“A good teacher is like a candle—it consumes itself to light the way for others.”
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Can you imagine a school year without holidays? The screams of teachers and school leaders would echo around the school fence. To be fair, the roar of workers in other industries would be just as loud. Modern industrial agreements have ensured that workers are entitled to holidays. The screaming headlines that teachers have too many holidays regularly appear in the January news banners, while teachers and school leaders are headlong into planning for the term and year ahead.
School holidays are fraught with finding the time to calm down from the previous term and getting ready for the next term. In between calming down and starting up, spending time with family and social events is done with limited opportunity as well as little reward. Watching a candle burn down and getting lost in the spiral of smoke as the wick expires can describe teachers during holidays.
School leaders have the challenge to manage system expectations, school improvement, teachers, the community, and their own professional development. Teachers work within these expectations and face the immediate challenges of the classroom. Small school Principals have the dual role of teaching and managing the school. Scale is important yet the system expectations and all other tasks are the same of a non-teaching principal.
Teachers and school leaders are hard workers. A forgotten fact is that everyone has had a teacher in their life. For those readers who were taught by their father, and who was also the Principal, had a teacher during and after school. What would our society look like without teachers and school leaders?