Summers off ???

imagesWe are a week away from the fourth of July and summer is in full swing. Gardens are growing – I even have small tomatoes on my plants amazing for Minnesota. School is out and teachers are taking their three months off! Right? At least that is what I hear and read every summer.

It is not what I heard last night at a birthday party for an old teaching friend. It is not what I know from 40 years of teaching. The group I was with last night spanned the ages of 29 to 74, all were connected to teaching in some way.

These teachers that I know are not sitting at the beach sipping a cool drink. Yes, they are working on gardens, taking kids to swim lessons, soccer, taking care of grandkids but in the nine weeks that these teachers have “off” this is what is really going on plus their family commitments.

Gleamed from conversations on the deck:

  •  professional development for talent development (think gifted and talents students)
  • science workshops connecting to reading and writing
  • people getting up at 5:00 am to be ready to teach professional development classes
  • several were writing curriculum for the district or their school
  • a few were sharing what current professional books they were reading because they had not had time to finish reading them during the school year
  • one was traveling to New York for a teachers conference
  • several were teaching summer school either for the district or a summer program in science for elementary students at a local University
  • a librarian was traveling with her family but stopping at every library and books store she could to gather ideas and book titles to share with her students next fall.
  • several were also using this time to level their classroom library and read children’s books to be up to date on new books to offer their students in the fall

No one was just hanging out and that included the 74 year old who was mentoring a few students during the summer. The conversations had moved from the discussion of last year to plans for the fall and what they were now learning.

June is coming to an end and teachers are still working. They are preparing for their new students in late August.

Teachers work year round. They just don’t have students for a few weeks each summer. (Unless you are teaching a summer program.) The pace changes, you may see them getting groceries in the middle of the day instead of at 10:00 pm but know they are working, planning and learning all the time. Happy Working Summer!


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Summers off ???

  1. jarhartz says:

    It is amazing. Teachers who just keep learning. Love it.

  2. arjeha says:

    And people still say things like, “You are lucky. You get a three month vacation.” I am still wondering how they figure this when ended school the second week of June and we were back the last week of August. I guess they didn’t do too well in math class.

  3. Jaana says:

    These are the things that make us teachers! When there are no students, we teach ourselves!

  4. Lori says:

    I love the opportunity to learn more about my craft in the summer. The school year is so busy.

  5. Tara says:

    I was just told today I should be using this vacation time to do fun things! And the things they guy listed- yeah, I’d have to be getting paid for like 8 teaching positions at once to even think about being able to afford any of it! 🙂

    I told him once my paycheck goes way up, I’ll look into those things.

    And you know, I think the week of PD I did right after the last week of school really did me in; I’ve been sleeping and lounging and napping these past few days!

    The thing about teaching is that you can never stop learning.

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