my soon-to-be Year 8 students walked past. He looked at me with a little dazed expression on his face, as though he couldn’t quite place me. I sort of nodded at him – (unable to say hi because I had too much brownie in my cake hole!).
I thought then, how dangerous it is to relax, even when you think you are totally safe.
Similarly to the idea of teachers drinking, I feel that any form of relaxing and socialising, can be dangerous, because not only do you let yourself go a little, your students see you in a light that could change how they feel about you.
Having said this, and having reflected on the whole situation later, I decided it doesn’t really matter though. He too had been in the same cafe, most likely enjoying a piece of cake and a cup of tea whilst the ‘liquid sunshine’ hammered down outside. Who cares if I let my guard down a bit? If I can still be a boss in the classroom, I think a little relaxation can go a long way for us teachers.
All that leaves me to say is, I hope you are all having a lovely summer too, but be careful, I’m sure there will be a student lurking around the corner when you least expect it.