So as I start my actual Easter holidays, I’ve thought abit about the term “Endoftermitus”. Any unidentified illness amongst staff and sometimes children towards the end of term is often referred to as endoftermitus. But what if you work all year round? Have you somehow magically achieved immunity to this persistent and irritating, strike at will bug? Well to be honest I should have immunity to it, having been exposed to it from a young age as the middle child of two teachers. My Dad was a Head of Faculty and my Mum a Primary school teacher, so from the off I was programmed to be in sync with the academic year cycle. I witnessed on many occasions my own parent’s endoftermitus developing in direct response to their motions slowing and the kinetic energy sources dwindling before the ends of term, which allowed endoftermitus to take hold during holidays, quite typically the first day of the holidays and then passing on just before the start of the new term.
Back in the 90s, BuildUpToOfstedItus was possibly a more dangerous and lingering bug which when combined with endoftermitus wiped out whole half terms for our family. I’m not sure the benefit of knowing when Ofsted was actually going to visit was of help to many teachers, it certainly wasn’t great for their families.
However, endoftermitus didn’t always stop my parents – I can remember spending large chunks of February half term and Easter holidays in my Dad’s school supporting students with their practical projects or my Mum’s school helping her get ready for SATS. Support might be putting it too strongly, but I think my Dad would say I was a help tidying up the workshop, putting tools away, cleaning behind the back of machinery, having a go on a soldering iron (see scar on right forefinger). Support for my Mum had a little less exposure to danger. Having copied all the games from a disk onto the school’s only BBC computer on the trolley, we then got to “test” the games. There was also sharpening all the pencils, putting up displays and sticking things in books.
Summer holidays were sunny and blissful in my childhood, my parents recharged their batteries from solar energy, ready to fight the next year’s exposure to endoftermitus. We only visited their schools to set up classrooms ready for the new year (on more than one occasion painting a room). Maybe this is why I like clearing clutter from school, perhaps why I have pride in how the school’s learning environment looks and definitely why I feel defensive of teachers when they are mocked for their long holidays. However, as an all year-round member of staff, I still find it hard to swallow some term time only staff’s loud countdowns to the end of term. I’ve had to stop working out in my head how many more days holiday they’ve had in the same time period than me, as it only makes me grumpy. It has been made easier now that there are more members of staff working all year – the whole Nursery crew and two part time administrators. I also think TTO staff have become more aware of the feelings of the AYR staff. We now refer to the summer holidays as Term 7 – it is after all longer than the term we’ve just finished!
What isn’t easy, is when you’re at work during the holidays and your whatsapp group messages are pinging up with your TTO mate’s plans for meeting up later that day for coffee. However, that is part of their recharging batteries process – having a good time, catching up with friends and taking a break from their classrooms and thinking about other people’s children’s development and learning. No solar energy for me this Easter, weather forecast says its rain, rain, rain. So I will make do with recharging my batteries with mechanical (long walks) and chemical (chocolate and gin) energy sources. Hope you get chance to recharge your batteries in fun ways this Easter.
SBL, St Anne’s Church Academy