Five Responses to Critics of Summer Break
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
This summer most educators will be working a second job, taking courses to hone their craft, or prepping for next year's incoming class. And yet, most of us will hear a multitude of silly or patronizing comments about getting the summer off from those who have never taught professionally.
Breath deeply. Refrain from anger. Use one of the responses —and its supporting facts — below to educate the commenter.
ONE My other half says he (she) would get more attention if he (she) were a 3rd grader! Whoo-hoo! Now I have some time to rekindle our relationship.
I'm getting to know my children again. I'm very excited!
From page 15 of the Primary Sources: 2012 Report, America's Teachers on the Teaching Profession: The average teacher works 10 hours and 40 minutes a day. Tack on additional time for extracurricular activities, like coaching or monitoring clubs.
TWO After a couple of months with my favorite germ incubators, I'm intrigued by the idea of time off as a chance to shore up my immune system.
THREE Late August through early June, I'm a custodian, nurse, artist, actor, psychologist, friend, educator, and sometimes even a substitute parent. Now I get to spend some of my vacation time being a student!
The NEA states, "Most full-time employees in the private sector receive training on company time at company expense, while many teachers spend the eight weeks of summer break earning college hours, at their own expense."
FOUR My accountant says I can only write off $250 of the money I spend on my students. So I'll be cutting coupons, hitting all of the back-to-school sales, combing flea markets, and dumpster diving, looking for stuff for my students or anything to use in the classroom. Wanna join me?
Most teachers spend hundreds of personal dollars on basic school supplies; food or snacks for hungry children; soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes; children's clothing; and field trips. Check out this Huffington Post slideshow on teacher spending.
FIVE I spend at least six hours a day, 180 days a year, in a small room with children, shaping self-esteem and making the hardest tasks seem fun. And when September rolls around, and those children return, the look of gratitude on their parents’ faces tells me they understand the value of my work.
What am I doing this summer? Among other job-related tasks, I'll be taking a robotics course, planning a 12-week robotics curriculum for 3rd through 5th grade, and presenting "Great Apps for the Common Core Classroom" at Scholastic's New York headquarters.
What are you doing this summer? Share your summer plans and share your answers for quelling silly summertime comments.