Six festive feelings that only teachers experience
It’s a special time of year. But there aren’t many people that embrace the festive season as wholeheartedly as teachers
have to do.
So what festive feelings make schools such a unique place to be in the run-up to the Christmas holidays? Here are our top six.
OK, so this isn’t an official emotion. But the emotions attached to this annual rite of passage are so pervasive among teachers that surely it should be. Because every teacher knows that unique combination of dread, chaos and joy that only nativity and Christmas concert season can bring. The desperate hunt for unseasonal hay bales? Check. The pupil picking their nose throughout? Check. The joy on their parents’ faces (blocked by the sea of smartphones)? Check.
2. The feeling of being truly appreciated
In what other profession are you inundated with gifts or notes of heartfelt thanks from the vast majority of people you’ve worked with over the previous 12 months? Let’s put aside the fact that you have more mugs and Ferrero Rochers than you could ever possibly need or want. But you also have a fridge covered in notes and cards full of words and appreciation that remind you daily that you really do have the best job in the world.
3. That itchy feeling of glitter. Everywhere. Forever.
Oh look it’s July and your school is about to break up for the summer holidays and YOU’RE STILL FINDING GLITTER FROM LAST YEAR’S FESTIVE CRAFT ACTIVITIES.
4. The joy of Christmas jumper day
There’s always that one teacher, isn’t there? You know the one (maybe it's even you), who totally outdoes everyone else’s token knitwear efforts by donning a full head-to-toe seasonal costume complete with light-up Christmas trees and a tie that relentlessly plays electronic carols. And it's usually the teacher that pupils would least expect to throw themselves into the festive spirit. The kids might roll their eyes at them, but at the same time they all know it wouldn’t truly feel like Christmas without their teachers' infectious end-of-term delirium.
5. The meaning of true generosity
This time of year should be a happy time for any child. But the reality is that children who attend schools facing the greatest challenges – the very schools that Teach First works with – are often from some of the poorest households. One of our teachers told us how teachers and pupils from their school come together at this time of year to bring in food and gifts to ensure the most disadvantaged families don’t go without. Schools are more than just schools at this time of year – they're communities. And everyone looks after each other.
6. Pride in your pupils
Not everyone in your school will celebrate Christmas, of course, and if you’re one such teacher it’s at this time of year you’ll feel your school’s true, inclusive spirit in all its loveliness. You’ll enjoy receiving gifts and cards from your pupils, who’ve taken great care to write ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’. And, in these moments, you’ll see the genuine affection that students have for their teachers. Their empathy. Their willingness to understand. And your heart will swell with pride. Because when a group of teenagers can make you feel this safe and considered, then you know you’re in the right place, in the right profession, with the best kids.
The holidays are near. Put your feet up. Let your hair down. Work your way through those Ferrero Rochers. Changing lives – because that’s what you do – can wait until January.
Want to help us build a fair education for all? You, too, can change lives – starting with your own. Find out more about our teacher training programmes or how we can support you to make the move back into the classroom.