I made it through my first year at my “new” school!
I feel like “new” should be in quotes since it isn’t fully “new” anymore.
But yeah, I’m done…it’s over, and I could not be more excited to now have the summer “off”.
Yup, that also deserved quotes, all of my fellow educators know why.
Because we’re never really off. There is just a time where we aren’t required to go to our buildings to work but typically still do work at home or at other locations off-site.
Why am I saying this?
Mostly, because I’m kind of tired of the misconception that educators have the “best jobs ever” because we “get to have three months off every year”. Or the comments of; “man I wish I could get three months off”.
NO EDUCATOR IS EVER FULLY OFF!
Now, I do preface by saying that educators schedules are a bit more flexible than someone who works in an office all day or a doctor or a lawyer; I fully admit that. However, most people don’t pick their professions based on their schedules or based on time off; you pick it because it’s the profession that speaks to you or because you feel compelled to do that work.
Educators feel compelled to do the work they are doing (most anyway, as with any profession). We happen to get a bit more of a flexible schedule as a result; but guess what? Most of us are still working in that off time.
Whether it’s grading papers in the evening or creating lesson plans on the long weekends. Maybe it’s creating new curriculum in July in a district office with some of your colleagues with other schools or creating/working on school-wide events that will be held throughout the year. It could be that you’re in your classroom in July analyzing data that you collected from the previous year and figuring out how to implement this information and improve your teaching or your methods for the next year for a better result. Hell, perhaps you do have to go to school and meet with a student and their parents to talk about something that will impact them in the upcoming school year and you need to figure out how to deal with it before he/she walks back in the building on the first day.
Summer break doesn’t mean we’re all off to sit on the beach for two months with margaritas. It just means we aren’t, likely, directly dealing with students in that time.
There is so much that an educator does in a typical day involving direct contact with students that so many of us need this time off to catch up on the mountains of paperwork and lesson plans and goals and outcomes that get pushed to the wayside out of necessity. All of that work winds up getting done during our “summer vacation”.
Personally, just this summer I’m already going to be in the building more often than not. I have testing to do with students, meetings to prep for, a new coworker to train, programs to plan for, etc. Devon is also going to be at work quite a bit; he has trainings to do for his new school, new curriculum to learn and map out, a whole new year of lesson plans to make up (the perk of having been teaching the same material for the past few years was that he could just use the same lessons but adapt them each year).
I understand that unless you’re an educator you really don’t know all of this behind the scenes stuff; but it can get frustrating to hear that we have it “so easy” or that we’re “so lucky” to be able to have so much time off. It can feel belittling of our profession and in a country where our profession is already held in a pretty low regard; it’s just disappointing.
I try really hard to not use this place as a soap box, but sometimes there are moments where I feel like I need a platform to just say this kind of thing and then I remember; hey I have a blog.
So, if this sort of content is offensive, I apologize, but then again this is my space to say what I need to; so while I’m sorry if I offended you I can’t promise that I won’t get up on a soap box again if the mood strikes.