23 ways primary teachers know that Christmas is coming…


The children are threatening to burst with excitement and you’re struggling to find 27 costumes for a nativity play. It can only be the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.

  1. You wake from a dream in which the senior leadership team insist that all children are marked against the new gold, frankincense and myrrh assessment scheme.
  2. At school, Marcus, one of your ‘frankincense’ pupils, asks you when it will snow. He has asked every day since the beginning of the month.
  3. The bin by your desk is overflowing with tissues from sniffing, cold-ridden children…
  4. …who still insist they don’t need to put their coats on at playtime…
  5. … except for Marcus, who is wearing gloves, a woolly hat and a scarf – in class.
  6. The parents ask if they are allowed to give you a bottle of wine for Christmas “because you look like you need it”.

    Cougar Town wine teaching

  7. The headteacher is looking for volunteers who can make the school look “more festive” – in their own time, with no money for decorations.
  8. And then announces that the staff Christmas meal will be in January – when it’s cheaper.
  9. You update your social media status to “Humbugged”.

    Grinch teacher

  10. You are excited to get a Christmas card from an education technology company.
  11. And you find that there are 13 copies of the same card pinned to the staffroom notice board.
  12. Your friend from college is complaining on Facebook that she has to find an angel costume for her son.
  13. You reply: “Try finding 15 angel costumes, 8 shepherds, a Mary, a Joseph, an innkeeper and a monkey.”

    Love Actually nativity teaching

  14. She replies: “Typo! It’s donkey”.
  15. “No,” you reply. “Gail refused to be a donkey. Our Mary is arriving with a monkey.”
  16. You are not sure whether to be more concerned about the Year 5 girls’ “sexy” renditions of Santa Baby or…
  17. … the Year 1 boys’ “funny” version of We Three Kings.
  18. You set homework to ensure that your marking won’t clash with the finals of X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing or The Apprentice.

    Home ALone television teaching

  19. The deputy head announces in assembly that there is a storm warning and school will end early because it’s going to snow.
  20. Marcus glows with happiness – and promptly takes off his hat, gloves and scarf.
  21. He gives you a Christmas card. Inside he has written: “Happy Christmas to the best teacher in the world.”
  22. It’s the best Christmas card ever.
  23. And his mum gives you a large bottle of wine. You drink it.

    Parks and Recreation wine teaching

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