A teacher’s Summer Vacation is the envy of all non-teachers. Honestly! We are so lucky to get three months off to do whatever we want. No work, no worries.
There should be a commercial for teacher recruitment at all colleges showing blessedly bliss teachers frolicking on the beach in long gauzy dresses, you know, like feminine product commercials. Imagine, the commercial opens on a shot of waves along the shore, and a gentle voice-over extolls the benefits of Summer’s Vacation… Hail to the V.
Let me point out that vacations are not three months. They used to be, somewhere back in the 70s, 80s, and maybe 90s. Now, summer vacation is 9 weeks at most. Is it still more than other professions?
For this I am grateful, as it allows time to relax and unwind, and frolic on the beach with my teacher friends… Which I have never actually done.
We’re all too busy to get together. And we’re even a little sick of each other come June. I spend more awake hours with my work wife then I do with my actual husband. I go in early, work all day, bring work home. Repeat. This leaves little time for doctor appointments, trips, renovations, conversations, dishes…
Sure teachers get sick days and personal days, but we don’t take them unless extremely warranted. Sub plans are a giant PITA. I will go to work unless I’m on Death’s door, and even then, I’ll still try to go. I’ve actually been sent home by the principal because I was too sick to be at work. Dedication? Nope. Lesson plans.
What Did You Do on Summer Vacation? That’s a common question asked of students at the beginning of every school year. This is done for many reasons: 1) To get to know the students, 2) To get a writing sample and determine areas of need, 3) To help the kids get to know each other, and admittedly, 4) To fill time while stretching out those incredibly long first few days.
No one ever asks the teachers this question. I suppose it’s because of jealously, and fear of an 809 piece picture show of our vacations to Tibet, Tunisia, and Thailand. Perhaps non-educators don’t want to hear about our hours spent at the spa, or our inner journey toward existentialism through emersion in Sartre and Camus. Know why? Because that doesn’t happen!
The following is a compilation of what teachers, when they have time to think, breathe, and pee when they want, not when they have 37 seconds, do when they have 9 weeks “off”:
- Attend three IEP meetings, one workshop, two days of training for new computers, and a half-day professional development that has nothing to do with what was promoted in the information
- Go car shopping, fix two flat tires, and one dead battery
- Provide our public service via jury duty that we asked to have postponed until the summer so we wouldn’t miss any school (necessitating lesson plans)
- Doctor appointments: Blood work, dentist, eye doctor, mammograms, trip to urgent care center for self-injurious behavior
- Four half-day planning sessions and one full day planning session
- Work on updating and upgrading a blog, as well as a more efficient, effective and comprehensive way of compiling lesson plans (BTW, commoncurriculum.com is awesome)
- Take a class for credits toward teacher certification
- Troll Pinterest for hours looking for anything that will help your students succeed
- Read 11+ books, some of which are for work
- Have a mini mid-life crisis
- Clean the kitchen inside and out, top to bottom, and side to side since that hasn’t been done since last summer
- Organize the yarn stash that kept piling up in the corner until “Someday”
- Run 3 5k races and train for a half marathon
- Take an actual vacation with family and catch some fireworks
So that’s that. Teachers are busy as hell in the summer. Summer Vacation is not all it’s cracked up to be; however, it’s better than working every day. I hope you all, teachers and non-teachers, had a wonderful summer, and that you’re rested and ready for the next crop of kids. Only 10 more months until our next Summer’s Vacation.