Honor the Break

Photo: Yakobchuk/iStock

A little teacher humor.

Christmas is right around the corner.  Teachers and students are ready for their long-awaited winter break. COVID conditions have added a twist to the school year that makes all school breaks sacred time. Please consider the following suggestions to help your educator friends and family members rest, relax, and recharge.

During the break, never, ever ask a teacher to babysit. Your teacher friend or relative loves your children, but really, not that much. Don’t schedule any play dates either. The thought of additional children in the house might drive some teachers to consume adult beverages in large quantities. 

To a teacher on break, the idea of going anywhere where there are lots of children is about as enticing as a root canal. If Great Wolf Lodge or Chuck E. Cheese is part of any plan you have, don’t you dare mention it. Doing so may result in a barrage of foul language that would make a drunken sailor blush. 

Never call your teacher friend before noon during a break. They will likely be asleep, resting or doing nothing when you call. They will be annoyed when you disturb them. They may be polite while on the phone. They may even assure you the call was no bother, but you will lose significance in their lives, be left off future invitations and receive Dollar Store clearance items as gifts from them.

Resist the urge to drop by unannounced to see a teacher on break. You may learn their housekeeping or hygiene secrets you really didn’t want to know. If for some reason, you violate the rule and learn of these secrets, come in, move that pile of laundry, ignore the smell, and sit down. Don’t judge. It is what it is. The struggle is real.

Don’t be offended if your educator friend is not enthusiastic about going out during break. If they can’t wear sweats, a shower is required or wearing fuzzy slippers is not an option, the venture is more work than it’s worth. If you can coax a teacher over the threshold, expect no make-up and anything more than a messy bun is a win. Be grateful.

Don’t ask your teacher friends to volunteer for anything over the winter break. This includes church events, toy drives, caroling, baking or any other activity that requires a time commitment of any kind. A good teacher friend may be too polite to tell you “no,” but rest assured, you will be fodder for chatter and will likely be unfriended or unfollowed on social media in short order.

If you happen to run into your child’s teacher at the supermarket, quickly head to the other side of the store. It probably took two hours and two mojitos for the teacher to get off the couch and get to the store. Don’t force the teacher to smile and pretend like he or she is happy to see you or your child. It’s simply not so.

Be that friend or relative that appreciates the sacrifices teachers make all year.  Following these suggestions will help you help your educator friends and family members enjoy a restful and relaxing break. If you have your own list of suggestions related to teachers and breaks, please email them to me. I will include them in future articles! 

Dr. Teresa Sanders
Dr. Sanders is an international bestselling author, education researcher and student and family advocate in the education setting. Dr. Sanders has presented at international education conferences and is the founder of Safari Small Schools, an innovative micro school in Canton, Texas. Dr. Sanders created Safari Small Schools to meet the needs of learners who aren’t thriving in the traditional classroom. Dr. Sanders can be reached at DrSanders@safarismallschools.com.