Wednesday, 31 October 2012

It's all fun until nobody turns up.

Half term is a dangerous thing. For starters there is a massive chance that teachers and students will accidentally spot each other in their natural habitats. The out-of-school teacher is a dangerous opportunity for ridicule. Social etiquette goes out the window. What do you do, just ignore them and hope that they go away, slinking back into whatever godforsaken cave they came from? Or confront the situation, being cordial and making some sort of awkward joke about the fact they should be at home working hard because obviously, as a teacher, that is exactly what you are doing?

Neither situation is perfect, and each strategy should be divulged in with the upmost care. My tips for avoiding difficult teacher/student social situations are below.

1: Don't live to close to school. I cannot stress this enough, especially if, like me, you go running and regularly look like the last survivor of a horror film. If possible retire abroad to the second home owned by your ludicrously affluent partner (It's not like you're ever going to be in a position to buy one after all.)

2: Carry Cuecards. If taken unaware by the marauding student, make sure you have some prewritten witty repartee to respond with. This is especially important if you are one of the species whose default reaction to being cornered is simply replying 'Your Mum' in louder and louder tones until the danger passes. Remember- Without SIMS you are lost.

3: Dress Innocuously. If, like me, you only dress in 80's disco attire when at home you should consider changing your clothes before you take the trip to your nearest McDonalds for three bigmacs and a little cry. Make sure you blend in with crowds and do not attract undue attention. If your perchance for 80s attire is undeniable, at least contain yourself to the outfits of Mr. Mister.

4: Never, EVER try and appear cool/trendy/hip/hop/bangin/street/etc. YOU WILL FAIL. YOU ARE A TEACHER, KNOW YOUR PLACE.

These four simple steps should keep you safe from being ritually ridiculed by your students come Monday morning. To be honest, however, just go to school and get some marking done. I mean, it's the last place the kids will be and you're not going to get it done at home now are you?

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