Teachers and Summers Off…Really???

Please be sure to read my blog to the end.  This one reflects personal thoughts I have wanted to express for a long time…

It is hard to believe another school year has ended in my neighborhood.  Students will be enjoying summer in various ways…and, as some neighbor children have said, they will be sleeping in each day.

Some teachers are working in their classrooms and completing the clerical duties that come with end of school year duties.  Others have finished and may be home with their own children preparing for the days ahead in different ways.

I always found it amusing how teacher bashers tended to reappear this time of year and criticize teachers being off during the summer.  The line “Teachers only work nine months and get paid for twelve” would be restated and people hearing it would nod their heads.

The truth…in some cases teachers do teach nine months out of the year.  In others…they teach until July and return by middle of August…this being a new trend linked with extending the school year.  Summer months are usually when schools are closed for maintenance and preparation for the upcoming year that begins quickly.

There are many teachers who work throughout the summer to supplement their income.  Others must continue attending college and taking courses to comply with district and state mandates linked with teacher certification requirements.

And…there are some, like me at one point, who enjoy the summer by working around the house, visiting friends, and going on outings with their family.  They would be described as “not working and collecting their paychecks”.

THAT IS CORRECT!  I collected the pay that I had rightfully earned (annual salary divided among 26 pays).  I re-energized my mind and body so I could greet my new group of students ready to give them 100%.  I met with my colleagues and talked about how we could do some new things at our school the next year.  I tutored children who needed help in Reading and Math, instructed graduate classes, and taught Vacation Bible School (loved to teach in the summer).  These are examples of what the majority of teachers experience during June, July, and August.

I have come to the conclusion that teacher bashers are people who envy teachers because of what they themselves do not have in their own careers.  They do not care to talk about the job description…rather they want the same benefits or the annual work schedule.  The answer to their complaining…go get a teacher degree.  If you believe that teaching is a career that involves very little effort and great pay with lots of vacation time…become a teacher to fulfill your dream.  Then again…PLEASE STAY WHERE YOU ARE…you would be the teacher who would do very little to help your students learn.

The good news…these types of people are in the minority.  My experiences have allowed me to be surrounded by appreciative parents and community members plus teachers who spend every month striving to find better ways to meet each student’s needs.

To all teachers…congratulations on touching the lives of students in positive ways for another school year!  Enjoy the time that you have as you prepare yourselves for your next group of students who will be waiting whenever you return.

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