Curtis always gets a little grumpy about my "summer off" and I don't blame him really. From an outsider's view, teaching looks like a super easy gig- no nights, no weekends, no holidays, and summers off. If only it were that simple! Two years ago I got a birthday gift from a student. It was a little wooden sign that said, "I teach for June, July and August off." Well, I'm here to tell you that I don't know any teachers who get a three month summer vacation anymore. There is exactly eight weeks between the last day of school and the first day of school. My first day of school in July 30! I also have a five-day workshop the week before that so technically my summer ends on July 22.
Add to that the fact that I am taking a June mini-mester course at a local college, four days a week for the entirety of the month, and technically I only get three weeks of vacation- not that different than what Curtis gets each year from his regular job! However, I stand by a teacher's right to summer vacation. If you are a teacher, or you know a teacher, then you know that a teacher's day doesn't end when the bell rings at 3 o'clock. Many teachers take work home or work at school until late in the afternoon- grading tests and essays or preparing lessons. Teaching is not a job that you can just leave at work when you clock out.
Teaching is mentally and physically exhausting. Teaching is often thankless and stressful. Teachers need that summer break to recharge and prepare for the next school year. Am I going to go on vacation? Probably. Am I going to sleep late and spend days in my pajamas? Probably. Am I going to have nightmares about disastrous school years? You betcha! Am I going to spend hours cleaning my room and re-doing lesson plans? Without a doubt! I think it all evens out in the end, but I apologize in advance if I seem braggy about my time off :)