If your own child was away on a residential trip would you be okay with the teaching staff having a drinky-poo in the evening?
Here’s a question edu-pollsters TeacherTapp asked with brackets thrown in for good measure.
Incredibly 60% said they were fine with the idea of consuming alcohol whilst looking after other people’s children.
Some teachers like a good drink and some can really knock it back but teachers who drink on residential trips are irresponsible. You’ve got to be 100% on it and ready for anything when you are around children, especially other people’s children. Alcohol impairs your decision making and puts children at risk.
What and I’ve never done it?
Absolutely not. If parents are expecting me to take care of their children then that’s what I do. If children are asleep, so what? They wake up for all sorts of reasons and teachers have to respond. No child wants comforting by a teacher with alcohol on their breath.
There are those that say that just one drink won’t make any difference – if that’s the case then don’t have one then. If a teacher cannot go for a few days without a drink then they have a drink problem.
One drink can lead to another and everyone has different levels of tolerance. I’ve seen teachers on trips before who are unable to stop at one and they are embarrassing. They also expect ‘you’ (the one who isn’t drinking) to go and sort out any problems.
Fair enough, you could have designated teacher response teams that go out to the cries down the corridor but what happens when the smoke alarm goes off and it’s the real thing? What happens if a teacher has had one too many and needs to drive a child off to hospital in an emergency?
The best school I worked at made it crystal clear – staff on residential trips were not permitted to consume alcohol because their first priority was the health and safety of the children.
The policy said that a residential was to be regarded as being on a school site and just as staff were not allowed to consume alcohol on the school premises then the same applied to wherever the trip was taking place.
Residential school trips should be alcohol-free zones no matter how stressed you are or how long the day is. If you need a drink then have a cup of tea and enjoy a clear conscience.