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Do NOT work til you drop. Get the jab!

Miranda is a Primary Supply Teacher working in schools through Protocol Education in ManchesterShe stresses the importance of looking after yourself as it gets colder.

Do NOT work til you drop – get the jab!

Now, I’m a teacher, so I love telling other people what to do. Urm, of course I mean scaffolding their learning so they are empowered to make their own independent decisions… blah, blah. Apologies in advance for hectoring. All I will say is this: The best £7.95 I have ever spent has earned me money all the way through the winter and beyond into the first evil bouts of ‘the changing of the seasons’ shiver-fest, which primary children and hence their teachers are so prone to. I also spent half a day’s salary on vitamins, though I’m not quite sure I believe in them (someone told me those giant horse-pill Vitamin Cs only amount to expensive urine).

Getting the flu jab on a whim at Tesco was the best money-spinning career break I could possibly give myself last year. As teacher after teacher went down  with the lurge, and as children sneezed onto my face and (one of the set-backs of EYFS) rubbed snot on my sleeves (an early years phenomenon), I stood strong, my head clear, my hankie dry.

When Mr Jones’ flu took hold, and the likelihood that he had been given every last one of his snivelling, snorting, woozy-brained symptoms, by his class of thirty Year 1s became apparent, I was around to hoover up a week or two of his workload. I love working from my own plans -  with many ideas purloined from other peoples’ - and I found that winter really was the best time to try out new ideas, attempt that complex mixed-ability role play exercise which may well end your teaching career; use up the school’s entire supply of glitter or modelling clay in one sludgy afternoon and so on.

Keeping your spirits up

A Dunkirk spirit sets in, as the staff who enjoy soldiering on, soldier in, snow shovel in one hand, garlic and crucifix in the other; while laughing in hollow fashion about the wimpiness of their colleagues. In the dark months, everyone who remains standing in primary schools is grateful to see a supply teacher, on time, snot-free and raring to go.

I don’t want to tempt fate, as I’ve recently moved to the hills where local people have been darkly asking, ‘so, will this be your first winter up here?’ since June… But I am determined to be one of those soldier-oners again this year. Tesco here I come.

Have you had the flu jab already? Want to let us know what you think? Post your thoughts on Facebook or email them to

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Tags: Miranda, Protocol Education, Supply, Teaching, Winter, Flu,

Category: Australian Teachers

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