"Three Months Off"
One of my greatest pet peeves as a teacher is when I encounter non-teaching civilians in the streets who upon introduction say, “Oh, you’re a teacher, you get summers off; that must be nice!” Anyone who is a teacher or is related to one knows that nothing could be further from the truth. We teachers earn our summers off. And even during those "three months off," we're still constantly working.
During the summer months I run myself ragged trying to prepare for a new school year. I attend many workshops and in-services, I spend time on the internet researching new ideas to try in my classroom, I read books on, about, and by teachers, and in my "spare" time, I organize, arrange, restock, and prepare my classroom for the upcoming school year.
I typically have so many things I want to accomplish over the summer that I create a special summer calendar. Prioritizing tasks and setting realitsic deadlines enables me to budget my time wisely and avoid getting needlessly overwhelmed. Some items on my summer calendar are big projects that I will work on continuously throughout the summer, like making new take-home packs. Others are short and easy, for example buying new birthday crowns at the teacher store.
One thing I have learned to do is to carve out time for myself in my summer calendar. If I don’t schedule time for me, I feel robbed of a vacation and don't have the energy needed to kick off a new and successful school year. Besides, it’s fun to explore new things I don’t have time for during the school year! This year I'll be writing lessons for a local preschool summer camp, visiting family in Michigan, giving workshops to teachers, reading for pleasure (I can’t wait for Janet Evanovich’s new book!), and working on my website.
So, word to the wise for all you
non-teachers civilians out there: never imply that teachers have three months off in the summer!