Just For Fun: 13 Teacher Holiday Nightmares


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Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn...
Read more about Lynn How

Have you had a pupil or colleague interrupt your summer?

Six weeks is a long time and when you teach near where you live, you might expect to occasionally bump into people from work.

Unfortunately, sometimes it can get a bit awkward when either you or they are caught off guard. You are a minor local celebrity when out of your natural habitat! Most of these teacher holiday incidents have happened to me. I’ll leave you to decide which ones I made up!

Summer holiday nightmares

1. When you are  sitting on the plane and a child is kicking the back of your seat. You turn around to speak to them and realise in horror that it is, ‘that child’. Not only are the parents not parenting, now they are expecting you to do it whilst silently judging you on your in-flight alcohol consumption.

2. You are at a play park at a National Trust property and hear the war cry of, ‘chicken nugget’ coming towards you. You know that there is only one child on earth that could be. They proceed to climb onto the roof of the play equipment whist their harassed looking parent, collapses in an exhausted heap nearby. You give them a sympathetic nod, gather your children and make a hasty retreat.

3. When you see Joshua’s mum in a bar with a man that is not Joshua’s Dad. Now this could be entirely innocent although they are extremely close together. The man may just be a very, very close friend … Block the incident from your mind and find another bar!

4. You default into using your teacher voice in a play park. It still works. Note: the teacher stare is not as effective for children who don’t know you.

5. You’re in a nightclub (on a weeknight) and the parent mums are also out at the same time. What are the odds of that?

6. About week three, you start talking to your partner with your teacher voice (assuming you didn’t already do this), just in case you lose it over the holiday. Your partner may see straight through this tactic, or they might just do what they are told … Try it (disclaimer: I am not taking responsibility if you try it).

7. When you give the guy who has provided appalling customer service a good (but polite) talking to, in case you have forgotten how to do it. Your children watch on in horror (it’s not you that I’m cross with, it’s your choice in this instance. What choice would you make if this situation happens again …). The issue is speedily resolved.

8. When you’re sipping cocktails in Spain and you bump into ‘that’ ex colleague from 2 schools ago, who attempted to stalk you on messenger. They then become a limpet for the whole holiday and insist on many many selfies with you for social media.

9. When you can’t have quite as much fun at a wedding because unfortunately, the groom’s mum is your boss (this is not the only reason I got that job …).

10. When your child is on a staff led talk at the zoo and the person doesn’t have much stage presence. You’re resisting the urge to jump in and take over and stop the children talking when they are talking.

11. Your friend wants you to lead her son’s summer treat as you love to ‘look after’ kids all the time (no thanks – don’t know if she thinks my classroom is usually some sort of creche?).

12. When you spot a parent with the family in tow in the supermarket and literally spend your shopping trip trying to dodge them. This is a challenge as there are five siblings and you taught four of them. They have come back to haunt you.

13. When you are changing at your gym. You don’t normally use a cubicle as you’re all girls together. Unfortunately, you’ve forgotten it’s the holidays and that the upper age for boys to be in the ladies changing room is 8. You look up and see a child you know, who may never unsee what he just saw and pray he manages to forget it by September.

Have any of these teacher holiday mishaps happened to you? Or if not, have you got your own summer horror story to share?


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