Help and Advice

Back to School: A Staff Room Survival Guide… How Many of These Teachers Do You Recognise and Which One Are YOU?

Heading back to school after the holidays? Check out my latest blog: 'Back to School: A Staff Room Survival Guide'. Recognise any of these teacher characters in your own staff room? Do you relate to any yourself? Whichever teacher type you are, here's to a very successful 2023!

As you head back to school after the Christmas holidays, do any of these scenarios and characters sound familiar? From the teacher already counting down the days until the next set of holidays to the one who spent the whole break relaxing, it’s always a mix of excitement and stress on the first day back.

First up is Mrs. Holidays, the teacher who can’t wait to start counting down to the next set of school holidays as soon as the current ones are over. She’s already making a list of all the exotic destinations she wants to visit in the Summer and can’t stop talking about her Easter Jet2 deal she bagged in the January sales. In fact, she’s so eager to get back to her vacation mindset that she’s already started packing her beach bag with sunscreen and flip flops.

Next, there’s Mr. Diet, the teacher who has come back on a strict diet after indulging a bit too much over the holidays. He’s determined to stick to his new healthy eating plan and can’t stop talking about his daily food intake. In fact, he’s so focused on his diet that he’s brought his own packed lunch to avoid any temptation from the staff room table, but by playtime he’s already eyeing up the biccies.

Then there’s Ms. Innovative, the teacher who spent the whole Christmas holidays planning innovative lessons and resources. She’s excited to share her new ideas with the class and can’t wait to see the kids’ reactions. However, she’s also a bit worried that her elaborate plans might be a bit too ambitious and she’s secretly praying that the photocopier doesn’t break down.

Sat in the corner with his head in one hand and a strong black coffee in the other is Mr. Unprepared, the teacher who spent the whole holiday doing absolutely no school work and feels totally unprepared for the new term. He’s frantically trying to catch up on all the planning and marking he left over the break and is secretly hoping that no one asks him for his termly MTP today.

As if the first day back wasn’t stressful enough, things get even more chaotic in the staff room when it’s discovered that no one has remembered to bring in milk for the coffee. There are a few grumblings about who forgot, but eventually someone manages to scrounge up some almond milk from the back of the fridge. How long has that been there?

To make matters worse, the mince pies from the end of last term were left on the table over Christmas and have gone all stale. However, that doesn’t deter a few brave souls from eating them (and regretting it later).

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, the staff room conversation inevitably turns to how far away it still is until payday. Everyone is feeling the post-Christmas financial pinch and can’t wait to get their hands on that next paycheck, not that it touches the sides in the current cost-of-living crisis.

Amidst all the chaos, the headteacher, Mr. Stressed, is pacing around the staff room muttering about the potential of an upcoming inspection. He’s convinced that the school will receive “the call” imminently and is determined to make sure everything is OFSTED ready, and although he thinks he’s playing it cool it certainly starts freaking some staff out on day one.

And then there’s the deputy headteacher, Miss. Business, who has returned looking like she means business. She’s got a new haircut, new clothes, and new glasses, and is ready to tackle the new term head on. And maybe secure that headship she’s determined to go for this year.

Lastly, there’s Mrs. Relaxed, the teacher who spent the whole holiday relaxing and rejuvenating. She’s feeling refreshed and ready for the new term and can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. However, she’s also a bit nervous about forgetting something important, so she’s double and triple checked her lesson plans and brought extra pens and paper just in case.

As the day goes on, each of these teachers tackles the first day back in their own unique way, but they all have one thing in common: they’re excited to be back in the classroom and and ready to tackle the new term.

As the first day of the new year approaches, I hope that all teachers have a great start back to the school term. Whether you’re feeling rejuvenated and refreshed after the holiday break or feeling a bit overwhelmed, I wish you all the best as you tackle the new term. Here’s to a successful and fulfilling 2023 in the classroom!

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