At half-term, I was less stressed and less relieved to have the break than in years past. When we broke up for Christmas today, I was ready.
The Autumn term is almost always the longest. Sometimes the Summer term is as long, but the Year 11s leave about half-way through and the Year 10s leave temporarily for work experience. Summer term is also bathed in daylight. There is something about the sun having been up for five hours before school starts with another five or six after the final bell sounds. In the first term, the days just get darker and darker, until headlights are on full beam pulling into the car park and back on regardless of how early an escape is made.
It also used to be that the Year 7s were only beginning to find their feet by Christmas and those whose behavioural conformity is going to be challenging in post-pubescent years were beginning to make themselves known. Now bad seeds are clearly identifiable by Year 6 Day in the previous summer and they have begun to infect the others with disrespect and disregard for authority on contact. Every year there are more inherently difficult Year 7s and the infection spreads quicker.
Christmas is a welcomed break. Western Easter comes early this year, so the Spring term will be more of sprint.