Five good things about the teachers’ strike

As teachers, unions and policy-makers squabble, 350,000 pupils have reasons to be cheerful

Catching up on Christmas shopping while school is out

Catching up on Christmas shopping while school is out


No school traffic Students and parents aside, commuters in general were left to revel in the absence of the customary rush-hour gridlock around schools. Last week, Fintan O’Toole alluded to the important (if somewhat clandestine) role that Ireland’s mammies play in helping their children prepare for State exams.

The hours spent transporting kids to school and extra-curricular activities are another underappreciated yet obligatory function carried out by many parents. However, this morning they could deservedly prioritise the aroma of a nice breakfast coffee over fetid exhaust fumes. Everyone’s a winner.

Extra Christmas shopping day ’Tis the season, but it can be difficult to rejoice in the festive spirit when you find yourself clambering through the hordes of country Christmas shoppers day-tripping to Dublin for the infamous December 8th. Fortunately, students can afford themselves a decidedly more leisurely stroll through town to purchase presents for friends, siblings, and said-underappreciated parents.

Fantasy Football catchup Anyone who’s hooked on the English Premier League’s most lauded marketing phenomenon can appreciate all-too-well the sheer horror you can experience upon noticing that you’ve forgotten to update your squad for that sneaky round of midweek fixtures.

Well, now there’s no excuse, so use your time off school wisely to meticulously appraise all the facts and figures for who should be dropped or chopped following the weekend’s games. After all, an education in football is a worthy substitute for a day’s schooling.

Embrace the comfort While you’re left to repose in the comforting glow of your favourite mid-day TV shows, spare a thought for those poor picketing teachers left to contend with the icy-unpleasantness of a freezing December morning. There’s no day off for them, ya’know.

Study!? Not to put a dampener on things, but Christmas exams are just around the corner. Today might even be a good opportunity to brush up on your subjects before the dreaded mocks come rolling around (best not to mention the Junior Cert, all-in-all). But then again . . . maybe not.