29 Summerisms

Reading time: 4

John Dabell

I trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting my career in London and then I taught in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, I worked as an Ofsted inspector (no hate mail please!), national in-service provider, project...
Read more about John Dabell

What makes the summer term unique?

Some say that the last six weeks of the summer term is ‘easy’.  Yeah, in your dreams.

The end is in sight but there is still plenty to wind you up as you wind down. Do any of the following sound familiar to you?

You know it’s summer wind down when…

  1. “How many more 6am get ups?” becomes a tally chart lesson from Reception upwards.
  2.  your interest in outdoor learning becomes so intense your colleagues wonder if you have actually left school for good: “Has anyone seen Mr Buckley and 5L?”
  3.  you realise taking the non-drowsy antihistamines would have been the better option and you vow to always read the label properly in future: “Why is Mrs Henson fast asleep in the reading corner Megan?”…”She was bitten by an unknown minibeast Mr Warren.”
  4.  all the staff hold regular prayer meetings for rain on Sports Day: “It worked last year and if we all hold hands and pray really hard, it can work again.”
  5.  the sweat patches under your arms have impacted negatively on teaching and learning: “Your armpits look gross sir!”
  6.  children forget technology and enjoy throwing those Velcro-like grass-seed darts on to each other’s clothing… including the teachers’ on break duty : “What are all those things on your back sir?”
  7.  your classroom is a curious ponging mixture of sunscreen, sweaty feet, intense body odour and other bodily emissions: “Alex, open all  the windows please, I think we need a bit of air?”
  8.  your south-facing classroom feels like sitting in the centre of Magna’s ‘E’ furnace: “I realise it’s hot but let’s all try to think cold thoughts.”
  9.  your school trip goes pear-shaped because you get stuck on the M1 in a 45 mile tailback on a coach without air-conditioning and you can smell sick: “Mrs Ecclestone, Mitchell says he feels sick… he’s been sick!”
  10.  the effect of an hour in the lunchtime sun mellows half the school population whilst releasing aggressive tendencies in the other half: “Let’s do art this afternoon!”
  11.  you forget how much body heat 30 children make after lunchtime: “Mrs Whittaker will supervise you for a while, I’ve just go to nip to the staffroom for five minutes.”
  12.  children stare at any member of staff who has the audacity to sit outside eating their lunch whilst wearing sunglasses: “Can we come and sit with you miss?”… “No.”
  13. chaotic rehearsals for the end of year production produce out of character threats and sinister “I’m not bothered” vibes: “Look, it’s not me on the stage, it’s you. If you want to look silly, that’s your choice… it won’t bother me. Now can we go through that again and see if we can get it right this time!”
  14.  someone decides it would be a great idea to cut the grass outside your classroom when everyone has just settled into an assessment: “That’s impeccable timing Mr Greatorex! Does it have an off button?!”
  15.  you realise that solar-powered children don’t exist: “Look, I know everyone is tired, so am I, but you have just been running around in the sun for 45 minutes. Let’s do art!”
  16.  children mysteriously become ill a week before the summer holidays start: “She’s gone to Florida Mr Tunley, her mum said it was cheaper.”
  17.  your after-school Writing Club becomes a millstone around your neck: “Why has Writing Club been cancelled again Mrs Pontin?”… “It just has Amelia, it just has.”
  18.  you develop a mystery illness two days before the Summer Fair and throw a sicky: “I think it must be the BBQ James did for us. I hope the fair goes well and hopefully see you next week.”
  19.  quizzes, puzzles, competitions and games become the staple diet of every class: “Mr Jennings, we did this word search in Year 5 with Mrs Hooper.”… “Let’s see how much you can remember then shall we Ben?”
  20.  sports day becomes a goldfish bowl and you feel like you are being constantly watched by parents: “Are Kyle’s parents looking at me?”…“They haven’t taken their eyes off you. How much do they hate you?”
  21.  you abandon homework and marking four weeks before the holiday in a complete act of defiance: “I’m just not doing it.”
  22.  you realise you could easily get a job with the British Board of Film Classification as a Senior Examiner: “Mr Jones, will we have ‘Film Friday’ every week from now on?”…”Only in the summer term Amelia as my wellbeing is normally pleading for mercy. Turn the lights out will you?”
  23.  there seem to be more joint lessons than every before: “Are we doing another PSE lesson with 4G Mr Thompson?”…“Yes, Maisy, I need a rest and will have a breakdown otherwise.”
  24.  the extra daylight hours means you get even less sleep than normal: “I thought the dawn chorus started at 6am not 3:24am.”
  25.  a bee or a wasp can literally ‘kill’ a lesson dead. They normally invade during a lesson observation: “Just ignore it please, if you make a fuss you’ll just make it worse!”
  26.  children and staff swing between insane excitement and delirium to being tearful and withdrawn: “Can someone let me off the rollercoaster, I’ve had enough now.”
  27.  a hardcore group of daisy chain children spend every lunchtime making you a necklace that you feel obliged to wear because of their total commitment to the art of daisy chain making: “Another one! Gosh, you’ve been busy again!”
  28.  you actually don’t mind doing playground duty if the sun’s out: “You don’t normally smile on break duty Mr Shipton!”… “I know! The thing is, the sun’s out and I only have three more duties left this term because Mrs Bailey owes me two!”
  29.  you leave subtle hints regarding your choice of wine so that children don’t mess up your end of term present: “If your parents ask, just tell them Mrs Higgton likes ‘Red’ … they’ll know what it means.”

The next few weeks are testing times but don’t let them tie you in a knot – it’s not worth it!

One thought on “29 Summerisms

  1. You look forward to going home to sit in the garden after school only to remember you’ve still got 25 reports to write that you didn’t quite finish in half term .

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