My name is Stephen Blackhust and I am Deputy Head Teacher of a large comprehensive secondary school in Luton, Bedfordshire. For the third time in 4 years, during the school summer holiday, I am spending 4 weeks studying Italian in Taormina, Sicily.
When, in 2005, I decided to put myself in a classroom for 6 hours a day for 4 weeks, having just completed a busy school year, many people thought I was mad. I must confess to having a few doubts myself, people often comment on the length of teachers’ holidays but in truth without them teachers simply could not keep going (neither could the pupils). And my mayor doubt was how I could cope without the long break to prepare far the re-start in September.
What actually happened was that that summer holiday, with its total immersion in Italian language and culture was both the most stimulating, challenging and restful break I have had in 28 years as a teacher!