Why Teachers Need Holidays

I’ve been looking haggard lately, more so than normal. I’ve had a long stretch of teaching, followed by two nights of parent-teacher interviews. Bedtime’s come too late and sleep has been unsettling. In the classroom, I’ve looked and sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher.


I’m not sure if it’s the tiredness or the fact that the end is near, but I’ve been laughing a lot with my students recently.

One of my classroom traditions is that I let students play word games during the last class before a holiday.

Yesterday, five Grade 8 boys were playing Scrabble in the centre of the room. In the midst of the game, one exclaimed, “I just got 12 points for ‘sex’!” My eyes opened wide, I shook my head, and I was unsuccessful in suppressing an extended laugh.

Today, four Grade 9 girls were playing Taboo, one of my favourite games. Taboo requires you to give verbal clues to your teammates, trying to get them to say a chosen word on top of the card. The challenge is that there are several words you’re not allowed to say in your description.

One girl was speaking. The verbal clue she gave for the above card was, “Soon, Canadians will go to polling stations to do this.”

Her partner said, “Die?”

Again, I shook my head; only this time I didn’t even attempt to supress the laughter. Neither did half the class. It’s vote, people, vote (although the death metaphor seems rather brilliant). This is especially timely given that Canada’s minority government fell today in a vote of non-confidence over the federal budget.

So, exhausted and laughing, I head into two weeks of holidays knowing that it is possible to love your job and to love your time off.

Bring on my kids. Bring on the de-cluttering. Bring on the writing.

And, please, bring on sleep too.


  1. says

    DIE! Oh, I’d still be snotting myself. What a riot.
    No one would ever give me 12 points for sex, I guess. When I mentioned to my husband that I got an A+ in blood, he said yeah–but you got an F in sex.

  2. says

    False, you’re way cuter than the ambiguously existent Mrs. Donovan.

    You’re also my second favo(u)rite Canadian, behind Seth Rogen, of course. (He has admitted to smuggling toilet paper across the border. How can you not love that?)

    • says

      I’ll take “second favo(u)rite Canadian.” After all, my husband once told me I was the third funniest woman he’s ever met. And it was a compliment.

  3. says

    How can you say you’re not crafty?! Videos may not technically be a craft but they’re a combination of creativty and technical abaility, both of which I do not have!

    • says

      What a great blog title that would be: “The Prevention of a Society of Uneducated Morons.” Thanks for the blessings. I’ll take them and bank them for the days I bang my head repeatedly on my desk.

  4. says

    Re: our election. This was my ex-husband’s Facebook status today: “I see Iggy is ready. He’s had an eyebrow trim.” He still makes me laugh sometimes…

    Loved the video! Have a great holiday…it’s not a tryst with Mr. F. is it?


    • says

      The eyebrow-trim comment is hilarious. I might have to arrange a tryst if Mr. F doesn’t make it through to the next round in March Movie Madness. Or maybe I’ll just go through withdrawal.

  5. says

    Love this. 12 points for you. +2 bonus points for making two weeks at home sound fabulous. Are you really planning to declutter with the kids around? In my experience, we are killing each other after 5 days. But maybe that’s just us. Anyway, in the unlikely event someone does croak over the vay-cay, just head to your local polling station. 😉

  6. says

    Thank you, Renee. I will pocket those 12 points and take the bonus for a later time.

    Here’s my recipe for decluttering: plop the kids in front of the TV, put on my iPod, and pretend they don’t exist. Mother of the Year, eh?

    Thanks for the laugh.

  7. says

    Once again, I am snorting with laughter – GREAT video!!! Happy writing, decluttering and hanging with Things. Mostly, sweet dreams…zzzzz….

    (I used these…just for YOU!)

  8. says

    12 points… that’d be nice (through in some ellidots for you there).

    Have you ever played Balderdash? If not, you’d love it, and kick tail at it with your wit. I play an occasional round of that with the students. It’s good for working on voice (formal/authoritative) and sounding like you know what you’re talking about when you really have no clue (life).

    Enjoy your two weeks.

    • says

      Ellidots. Nice. Balderdash is great, too. We should get an internet game of it going. Must be possible. You nailed the pedagogical points, too. Good Edu-speak, my friend!

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