February Half Term

It is that time of the term again where we find ourselves with a week off school. It is our half term. It is the middle of the term. We are half way through it. I suppose that is why half terms are called half terms. It is a weeks holiday (vacation to you over the pond in the USA) supposedly giving us teachers some time to rest and recover from the strains and pressures of the previous 6 weeks of teaching.

But is it really time to rest and recouperate? For me the answer, this year, is sort of.

On Monday, I plan on going into school (the school I teach at is open all year round. It is open every day for all of the breaks we do have.) I need to go into school to mark the sets of exercise books that have accumulated without being marked. When I mark books I check the paragraphs I have made students write. If the paragraph is not good enough, they will need to write it again with the improvments I have suggested next to certain sections.

I also check tasks students should have completed during lessons. Each set of books may take me up to 2 hours to complete if I am being efficient.

On Tuesday, once I am finished with the few errands I do have, there is more work to do for school.

On Wednesday I am having a rest day. Kind of. I have an interview to become a volunteer at the World Athletic Champiomships that is taking place in London during July and August. The lasting, positive effect of the London Olympics in 2012 was that thousands of people now want to volunteer at major sporting events. (Too bad local events still find it hard to get volunteers though.) ThenI am going to wander around Central London with a good friend enjoying a day without work.

There is so much work to do, that if I let the work takeover, my job would be my life rather than a job. I have seen what happens to people who make their job their life. It is a very scary prospect. So for my own life and sanity I force myself to shut off the work no matter how much there is left to do. We need time to do the things we enjoy in life. We have to have a personal life that does not include work.

Thursday entails even more work. What fun that will be.

Friday is a day to explore the countryside of this wonderful country that I now reside in.

The unfortunate thing is that far too many teachers give up their week off in order to mark student work whe we should be relaxing and recovering.