I have read some tweets over the last few days that have niggled away at me. They weren’t enough to prompt me to put ‘pen to paper’. Today however has changed that.
There have been tweets about time spent in class over the holidays. This happens every year and EduTwitter goes into meltdown about the rights and wrongs of doing so. Today’s tweet however, I found worrying. To me, and judging by the responses of others, there is clear subtext. If you don’t go in and spend hours upon hours titivating your classroom, then your children won’t get the optimum learning environment and will not learn to their potential.
This is ridiculous. There will no doubt be replies to this saying that this wasn’t stated in the tweets and that I am deliberately misinterpreting them. I don’t believe this is the case.
There are tweets today from both NQT’s and non-NQT’s saying that they feel they should disable their Twitter accounts as they are feeling somehow inadequate and letting their children down by not being in school. This is not ok. At all.
As an NQT I relished the chance to spend time getting my classroom ready for my first ever class-a feeling that (I would hope) all of us have experienced and shows how excited we are to be the best we can be for our children. However, does the fact that this year, as I have chosen not to go into school during summer break mean that my children will be being short changed in the teaching and stimulus that they receive on our return? Having lost my Dad ten months ago I have decided that the most important use of my time this summer is to be there for my mum and my family who are still grieving. As am I. I wanted to take the necessary downtime the I need to come back refreshed and to be the best teacher I can be.
That is my choice. Equally, I could have decided to go in every day possible to take my mind off it. It doesn’t matter.
Teaching is a passion that each one of us has and comes through in our inherent desire to help our children grow. Yes, of course the environment we provide impacts upon this, but it isn’t the most important factor. WE are.
We all need switch off time. That work-life balance is so fine and we give so much time anyway during term time that no one should be made to feel ‘inadequate’ for not spending holiday time in school as well. We have a responsibility to each other to support and nurture-not to create feelings of anxiety or inadequacy.
Please be proud of your class and what you do, but please consider how you word this pride.
So if, like me, you are not going into school over summer that’s fine. You are still an amazing teacher who will be giving your children 100%.