Should a holiday be a complete holiday?

“Yeah but you're on holiday half the time.”

Such is the response to any teacher who moans about their workload to their non-teacher friends. And yes, it's pretty sweet; I like my working life being broken into small, easily digestible chunks.

How much work should teachers be doing during the three months-ish per year we have off? Some are jealously protective of the time, proud that they never take any work home. They insist they will have no problem getting all their lesson planning done during term. In contrast, I know others who write off whole weeks of holidays as “work time”.

The decision is entirely personal. No one in senior leadership offers any instruction on it, no one can check up on what you've done.

If we, as teachers, want to be taken seriously as professionals then holidays can't be purely time off. No teacher can honestly say that during the frenzy of term, they have as much time as they'd like to plan. Our obligation is to deliver the best lessons we can; if doing that means putting aside some of the precious holiday time, so be it.

Or pick up a teaching theory book. I know we're all convinced that we know what we're doing but would there be any harm in seeking out some new ideas?