“Teachers have summers off”, this is one of the first things most people say when the topic of teaching comes up in conversation. It’s not usually the very first thing but it’s near the top. These four simple words seem to have summed up the teaching profession for many people. I know a lot of teachers and very few of them actually have “summers off”. In fact, many teachers spend their summers working or preparing to go back to work.
Teachers often need to subsidize their primary income with additional employment. Many teach summer school, work retail or teach adult learning courses. Teachers are often required to attend professional development trainings, take college courses for additional endorsements and participate in planning meetings at their schools or districts.
Once the new school year approaches, teachers head out to buy school supplies, set up classrooms and prepare materials. Much of this time is outside of the regular teaching contract and, in essence, a volunteer effort on the part of teachers. Teaching is no longer a nine-month job; it has become a year round profession with little time off and a very hectic pace. A teacher’s summer is really an opportunity to work outside of the classroom and far from a vacation.
A summer off is only for kids.