Remember when we were children, the school summer holidays stretched out in front of us and seemed endless. As adults, we tend to think the same about teachers holidays. After all, in other professions in the UK we mostly only have 28 days’ paid annual leave and teachers get from 6 – 9 weeks holidays depending on whether they teach at a UK state or independent school.

First a well deserved holiday and time out

But this simply isn’t the case. Certainly, teachers absolutely deserve to switch off and recover after what can only be described as a rigorous school year of non-stop teaching, leading, training, supporting, marking and preparing; many duties spilling over regularly into evenings and weekends. There will be time when they will be ignoring their emails and going on that long awaited holiday. But, there will always be a summer to-do list.

A teacher’s summer to-do list

They’ll need to incorporate into their holiday the continuous flow of school emails and admin, preparation and training required. Then vital lesson planning with changes to the curriculum in mind. There’ll also be time needed back in school clearing out cupboards and general tidying, arranging desks and putting thought into the new wall displays. There will also be school building renovations and building work to oversee.

School leaders and other teaching staff will need to think about the SEF (Self-Evaluation Form), an account of a school’s strengths, areas for improvement as well as future targets/plans and the SIP (The school improvement partner), a programme that aims to provide school leaders with challenge and support from people who have demonstrable skills and experience in school improvement. Alongside those, school leaders will be looking at budgets and interviewing both prospective students/staff.

Once a teacher, always a teacher

They might be on holiday but they’ll most likely be collating ideas and inspiration whilst there, the books they’ll be reading will probably be relevant to what they teach and they’ll probably still wake at 5:30am for at least the first half of it. And which teacher isn’t guilty of treating themselves to a colourful set of highlighter pens, just because. The school summer holidays is essentially long enough for teachers to go back not only refreshed but also prepared to face the new school term and new set of faces.