I am constantly told how lucky I am as a teacher that I get long holidays. Of course, people ignore other things associated with ling holidays. let me elaborate.
Firstly, given that I am on half term holiday this week, you would imagine that I have sat around all week with my feet up or playing on my Nintendo Wii. That is not the case. I am now having a five minute break from writing out maths plans for next term. I hope to have them finished by teatime and that will be the first three days of my holiday used up. That does not even include the marking I have got to do (I would imagine that will take up most of tomorrow). Leaving me Friday off ! One day holiday. Let's put out the flags and bunting !
Then there is the cost of teachers holidays. like people with children who chose to take their kids away in the holidays and not school time, teachers are limited to certain weeks in the year when we are able to go on holiday. if anyone wants to know which weeks are half term weeks just get a holiday brochure and look for the weeks when you will pay 50% more. Yes, we get lost of holidays, but when we are not planning, marking, sorting resources, etc, and we actually want to get away for a few days, we pay more for out holidays. Bugger !
And then, possibly the most annoying aspect, is the things we cannot do, the odd says we cannot take off. I missed a close friend's wedding because it was on a Friday afternoon. Simple things like taking an afternoon off are not allowed if you are a teacher. A political colleague I had know for 10 years died and I could not attend his funeral. I know of one teacher at a previous school I worked at who had to have a day of unpaid leave in order to attend a family funeral in Scotland. The problem of not being able to have a day off for a delivery, or to allow a repair man in to fix a pipe or your boiler.
So yes, as teachers we do have long holidays, but we pay for those holidays in all sorts of other ways.