I can always tell when I need a holiday by the way I sharpen my pencils or colour in. I don’t want to think, and if not doing menial tasks I can sit and stare at walls! In other words, my brain is desperate for nothing time.


The holidays start on Friday and tired, stressed teachers around Aus. will breathe a collective sigh of relief as they leave school for a much-needed rest.

In WA (as in other places) teachers have had to battle Covid, staff shortages as well as the usual end-of-winter colds and nasty viruses.

I have noticed how incredibly tired my students are as well. We are at that stage when spring is struggling to shine through, and we are all slowly warming up!

These two weeks are needed for renewal and the return of hope. Teachers and children need to rest, and that means exactly that- sleep, spare time, fun, reading, movies -whatever you need.

Make sure you get that rest, or you might fall foul of that awful condition teachers are very aware of: leisure sickness, a phrase first coined by a psychologist in the Netherlands.

Ad Vingerhoets said that people suffering from leisure sickness typically had a stressful job and they simply couldn’t switch off, which triggered a whole host of symptoms.

Here are a few tips that seem to work for me and believe me I have the WORST case of workaholism ever!

  1. Break the usual cycle. Sleep in, escape with a book, Netflix etc for the first few days.

2. Eat high-energy food to help your energy reserves build-up. I make a super-teacher mix for end-of-term- nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc and I DON’T share with kids!

3. You do NOT need to get all your usual holiday chores done during the first few days. Let your body, mind and soul recover. You made it. You reached the finish line, and REST is big on the agenda.

4. Parents – let your kids do pretty much nothing for a couple of days other than normal chores. It has not been an easy term for them either!

Term 4 is the hopeful, happy term. Summer is returning, and we have 4-5 months of warm weather to look forward to. Christmas is coming and lots of celebrations are on the horizon. Children somehow seem more light-hearted and open to new ideas and new ways of learning in Term 4!

And, of course, we have the long, long holidays to look forward to!

No doubt I will again be sharpening pencils and staring at walls in mid-December!

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