It Happened Again: Why Teachers Having the Summer off is Not us Being “Entitled”

Sigh it happened again. I made a little wistful comment and suddenly… Bam! I’m a brat. But my question is, why do we as educators take flack for this CONSTANTLY.

What am I talking about?

Summer “Vacation.”

In my country, the USA we teachers at public schools work for 10 months of the year. We receive around 8 or 9 weeks “off,” in the eyes of the general public during the hottest months of the year. The kids go home and so do the teachers.

Let’s take away the summer jobs and workdays, and any professional development someone may have during the summer (Which is, by the way a separate check because check out the next truth bomb…) teachers are unemployed during the summer.

Yes, you read that right. Teachers are unemployed during the summer. We don’t get summer off we are unemployed.

It’s always been this way

Why? Well there aren’t any kids to teach so, we have to go home. It’s like any seasonal job. A friend of my husband’s works lawn care up north. In November, December, January, and February sometimes he is “laid off” from his job. It’s hard to do lawn care in the snow.

It’s hard to teach kids at their houses over the summer.

“But what about the paychecks?” Well check this, most teachers allow the government to hold a portion of each check they earn for each of the ten months that they are physically working. Those two months off we don’t get “paid,” we get the money we allotted to be set aside returned to us.

I’m not working for free, I earned this cash. Last year.

A lot of teachers have contracts for a certain number of years they are employed. If you work where I do, I sign a contract from August to June. That’s it. Effectively I am fired every year and if I get a contract before I leave that school year I have be rehired.

No joke.

I am contracted on a year by year basis. Thank God I do my job and I do it well.

Now. Why do kids need summer break? Why not make us work 12 months a year? Since everyone has such problems with our summers off?

How do your kids feel at the end of the school year? Tired? Drained? Worn out? Disheartened? Or maybe they are excited. Ready for the year to be done. Happy to move on.

Why can children feel this and adults cannot? Teachers may love their jobs but we can get worn out too. When we aren’t working it’s not us sitting by the pool everyday throwing our money around like ballers. We are taking time for self care, doctors appointments, spending time with our own children whom we like you have seen 4 hours a evening then they sleep, and a hour or two in the morning. I miss my son and like you, I have to work. I need to be with my family too.

But I think the worst part is when, we say things like, “ahhh summer is almost over… 😮” and people jump on us like we said we support slavery and abolishing the constitution… and while the USA may seem to be favoring deviant thoughts lately, trust me having feelings about summer doesn’t make us evil.

It makes us human. I know teachers aren’t allowed to be human but unfortunately the system is flawed and until we are all replaced with AIs well, I guess you’re stuck with us.

So we aren’t “lucky,” we weren’t “granted a paid vacation,” and unless you signed a contract you are NOT GUARANTEED a job every year at the end of the school year. We have unpaid summers. It’s apart of our job description, much like your job descriptions are specialized for what you do.

Please stop riding our butts about ours. Let us be human and say things like, “gosh the summer is almost over, *sigh*” and commiserate with us… after all, we will be teaching your kids soon and if summer made you batty well… think of 10 months 8 to 12 hours a day for us. (And yes we all love our children! Biological and otherwise! You can still love someone and need time away from them!)

Here Comes the Sun

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun…

How’s everyone doing tonight/ today? If you recall, I just got off Spring Break! I am just about to complete my first week back to school.

And I say its all right…

And it’s been pretty rough. This week. The children are completely off the rails. They are ready for the summer, they are done learning, they don’t care the concert is 3 weeks away. Give them testing and release them into the world! (Lol and sigh all at the same time!)

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter…

It has. I am so glad the sun is shining. I can feel the heat by the afternoon. Summer is coming. Which is welcome because we are further from the flood back in October, further through the year, further towards the future.

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here…

And with that, I have to say I had to have more tests run. They haven’t struck the diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease (a condition in which the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).) from my chart yet. They aren’t sure. Yes, it’s fatal. No that doesn’t mean I’m dying.
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun And I say it’s all right…

Fatal means if it’s untreated you die. Terminal means baby there’s not much we can do but fight and pray. It’s just the waiting. And peeing in jugs (really) and having blood drawn, reflexes checked over and over, eyes checked; needles, jugs, hoods, vials, paper sheets on tables, long car rides to specialists. I’d been putting it off. She gave me a year to get tested again cause everything seems all good.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces…

And it probably is. I’ve had one migraine this year. No headaches that make me cry, or pass out. No tumor activity. So it’s like I’m normal. That’s good.

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here…

But you see, just cause things seem okay doesn’t mean I get to stay away. Haven’t had an MRI in 2 years (finally paid off the 3rd one right around CDub’s birth) because I haven’t seemed to need one. But I always have to return. Be monitored. And wait for tests, and will I get pills or won’t I get pills? Do I need to get on birth control so I can have my period or not? Should I see this person or have that done?

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun And I say it’s all right…

But. No point in worrying. My test should be done. I finished it last Thursday. Usually, usually if it’s bad I hear from them right away. Like by this Friday. Then again, I got the test done at this hospital. Not the one my doctor works at (She was 4th in her class at Yale. You’d travel 3 hours to see her too. Plus she’s super nice). But then again, she’s a no news is good news kind of lady.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting…

So I guess, I’ll just sit. Pray. Eat food. Not think too hard and worry about the upcoming Band trip and keeping things clean. Hubs is gone 6 nights a week now.

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear…

And I haven’t had any trouble for two years. Yes I’m tired a lot, yes I forget things a lot (where I moved papers etc). Yes I am irritable and all that but you know… teaching in a public school in the USA when they are talking about cutting all teaching positions you could fill/are currently filling in a year would make anyone feel like that.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right….

Because it is alright. That’s the song I’ve had in my head since I decided to write about this waiting of mine. Must be a sign from God. Just have to relax, let go and wait because..

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun

It’s all right, it’s all right….