I’m not being lazy: it’s not unreasonable to want to have a break in the day, it’s important for your mental health and wellbeing and it’s important for productivity.
People think teachers have breaks and lunches and free lessons and holidays galore in the first place, but the reality is that they are all taken away in the form of duties, meetings, chasing up students, extra lessons and planning and marking. To the point where most teachers do a full 12 hour slog with no breaks except to run to the toilet and 5mins to wolf down a sandwich in the middle of the day. It’s so unhealthy.
The randomness with which this free time is taken away means that whoever is taking it always assumes the teacher will be able to have a break somewhere else. There is a culture of not being able to refuse anything in order to get a break, not only to not appear lazy and unproductive, but to actually avoid a telling off from management. It’s a complete failure in their duty of care in that respect, in my opinion.
There is a half hearted attempt to help teachers avoid burnout. In schools, I have seen anonymous helplines, staff counselling and courses in time management. But that will never change the fact that there is still an un-relentless workload, no breaks and a culture of penalising those who take them.
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