10 Myths About What Teachers Do Over Summer Break
Your bulletin boards have been taken down, you've graded (or pretended to grade) your last batch of essays, and "School's Out For Summer" is blasting from the boombox in your exhausted head. Your jealous non-teacher friends paint summer vacation as a mythical unicorn that gets paid to lay on the beach and drink mojitos for two months. But you know the truth. Summer vacation is, in fact, magical, but it's time to dispel the myths.
1. We don't work over the summer.
A sneak-peek at a teacher's sample Summer To-Do list:
2. We do not think about school over the summer.
This is hard to do when your student Kaylee Matthews and her family are in the cabana next to yours for a whole week.
3. We party it up with our friends.
Once teachers return to civilian life, you'll find that everyone else around you is working, and no one is available to hit up the boardwalk at 2pm on a Tuesday, or stay up for 24 hours to binge-watch that cooking show staring British convicts.
Except other teachers.
4. We look forward to having two months off.
Now you can finally do all the things you haven't done all year, like get to the bank before it closes, exercise, sit down and make out a will, repair your missing roof tiles, and raise your children. Yay?
5. We have a block of time for serious travel.
What is 1000x more expensive and is, on average, 40 degrees hotter? Traveling during the peak summer months.
6. We can finally turn off "teacher mode" and live in the moment.
Once the novelty of vacation wears off, you'll start waking up at 5:30am again, because your body is programed the same as a newborn baby's. While sunning by the pool, you'll find yourself wondering what period you'd be teaching right now. Sometimes you take out your dry-erase markers and just kind of line them up in a row on your counter. There's no "off-position" on the Teacher Switch.
7. We have time to fulfill our creative pursuits.
It's so easy to pump out the next great novel while entertaining your house of bored elementary schoolers, getting a second certification, taking continuing education credits to maintain your license, and working a second job to pay for your kid's circus camp. By September, your "Summer To-Do List" is the only thing you'll have written.
8. We'll hang out with our co-workers all summer.
Despite living within a five-mile radius of each other, you won't cross paths with the majority of your staff or students. Think of your school like Brigadoon, the magical town that resurfaces for one day every 100 years before disappearing off the grid. For a world you're fully enmeshed with for ten months of the year, once that final bell rings, your school life will cease to exist.
9. We're ready.
Except for packing up your classroom. Oh and handing back a year's worth of pop quizzes. Also, you should probably mark your seniors' final projects. Have you entered your report card grades yet?
Other than that, totally ready.
10. We'll return in September fully recharged and ready to tackle the new school year.
What do you do for a living? Goat farming? Bookkeeping for the Mob? Mount Everest tour guide? All of that sounds a heck of a lot easier than what you're about to embark on.
This article was written by Ali Solomon - a NYC public middle school art teacher for the past 15 years. She's written for The Huffington Post, McSweeney's, and Scary Mommy, among others. Find more of her work at her blog, Facebook page, or Twitter.
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