Those outside the world of education have probably envied teachers a couple of times because of the several holiday breaks in the course of the calendar year.
As insiders, we understand why and how you would see it that way but we can also tell you these breaks unlike the typical annual leave are not simply a matter of legal compliance.
Let’s look at boarding schools for a minute. The minute a parent walks out of the school gates, the responsibility of raising, teaching and protecting their child lies squarely on the school. These are truly parental responsibilities and while the “system” is set up to organise, it is actual living, breathing, people- teachers, cleaners, accountants, administrators, cooks, matrons who are charged with actually ensuring the children are clean, fed and healthy- emotionally, physically and importantly in this case academically.
A 24 hour job
A good number of parents will confess that especially in the formative years of their children’s lives they actually do not sleep, if their child so much as turns in bed in the other room; they hear it and make a dash to check what that is about. Parenting is a 24-hour job and in the boarding school setting, staff members are on the clock throughout in the same way. There are also numerous “small” things that are done in addition to reading, writing and ‘rithmetic that are easily overlooked when envying the numerous numbers of days off that teachers get!
End of term blues
For this reason, the breaks are not just a legal requirement but necessary for both parent (teacher, matron, cook) and child (student) to thrive and not merely survive. The truth is (and many educators will tell you this), as you approach the end of term, everyone’s tank is approaching ‘Low” and by the last week most are getting by on fumes and the thought that the holiday is coming.
So what do Turi teachers (and other staff members) do during breaks?. Here, there are two types of teachers. The first who dashes out of the gate immediately the last bell rings and the second who takes a beat within the school compound (it is actually a beautiful, calming scene out here).
Teachers have lives too. They have families to enjoy, meals to cook, songs to sing, gardens to tend to, projects to complete and a whole beautiful country to explore during their breaks.
See below what some do with their well-deserved breaks!
Applying what they teach in class
Here’s to appreciating teachers and those that support them in educating the hearts, minds, bodies and souls of young ones!