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  #101  
Old 14.02.2021, 21:50
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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The world isn't black or white, it's almost always grey. A template doesn't preclude adaptation, but it provides a solid base the teacher knows is accurate and up-to-date.

A template might even be easier because the starting point is the same every year, whereas personal material would need to be versioned (you need a neutral version to start off from to reset adaptations you made to meet the needs of the previous class). Plus stuff gets outdated so it needs to be updated at least annually, this kind of error is basically excluded with a centralised actor who doesn't overlook this detail or that. And the few errors that do get distributed are virtually guaranteed to be detected and corrected immediately. None of that is the case with personal material, you'll keep outdated info until you learn of the change.

Sure. The first programming course I took, fully paid and 9 months long, I had three ex-teachers as classmates. One went back to teaching before its end, two stayed and were quite good.

But that's just anecdotal evidence, it means nothing in the broader context because every generalisation has counterexamples among the group it applies to. Engineers chose that direction because they're more interested in dealing with things (or abstraction), teachers prefer to deal with kids/people (provided people are allowed to chose and aren't compelled to take some choice by external factors). If that weren't the case they'd chose differently in the first place.
Teacher, in my own experience, chooses unpredictability.
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  #102  
Old 14.02.2021, 22:59
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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When I first started out teaching (in Australia) I didn't have a permanent position, so was on the casual list for a number of schools close to where I lived. Sometimes I'd be called a massive half-hour before I was supposed to be in the classroom teaching, so I had a "standard kit":

- guitar, along with a repertoire of simple & well-known age-appropriate songs;
- story / essay ideas, arranged according to English ability;
- a set of good books to read to the class, with comprehension questions and "extension" creative writing ideas; &
- four or five geography & history quizzes, also sorted according to what should have been covered in various grades in each term of the year

Usually that got me through a day, in case the class teacher had not prepared something.
Thanks for demonstrating the power of a template.

Now, folks, imagine if the effort to create this (or some other) template benefitted not just one person but all the other however-many call-in teachers in the territory/state. araqyl's effort would benefit each and every one of them, reducing the cost and workload per teacher to produce this to very little, instead of a lot while everybody does their own thing. Of course people would want to adapt it, but deleting and amending is much faster and far less error-ridden than creating from scratch. Especially for people who are not that into IT, Word or Powerpoint, and whatever else may be used.

@MC, unpredictability in what way? The timetable is well defined. Are you talking about the lessons themselves?
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  #103  
Old 14.02.2021, 23:11
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Thanks for demonstrating the power of a template.

Now, folks, imagine if the effort to create this (or some other) template benefitted not just one person but all the other however-many call-in teachers in the territory/state. araqyl's effort would benefit each and every one of them, reducing the cost and workload per teacher to produce this to very little, instead of a lot while everybody does their own thing. Of course people would want to adapt it, but deleting and amending is much faster and far less error-ridden than creating from scratch. Especially for people who are not that into IT, Word or Powerpoint, and whatever else may be used.

@MC, unpredictability in what way? The timetable is well defined. Are you talking about the lessons themselves?
In all sorts. The schedule changes, students aren't predictable, lessons are semi similar but what works with some doesn't with others..One doesn't always know exactly when one will be called in for other stuff, since we have to sub, supervise and have meetings, often un-anounced. Still, this unpredictability is one of the reasons I love teaching, it's exciting and fun and only those who enjoy it and who take it as a multiple way process can pull it off, long term.
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  #104  
Old 14.02.2021, 23:35
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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In all sorts. The schedule changes, students aren't predictable, lessons are semi similar but what works with some doesn't with others..One doesn't always know exactly when one will be called in for other stuff, since we have to sub, supervise and have meetings, often un-anounced. Still, this unpredictability is one of the reasons I love teaching, it's exciting and fun and only those who enjoy it and who take it as a multiple way process can pull it off, long term.
Makes sense. This made me think of the chart below from a couple years ago (chart and poll available in German only, see this page).

It shows poll results from among Swiss teachers in the German speaking areas. The left chart is on teachers younger than age 50, right is 50 and older. The columns are grouped by contractual work hours (expressed as a percentage of the default 42 hours, which is equivalent to 27-30 weekly lessons), and the y-axis shows the workload reported (as opposed to measured, thus inherently error prone).

Certainly, someone who feels overwhelmed doesn't enjoy turbulent times.

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  #105  
Old 15.02.2021, 10:07
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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What, no a set of stuffed animals, lollipops, bandaids, tiger balm? Sunsreen! Ukulele! A mini watercolor kit and a bit of playdough, glitter glue?
This was Australia, all schools have sunscreen for every class, as well as a fully-stocked first aid kit.
What's the purpose of the stuffed animals and lollipops?
With a guitar, I didn't need a ukulele.

Art as a casual/substitute teacher can be disastrous, as you don't know which children will eat the art materials ... or destroy the classroom. Playdough becomes almost impossible to remove from carpet after about a day, two tops, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone's classroom.

