Last week the TES published an article called, “23 ways that primary teachers know that Christmas is coming”. Whilst I like the TES, I am not sure the article entirely captured what the countdown to Christmas is like for primary school teachers. So here we: the truth.
23 Very Real Ways Primary School Teachers Know That Christmas Is Coming
1) You will wake up with nativity songs in your head. Every. Single. Day.
2) With shows, secret santa and class parties happening, your shopping trolley starts to look totally unhinged. My last shop contained: 18 age 5-6 green t-shirts, a santa hat, 2 buckets, 90 oranges and a litre of gin. Fine.
3) You exist off meals made up of food that can be scavenged from the staff room/class parties. At the start of term, my lunches consisted of a homemade wrap, a side salad, fruit and big bottle of water. Today I had two packets of Pom Bears, 6 celebrations and a carton of apple juice.
4) When a parent appears at the door at the end of the day and asks for “a quick word” you want to cry/swear/hide under the desk.
5) Last week school was bustling with staff at 7:15am – this week 8:15am is only for the really keen ones.
6) You plan to stay hydrated is abandoned and you survive on coffee from 7am – 6pm (and wine from 6pm-8pm.)
7) Bed time is 8:30pm.
8) The children are exhausted so at least two children a day completely lose it because they can’t find their coat (one will be on their peg and the other will already be wearing theirs.)
9) Whilst tracking down costumes for the show, you will, on more than occasion, Google “Christmas space alien outfits” and be horrified at the results. You will then try googling, “Christmas space alien outfits – non-sexual.”
10) There’s at least one efficacious member of staff that wants to talk about interventions/planning/groups/timetables for January and it takes all your efforts to not stab them with a Biro.
11) Whether you’re teaching Reception or Year 6, you’ll do an RE lesson where the children have to sequence/retell the Christmas Story.
12) The penultimate week of term everyone quietly pretends to still be doing all the stuff but no one is doing any of the stuff.
13) One child will be violently sick all over the hall/classroom/cloakroom. Or, in my case, three children will be violently sick.
14) The exhaustion means your class will really start to get on your nerves but just when you think you might actually lose it one of them makes you cry by giving you a card like this:
15) You will eat a questionable Christmas dinner on a plastic tray. The slices of turkey will be perfectly round.
16) You try to avoid being in the classroom when the cleaner is there as you can’t apologise enough for the fact that your classroom looks like a herd of wildebeest have charged through it. Glittery, sticky, wildebeest.
17) “Not long to go now!” becomes the standard response to, “How are you?”
18) The closer to the holidays – the longer the playtime.
19) A member of staff will fall asleep in the staffroom at lunchtime.
20) A child will fall asleep during story time/assembly/the middle of your lesson.
21) “Ooo I think you can colour that in MUCH better than that” becomes a perfectly legitimate next step.
22) You all know it’s not going to snow but that doesn’t stop you checking the weather forecast every hour, on the hour.
23) Despite all of this, by October next year you’ll be looking forward to starting the whole thing over again.