You would think that as a teacher, I would look forward to the end of the school year and the thought of 2 1/2 months of blissful relaxation during the summer. I would be lying to you if I said I didn't enjoy some of the time off, but as a whole it is not my favorite time of the year. Here are five reasons why:
- I like my students. It is incredibly difficult to get a room full of teenagers to trust you, and then like you, and then try to get them to WANT to learn anything from you. Repeat this six times for each class I teach, and you can begin to see my challenge. The first half of the year is a lot of rigid routine and cajoling, but the second half of the year is traditionally fantastic. The students know my quirks and procedures, and I know them well enough that I can relax and start to have more fun with them.
- I work just as hard in the summer. This summer I have three conferences to attend, eight days of professional development training, and ten days of curriculum writing. In addition I am transitioning to a brand new school in the fall, so later this summer there will be plenty of boxes to unpack and setting up to do to be ready for the first day of school. In total I have 14 non-school related days free to do whatever I would like this summer, and I will probably be using that time to begin writing lessons for the three new classes I am teaching in the fall.
- Lack of structure makes it easy to be lazy. I work better when I have a long list of things to accomplish and a firm deadline. Summertime gives me plenty of "time", but due to the lack of structure--I find that I procrastinate my work more frequently.
- I hate hot weather. I think I might love the end of the school year if it happened in October and I had 2 1/2 months of cool weather to enjoy. Instead we get the hottest days of the year which makes spending time outside no fun.
- Travel is more expensive. I love to travel and if you add in #4 on my list and the fact that EVERYONE else is traveling the prices of hotels, gas, flights, etc. are at their peak. I don't want to spend my summer standing in long lines at amusement parks, swimming pools, and museums.
For all my teacher friends, what do you think? Do you really love your summers? I have never taught at a year-round school, but I think I would enjoy shorter breaks over a year longer than one huge chunk of time.