Glitter glue is evil, almost as evil as pure glitter. If all glitter was removed from existence, I would be very happy. No way I'd insinuate that insidious stuff into somebody else's classroom either!
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  #106  
Old 15.02.2021, 11:14
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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The rôle of the form Tutor in the UK is totally different to the Maître de classe in Switzerland. And secondary teachers in Switzerland are not contracted to stay in school to supervise lunch-times, or remain on site for the whole school day, even when not timetabled to teach, and do not routinely expected to cover to absent for teachers as a norm.

And don't normally teach classes of 30+ either.
UK teachers are no longer required, officially, to supervise at lunchtime. It is the only time during the school day our time is technically "ours" and we can leave the site. In reality, however, we are helping students, dealing with detentions, phoning parents, necking tea and wrestling for the photocopier.

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The world isn't black or white, it's almost always grey. A template doesn't preclude adaptation, but it provides a solid base the teacher knows is accurate and up-to-date.
And that is Why, in the UK, we have the National Curriculum upon which long and medium term planning is done, on a school by school basis. Department by department, really. Subject skills are universal, the method by which those skills are taught varies.

Lit teachers have texts as their base: but teach it in an individual way. Thank crunchie. Nothing worse than being told there is only one way.

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Thanks for demonstrating the power of a template.

Now, folks, imagine if the effort to create this (or some other) template benefitted not just one person but all the other however-many call-in teachers in the territory/state. araqyl's effort would benefit each and every one of them, reducing the cost and workload per teacher to produce this to very little, instead of a lot while everybody does their own thing. Of course people would want to adapt it, but deleting and amending is much faster and far less error-ridden than creating from scratch. Especially for people who are not that into IT, Word or Powerpoint, and whatever else may be used.

@MC, unpredictability in what way? The timetable is well defined. Are you talking about the lessons themselves?
Doesn't work that way in reality. And if you have to ask why unpredictability is key then you've never done the job. The only thing you can say for sure is that you have a specific timetable. You're dealing with egocentric little universes all bumping up against each other, bringing whatever myriad baggage they have at that moment.


Folk knock the "soft" skills but facilitation, mediation etc are key. It's spinning plates, all day every day. That and whacamole.

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This was Australia, all schools have sunscreen for every class, as well as a fully-stocked first aid kit.
What's the purpose of the stuffed animals and lollipops?
With a guitar, I didn't need a ukulele.

Art as a casual/substitute teacher can be disastrous, as you don't know which children will eat the art materials ... or destroy the classroom. Playdough becomes almost impossible to remove from carpet after about a day, two tops, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone's classroom.

Glitter glue is evil, almost as evil as pure glitter. If all glitter was removed from existence, I would be very happy. No way I'd insinuate that insidious stuff into somebody else's classroom either!

Glitter is the very devil. You can find it in the farthest corners of your house weeks after a classroom event. I used to lose mine. Had a boss who loved it and always had loads for the dept. *shudder*
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  #107  
Old 15.02.2021, 13:25
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Sure. The first programming course I took, fully paid and 9 months long, I had three ex-teachers as classmates. One went back to teaching before its end, two stayed and were quite good.

But that's just anecdotal evidence, it means nothing in the broader context because every generalisation has counterexamples among the group it applies to. Engineers chose that direction because they're more interested in dealing with things (or abstraction), teachers prefer to deal with kids/people (provided people are allowed to chose and aren't compelled to take some choice by external factors). If that weren't the case they'd chose differently in the first place.
You're right, I didn't contest that. My husband is an engineer and he dreams about being able to do something else one day. He used to teach a seminar in a uni back home when he was younger, but that was for a very short while. Now their company have Lehrlings, so this passion for mentorship is fullfiled somehow. But not enough.
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  #108  
Old 15.02.2021, 22:43
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

Hi Flora,
I know it can be a bit confusing but yes, teachers have hols too, when the kids have vacation.
My good friend is a teacher in Zürich @ Rämibül school, she said they also have vacation but the reality is that they still have to prepare the courses/classes, so it’s official holiday but they have to work doring holiday too. But the school is closed.
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  #109  
Old 16.02.2021, 06:21
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

I think anyone who had to home-school their kids during lockdown will tell you what a great job teachers do. So I don’t understand why people question this one perk that teachers have. I believe they are worth it.

TBH no one questions my perks and benefits at work (flexible time, more WFH in the future, bonus, days off whenever I want to, conversations with adults, instead of spending time supervising little things that puke, or eat crayons). Why do we when it comes to teachers?
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  #110  
Old 16.02.2021, 09:08
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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I think anyone who had to home-school their kids during lockdown will tell you what a great job teachers do. So I don’t understand why people question this one perk that teachers have.
I (personally) don't. There must be some compensations.

