Monday, June 16, 2014

Why Teachers Earn Summer Break

First, I love teaching.
I truly feel God's will for my life was for me to teach. 
Maybe I will teach for 30+ years or he might have other plans, but in the meantime this is without question what I am supposed to do.
With teaching comes a less than impressive salary but the rewards and great feeling I get knowing that my students are growing brings an amount of joy that fills my heart in a way money cannot. 


Teaching is a very demanding job with lots of meetings (half completely unnecessary), unrealistic achievement standards set by higher officials who have never taught, copy machines that jam regularly (really, this drives us crazy), parents (some not involved, some over involved, and then some awesome ones in-between), the constant crunch of data, graphing the data you crunched, then planning in a way that will make the data (that is not blurry because you looked at it so much) improve. 
All while loving your students and trying to make it fun in a great loving environment where everyone feels supported, safe, and happy.

Lately, I've been catching alot of comments like, "Wow, must be nice to have four months off." 
Note: it is actually less than 8 weeks. Plus training during this time.
Or some people say, "Teachers have it made, you work 8-3 then have all the breaks." 
Then the comment that makes me want to punch someone, "I don't know why teachers complain, they are off half the year and get paid to play."

Given I know most of the comments are said with the intention of being just a light hearted comment,
but this teacher is over it. 
I would love for the people who think teachers have all this time off to know that this time is for us to regain a normal life for a few weeks. To maintain ourselves, our homes, and our families. August- May we put our students needs first, sometimes without even realizing it because the heart of a teacher is to care for your students.

To the people who feel we work 8-3 they are so terribly mistaken.
First, I usually work half an hour at home BEFORE getting to school around 7:15.
Then I usually leave school by 4:00 to come home, let the dog out, and spend a few minutes with my husband and vent about my day.
(sorta joking)
Then as I'm cooking dinner, I set up "teacher camp" at the table.
After dinner I grade, put grades in the grade book, plan, respond to parent e-mails, etc.
Once this part is done I usually sit down with Drew where normally I continue to grade "one more" set of papers. Then bed.
So yes, I did have great "hours" at work but my job didn't start or end there.
Over the weekend I usually spend at least an hour or two tweaking my plans and making sure everything is set for the week. 

Over the summer most teachers will work in the classroom some because the days set aside by the school to do this is packed full of meetings and we actually don't get much time. We also have training and professional development over the summer. So no, I just don't sit around and do nothing.

In the summer I make up for the busy month of May that every teacher experiences.
(well busy all year, but May is exhausting)
I enjoy cooking dinners and actually sitting and enjoying time with my husband without my clipboard and a stack of papers to grade.
The house is cleaned and reorganized where it had been neglected.
Most importantly, spend time with my family and friends.

I wouldn't trade my job for anything.
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach my kiddos.
I also enjoy having these few weeks to recharge.
So to the next person who wants to throw out some remarks about summer break,
you come do my job and see if you need a break!


  1. all so very true! I love the meme of sending someone into a classroom and giving the kids cupcakes!! that is scary!

    teacher power!

  2. so well said! as a middle school teacher at a charter school with an extended school year I teach 200 days as opposed to the traditional 180 and have about 6 weeks ended last Thursday and I already have a training I am going to attend starting Tuesday and then next week I will work 3 days helping to vet benchmark assessments. i love my job...but we are EARNING every week off we get!