By: Blonde Two

The chances are that if you are a mum (or dad) of school age children, you are feeling slightly chuffed this week that your (wonderful but exhausting) offspring are sitting their collective backsides down once more on the seat of learning.

I’ve been a mum of three; I know how long the summer holidays can feel. Go on, admit it; no matter how much fun has been had; that first couple of days without the little darlings can feel like a sigh of relief.

But spare a thought for a moment, for the teachers. Think about what it feels like to entertain, cajole, discipline and educate (yes, parents do it too) two youngsters for six weeks.

Now picture yourself in a room just twice as big as your lounge with thirty (25 nice, 5 horrid) of them either all either demanding your attention, or all completely ignoring you. You can’t imagine it because it is too awful? Well of course it is; and that is because you didn’t sit up until midnight last night planning how to entertain, cajole, discipline and educate them.

Let’s pretend you did; and that you have a raft of entertaining, cajoling, disciplining and educational activities at your fingertips. Can you imagine it now? Trouble is, you are tired aren’t you? Tired because before you sat up until midnight last night planning; you spent all day with thirty (25 nice, 5 horrid) minors, phoned the 5 parents of the 5 horrid ones, attended a meeting about yet another marking system, tidied the classroom, marked 10 out of 30 books (oh no wait, 25 books, the 5 horrid ones didn’t do any work), ironed a suitable outfit for today, cooked a nutritious tea for a teenager who will only eat cheese and chicken livers, walked said teenager’s dog and picked up a calming-down prescription from the pharmacist.

For the first time in sixteen years, I am not going back to school this week; but my thoughts are with my friends (especially Blonde One) who are. Like parenting (and it is a lot like parenting) teaching is a tough job; even more so if you care (and most do) about those in your charge. Negotiating your way to half-term can be a bit like trying to find the top of Crane Hill, in a metre’s visibility, through the bogs around Cranmere Pool, up the side of Killer Valley, in the wind around Hangingstone Hill, with the clitter of Great Mis Tor tied to your boots, wrapped in an orange storm shelter and with Bowerman’s Nose strapped to your back.Orange Monster

Increasingly, only the tough are managing to do it. So please, spare them a thought today!