My least favorite comment I get from other professionals about my teacher career is about summer vacation. They say something like, "At least you don't work for three months out of the year." Or, "Teachers won't get paid more until they work as many days as the rest of us!" For all of you who agree, here are my plans for summer!
First of all, let me say that I know very few teachers who work only 8-9 hours a day. Most of us work that much AT SCHOOL, and then we come home, fix dinner, take care of the family, get the kids in bed, and WORK AT HOME! I don't mean housework, although there is always plenty of that! I mean we grade papers, work on lesson plans, read to prepare for lessons, and the never ending stacks of paperwork!
Back to my summer plans. My students finish June 7th. I have two workdays after that, so let's say the school year is officially over June 9th. There are 47 week days between then and August 16th when I report back to my school for my first official workday. Of those 47 days, four of them will be spend at a Talented and Gifted Enrichment workshop, two rewriting the math pacing guides for the county with a team of other teachers, two more in meetings planning activities for Gifted students next year, two more planning and leading a workshop on discipline in our school, and three more days of our choosing spent in our classrooms. That takes me to 34 days left.
Of those 34, I will spend countless hours reading student educational plans of the 8 incoming students with disabilities. I will rewrite my own pacing guides for reading and writing. I will plan as far ahead as possible for the upcoming year. I will meet with my team to discuss policies regarding our incoming group, and I will plan for the workshops I have scheduled to lead between August 15th and the students' first day a week later.
When it is all said and done, my summer vacation of three months is actually only about 20 days. This allows me one month to make up for all the days that my son had to play in the floor by himself while I graded papers instead of playing with him. It gives me a chance to take care of my own child rather than the children of others.
I love teaching. I love summers! But let's not all be clear that teachers work hard through the summer!