Time to sign a petition against teachers taking leave ….


I have given this quite a bit of thought.

Actually I haven’t – it ran through my mind whilst I was brushing my teeth.

I usually brush for one to three minutes, but it does depend on how far my mind “leaves the reservation.”   Sometimes it is more, and well sometimes I barely get the toothbrush in before I am spitting and screaming at a child to STOP IT, JUST STOP IT.

I think teachers need to be reclassified under “emergency staff” or “people we cannot survive without even for one day.” I am sure there is a technical term in the basic conditions of employment.

Teachers are important.  To our sanity.  To the chances of us ever finishing a sentence when talking to a friend.

To us being able to speak on the phone without doing that wild hand movement only mothers do, because suddenly three whiny kids are asking for something that fell behind the fridge last Tuesday, but has suddenly become ‘moer’ important as you are talking to a client.  On the phone.

Doctors, nurses, ambulance workers, national defence force members, teachers!

I really would far more have the borders being unprotected for three weeks over June and July, than have the teachers drinking mojitos, sunning themselves, and taking Xanax to prepare themselves for the new term.  Which seems more vital to you?

I don’t think I would notice if the defence force took 6 weeks off from not using our submarine or say retiring an aircraft because there are no qualified pilots to fly it.  Teachers who take 6 weeks off, make me weep in a desperate snot bubble manner and I ache for then each day.  I mark it off on my calendar to show when I will be seeing them again.

I miss them.  Like a lot.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies to all employers and workers, but not members of the –

  • National Defence Force,

  • National Intelligence Agency, or

  • South African Secret Service; or

  • unpaid volunteers working for charity.

I feel that teachers and especially preschool and primary school teachers need to be included in this list.

I am actually not sure what the law is around National Defence Force Members but I am thinking it probably prohibits leave, striking and really should include something about never being permitted leave during school holidays.

I think school teachers should only get leave over weekends.  And even there I think I am being generous.

I am willing to give them Sunday’s off, but this does not include Sunday School Teachers – them let’s keep in school.  With the kids.

Often over weekends I have thought to myself, good gonads, why don’t teachers work on a Saturday, that is really when you need to drop your child off at school – or in a bush – or an abandoned mine.

Just somewhere where there is a good chance they will still be in 4 to 8 hours.

Grocery shopping with kids is an exercise in glancing at other moms shopping with their kids and deciding who is more miserable.  Them or me.

School holidays are the bane of my life!  Well to be honest it is not the school holidays, it is the fact that school is closed.  I think we can still keep the term school holidays, and keep teachers in school.

What good are teachers if they are not in school?

No good actually -technically they are teachers with no one to teach.  I really think that if that is what drives you to erm drive to work each day, then as parents we need to insist that they keep their skills sharp.  By remaining at school teaching.  And available.

Teaching is a calling.  It is not a nansy-pansy job.  Get behind me here people!!

As a parent I have done my duty.  I have supplied products for the teachers to teach.  Producing three children did not come without it’s risks and inconveniences.

I held out because I knew one day I could send them to school.

And really is that not the day all parents live for?

Moms don’t cry because Rita is starting school, they cry because they are so frick’n relieved and feel guilty now that they can start drinking at 12h00 sharp – but they shouldn’t – we have support groups for that.  The guilt and the drinking – sometimes it is the same group, we give it names like “book club.”

I have fought the hoardes at Woolworths to purchase the wrong fitting white shirt and grey pants for school for my kids – so they all look the same.

I think similiar looking small people make it totally unnecessary for teacher to learn children’s names.

If my teachers worked over weekends and school holidays, I would totally forgive her/him calling all the boys Johnny and the girls, well call them Mandy, which can be shorted to Mands, or Burt – listen as long as they come when a name is called, that is fine with me.

I have three of them, and I seldom get the names right – and without fail there is always at least one child near me at any given time, which proves that remembering their exact names is not actually that important.

I am not sure how to get this campaign onto it’s legs.  I am sure it involves some blue sky thinking.  A shift in paradigms.  Maybe even something about a golden thread, and an out of the box idea.

Either way, I feel strongly about teachers.  We need more.  Let’s increase their hours, reduce their holidays and encourage it as a profession.  The more work, the more teachers we need – the more teachers we can get and we can work towards a point of removing “school holidays” and maybe even “Saturday’s off!”

Whose behind me on this?

When the teacher calls ….

I am wondering how many times I need to reiterate this issue.

If my phone rings and I see that it is my children’s teacher/nanny/carer I die a little.   My heart races, my breathing gets shallow, I start to picture the worst possible scenario.  Usually involving one (or all) of my children, blood and possibly a paramedic.

I visualise kids floating face down in pools, television sets that have fallen on my kids, my kids abducted by someone, my children dead on a play ground.

I never.NEVER.never think this is a friendly how-do-you-do call.  Why do teachers/carers not get this?

I had just trained Pepe to start any conversation, should she phone me with “Isabelle is fine, no one is hurt …..” and then she can say pretty much anything after that.

Yesterday Connor’s aftercare phones.  They can’t reach me, they phones Kennith.

They open with: “Are you Connor’s father?”

Kennith: “Yes…”

School: “Your son has been involved in an accident at school, and hurt his neck…”

And then they stop talking — you know, to allow some time for the message to sink in.

This allows sufficient time for your mind to infuse with every paranoid thought it has ever had.  Your nerves bristle, your body floods with adrenaline and fear, and your bowels loosen.

As it turns out, Connor had tripped over a pipe, he had fallen off a step, and his neck had taken the full brunt of his full body weight.  Somehow his head had managed to fold itself into his chest so his neck could whack the tar with his full body weight and the momentum of his running.

It could have been very serious, fortunately it was not.

When I fetched Connor, he had a few scratches and I could see as soon as I was able to talk to him, that his neck was sore, but it was not serious or something that dinner and bowl of ice cream would not cure.  He was sitting, conscious and clearly had not sustained a serious injury.

Would have been fabulous had the school communicated that on the phone.

Do you know what it is like to drive to your kid’s school after a call of  “your child has hurt their neck, I think you should come….” ?

If you are a teacher or at any stage responsible for caring for a person’s child – please, as soon as the person answers open with: “Hello Kate/Bill/Mrs XYZ, your child is fine – there is no blood, no one is hurt, no one is dead, your child is fine.  I am looking at him/her, she/he is smiling and happily colouring in …. everything is fine … really… calm down … breath, breath, breath ….. okay?  Again nothing is wrong, Connor/Georgia/Isabelle is fine ….. brilliant in fact.  You okay?  Good.  Okay, the reason I am calling is that we would love you to sell hotdogs at the fete, can you do a shift from 1 – 3pm?”

Do teachers actually know what they do to parents with these calls?