On the other hand, I don't know any Swiss teacher who complains that much. I've heard doctors complaining, especially those young and who work in hospitals, especially when they're (indirectly) asked about their "fat" salaries (yes, I've witnessed a discussion that I would have never started..but each to their own).
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  #111  
Old 16.02.2021, 11:11
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Makes sense. This made me think of the chart below from a couple years ago..
Great place for data, love it!

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Certainly, someone who feels overwhelmed doesn't enjoy turbulent times.
I think there more factors that contribute to Happy School Ratio. Not sure about age, my prof friend who stopped teaching at 85 was an amazing teacher, he only ever complains about increasing stupidity and decreasing humility of humankind. Now at 95 he is still a great fiesty humane spirit. He also thinks that politics shouldn't mix with edu goals. Unless the politics is to protect certain level of non-utilitarian, anti-globalist intangibility of human knowledge that should simply serve to make people smarter.

And then another objective thing to factor in - is covid, really. Your definition of "enjoyment" has shifted to "survival", quite fast.

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What's the purpose ...of the lollipops?
I was being facetious, the truth is, we do carry funky stuff in our magic briefcases. But lollipops often finish in my mouth.

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Art as a casual/substitute teacher can be disastrous
Never. Never a creative lesson lost. Kids do not like careful teachers. Even if you are, don't be.
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Glitter glue is evil..
Hahahaha, I know that you are an anti-glitter glue heretic! That's why I advertized it a bit, but honestly - not nuts about it either but know a lot of people who are. Glitter and glitter glue. Bubbles and paint mixing. None of this let's not get too dirty schtick.

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I think anyone who had to home-school their kids during lockdown will tell you what a great job teachers do. So I don’t understand why people question this one perk that teachers have. I believe they are worth it.

TBH no one questions my perks and benefits at work (flexible time, more WFH in the future, bonus, days off whenever I want to, conversations with adults, instead of spending time supervising little things that puke, or eat crayons). Why do we when it comes to teachers?
Amen. Though it is certainly worse in other countries than here..Free game for all. Even a ton of pseudo corporate edu lingo didn't help much.
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  #112  
Old 16.02.2021, 11:25
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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TBH no one questions my perks and benefits at work (flexible time, more WFH in the future, bonus, days off whenever I want to, conversations with adults, instead of spending time supervising little things that puke, or eat crayons). Why do we when it comes to teachers?
A combo of anti-school memories I think and a reaction (certainly in the UK) to a media-crafted narrative that educators are somehow responsible for social decline! Teachers are an easy target. Folk hate the holidays. Assume lots of things that are not true, but at the same time say they couldn't/wouldn't do it. They hate the active unions too, forgetting that any profession dealing so closely with children needs that layer of careful support. Teachers don't "just" teach, that's what so many conveniently forget, or never realise in the first place. Safeguarding is key, in both directions.

I miss flexi-time even after 16 years! And overtime pay. Hot tea and being able to pee when I want.
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  #113  
Old 16.02.2021, 11:42
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

Have an inkling too that some have never been near a 'normal' teacher, school or classroom of 30+ either- and have no idea of the reality out there, for the vast majority.
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  #114  
Old 16.02.2021, 11:43
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Have an inkling too that some have never been near a 'normal' teacher, school or classroom of 30+ either.
Hehehe, never yet met a "normal" teacher. But I get your meaning.
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Old 16.02.2021, 11:49
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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A combo of anti-school memories I think and a reaction (certainly in the UK) to a media-crafted narrative that educators are somehow responsible for social decline! Teachers are an easy target.
Is it only a media-crafted narrative or a combination of media and parents with unreasonable/unrealistic expectations?
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  #116  
Old 16.02.2021, 11:52
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Hehehe, never yet met a "normal" teacher. But I get your meaning.
That would be because of the people who 'end up' teaching as a profession.
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Old 16.02.2021, 11:54
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Is it only a media-crafted narrative or a combination of media and parents with unreasonable/unrealistic expectations?
Both I suspect. Everyone's an expert because they went to school. The conversations I've had...

It is easier to blame externally than to look inwardly, I suppose.
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Old 16.02.2021, 12:02
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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That would be because of the people who 'end up' teaching as a profession.
Sigh. This idiotic statement says volumes about your embittered view of a whole profession you have no value for. Do you have the same view of any other trained professionals?

Anyone I've ever encountered who drifted into teaching as a last resort, or thinking it was easy, has had a short sharp shock. It's why the average new teacher doesn't last more than 5 years. Folk who choose, who go in with eyes open, do better. It's not for the feckless or naive.
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  #119  
Old 16.02.2021, 12:06
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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That would be because of the people who 'end up' teaching as a profession.
Why? Teaching is a plan for semi-retirement after leaving the consulting world. Of course, teaching a bit more grown up kids.
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Old 16.02.2021, 12:23
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Re: Do teachers/professors have vacations when kids have it?

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Why? Teaching is a plan for semi-retirement after leaving the consulting world. Of course, teaching a bit more grown up kids.
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