Confessions of a Teacher

What a Teacher’s Summer Really Entails

The temperatures are increasing. Neighborhood pools are cleaned and opened on this past Memorial Day weekend. End-of-the-year checklists have been signed and classrooms are prepared for cleaning. The final bell has rung and the last dismissal of the school year is underway. Summertime is here!!! After an intense year, teachers rejoice when the last bus pulls out, and they are relieved of their duties for the academic year.
The outside world tends to believe that teachers have two to three months of complete freedom from their work. Click To TweetThere are misconceptions about what teachers really do over the summer. The outside world tends to believe that teachers have two to three months of complete freedom from their work. I’ve heard outsiders state that “teachers should not complain about their jobs because they get the entire summer off, unlike regular jobs.” I often wonder if it’s even worth trying to change their minds. Here is what a teacher summer really entails:
RecoveryUnless you live under a rock, you know that teachers have an incredibly hard job. The demands are endless. Teachers wear various hats and are responsible for the success of the students under their care. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of pressure to perform. There is truly no tired like teacher end-of-the-year tired. Teachers have earned the right to rest and recover from the school year.
Ongoing Professional DevelopmentEven during their “off months,” teachers are constantly learning. There are courses to attend, books to be read, leadership meetings to be had, and constant knowledge to be gained. Teachers are always learning and mastering their craft. They may even invest in both their personal and professional development. 
Graduate courseworkMany teachers are also graduate students, some working on their Master’s, specialist, or even doctoral degrees. If you’ve attended summer courses in college, you know the coursework is more intense due to the shorter length of the summer term. Some teachers may take up to two or three courses on top of their other summer commitments.
Preparing for the upcoming school yearOver the past few years, the summer break has shortened. I remember having three glorious months between school years. Nowadays, the summer break is barely two months. Teachers are already preparing for the next school year. They may or may not have the same grade level and/or subject. There is a lot of preparation involved in studying and preparing the curriculum to ensure student success.
Making up for lost timeI’m not a parent yet, but I can only imagine how teachers have to choose between their own children and their students. Teachers may spend their summer break investing in their own families after unintentionally neglecting them during the school year.
There is so much more involved in a teacher summer. Saying that teachers have earned their summers is an understatement. So, teachers, enjoy your summer. Rest and recharge for the next school year. You have earned it!!!

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