I don't know if outside of the pressure cooker environment that is an inner city British comprehensive school in the last three weeks before Christmas, the same conditions operate. Here, on an annual basis, we're in the second of the three hardest weeks of the year.
The fights, assaults, mayhem, chaos, ridiculousness, pressure, deadlines, the insanity that infects every class and every teacher, and every child - even the quiet ones whom you've never seen speak loudly before, let alone with a bloodied nose..?
Perhaps it's just here.
Or more likely, it's just Christmas.
Spare a pause (if you teach, and your blood is boiling), for the kids who are giving ructions because there's not going to be a christmas round their house.
I'd estimate that's a third of my classes, who are dreading the holidays. Simply dreading them.