Monday, July 14, 2014

A Teacher's Summer

What do teachers do in the summer?  Is it the glorious 3 months (ahem) we imagine basking in the sun with the waves crashing at our feet?  Maybe for some, but for most of the teachers I know it goes more like this:

  • Catch-up.  The race is on.  There are all those projects that we put off during the year that we will "have more time to deal with this summer."  This includes doctor's visits we don't want to use our sick days for, home improvement projects, "spring" cleaning, etc.  For me this year,  I really wanted to paint my front door and shutters and finish the furniture painting project I started 2 summers ago.  Currently, with 21 days left on the countdown, I have yet to start either.
  • Getting healthy-This is something we put off all year.  Teachers are really only allowed 8 weeks a year to be healthy.  What with the 15 minutes we actually get to eat lunch, and the fact that we are too tired at the end of the day to exercise.  And then there are those donuts that show up in the teacher's lounge at least once a week.  We have a little more control over the summer to commit to that healthy lifestyle.  We all aspire to go back to inservice and hear "You look so good, what have you been doing?"
  • Denial- School couldn't possibly be starting back two weeks earlier this year. Who made that decision?  It's not going to happen.  If I don't talk about it, maybe it won't really happen.  Don't ask me how many weeks I have left.  I don't know.  I don't want to know.
  • PD- To be good teachers, we have to keep learning!  Many of us fill our summers with learning opportunities....on our own time....because that's just what we do.  We love our kids and want to give them the best.  Some of us visit every EdCamp we can find, others attend mandated week-long sessions away from our families, and then some of us spend countless hours on Pinterest and Twitter cramming our heads with valuable knowledge other amazing educators so kindly share.
  • Working in our classrooms-So every teacher doesn't do this.  But there are those of us who choose to make over our classrooms every summer.  We all know that it will take more than a day or two of inservice to get every pocket chart hung, bulletin board refreshed, curtain hung, name-tag written, and desk arranged.  Most of us have spent at least a day or two at the school prior to inservice, many of us have spent much more than that!
  • Clinging to every minute-We have a gift.  It may be sprinkled with a lot of voluntary work, but it is OUR time.  No one dictates what we do with it or how we schedule it.  We get up early and stay up late (and take naps if we want to) so that it lasts as long as possible.  We squeeze in vacations, take our kids to the pool, and pack in as many lunch dates as we can.  We take our kids with us to our classrooms while we work.  We write our blog posts from bed while our babies are cuddled up next to us asleep, reminding us of why we do it all.....
Some would say we are spoiled.  They think we have 3 months of paid vacation, but that's okay.   I won't say that we don't complain, but we do it with acceptance and no expectation that it will ever be different.  All because we are called to be here, loving on children and giving them the best we have to offer.  

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