Like most teachers, I am enjoying my summer ‘off’

by Jim Lang

I became a teacher to get my summers off…

said no teacher ever.

There’s a good reason teachers post the above phrase on their Facebook walls and threaten to smack anyone who suggests that we sit idly by while the rest of the world scurries to work in June and July.

Because the lie that teachers are “off” in the summer is just that — a lie.

I have spent the last two days in my classroom in an agonizing attempt to complete the course syllabus for my Advanced Placement Language and Composition course, a chore that looks to consume the rest of the week, as well as my sanity.

This follows a five-day AP training class at the University of Louisville last week, and will soon be followed by two weeks of teaching high school journalists at Indiana University’s High School Journalism Institute in Bloomington in July.

And after that? Oh yes, the new school year begins! Stop groaning kids…and teachers!

And, I am not alone.

I cannot name a single educator I know who hasn’t spent a significant amount of time in the past four weeks working in their classrooms, developing lessons or syllabi, attending professional development or classes, teaching summer school, or in some way thinking about or preparing for the upcoming school year.

We spend these hours willingly and (mostly) enthusiastically because we love to learn ourselves. And, because we know the time and effort we spend now will make a positive difference in our students’ lives this school year.

Summers “off?” Yeah, right.

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