After becoming a teacher, I quickly came to the realization that teachers love summer just as much as the students (if not more so!). It’s not that we don’t love our jobs; it’s just that we invest so much of ourselves into our jobs that we need a break! And once that break comes along, we tend to transform into totally different versions of ourselves.
I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about, but for the readers who wish to play coy, allow me to break it down. Here are 10 signs it's summer and you're a teacher.
1. You’ve forgotten how to set your alarm clock. Sunlight wakes you up. Or your children. Either way, you enjoy some extra sleep in the morning. You can’t remember what day it is. Even better, it doesn’t matter what day it is.
2. You no longer resemble a bag lady, precariously attempting to juggle two tote bags, a purse and your coffee cup as you attempt to maneuver your way into the school, praying someone is in the vicinity to help you out with opening a door.
3. Day drinking is acceptable, and, if in the company of fellow educators, typically encouraged.
4. You plan out an amazing week of fun activities and adventures to enjoy with your friends...only to remember they have full-time, year-round jobs.
5. You see sunlight. Forget getting to school before the sun rises and leaving after it sets! You have traded in the fluorescent glow for natural Vitamin D.
6. After absorbing all that natural sunlight, you discover fresh air is exhausting. You may need a break after resting in your hammock all morning. You’ve considered investing in a motorized scooter to get your mail.
7. You enjoy daytime television. Heck, you’ve just had time to actually turn the television on and it isn’t tuned into Disney Jr. Even if you don’t enjoy daytime television, you watch it because you can.
8. You get solid, uninterrupted sleep at night. Maybe even the recommended eight hours. Or more! You haven’t been plagued by recurring nightmares of walking into a chaotic classroom of 30 energetic students five minutes past the start time with no lesson plans whatsoever.
9. You actually taste your lunch. You can go out to eat. You can eat at home and take an hour for lunch. Heck, take two hours. You’re not on the clock. No one cares. And you might even not get interrupted (depending on your kid situation). Eat way too much if you want. Then, consider #11.
10. Naps. Again, even if you’re not a napper, this is a luxury you at the very least consider. Because. YOU. CAN.
11. Speaking of actually tasting meals, you eat breakfast at the time you would normally have lunch. At our school, we run a few different schedules and, for one of those schedules, our sixth graders eat lunch at 10:30 am! On summer vacation, that's breakfast time. Not lunch time.
12. Yep, that’s right, I’m already over my top 10 list but hey, it’s summer! No more academic anything! You have adopted a new wardrobe of pants involving spandex and t-shirts with inappropriate-for-school but cute alcohol related sayings. As long as it would pass for pajamas, it’s fair game.
So, until August rolls around and those recurring nightmares start up again, enjoy the "free" time and use it to recharge. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve it.
Use your downtime this summer to start a graduate program that will make you an even better teacher when the next school year starts. Explore American College of Education's graduate-level programs in education to find the one for you.