With the warm weather around the corner and the school year coming to an end, teachers everywhere are looking forward to time off from work to enjoy a relaxing summer. Two months off with nothing do to? Maybe…
I’ve spent some time talking to my teacher friends and learning what really goes on during the summer “vacation”. It’s not as stress-free as you might think. There are teachers that need to supplement their salary during the summers, so on their free time they are either looking for a part-time job or working at one. These are the summer jobs that most of them thought they (gladly) left behind after graduating college, but they are coming back to haunt them now even as a professional with a solid career. And with most teachers trying to avoid working with kids on their time off, it seems that jobs in childcare are the most prevalent summer gigs going.
Then there are those teachers that choose not to work in the summer and what a great perk that is. However, after enjoying a couple weeks off either at the beach, or at home with the family, the boredom sets in. Maybe your spouse works and your kids are off at camp/school. Maybe your roommates work 9-5 and you haven’t a clue what to do or who to make plans with during your weekdays. Not everybody has a vacation home at the beach in which they can enjoy the sun and surf all summer. What now? It’s all fun until you realize you are bored, restless and longing for excitement, except no one is around to share it with.
And don’t forget the preparation that goes into a school year. Many teachers start planning at the beginning of August for the September commencement. It takes a lot of time and smart planning to be a successful teacher, so there goes twenty-some of those vacation days.
I’m not saying we should all feel sorry for teachers on summer vacation— many teachers take time to map out their summer vacations to avoid such blunders—but it wouldn’t hurt to see a different side of things and maybe be a little more understanding when your teacher friends tell you it’s not as long or as relaxing as you think (You’re thinking, “Yeah, right”). Maybe the grass on the other side isn’t as green. Or maybe it’s a defense mechanism we use to feel less bad about our time-off envy 🙂
To all our favorite teachers out there, you’re doing a great job and you deserve the time off—just take us with you next time.