Now That School’s Out… (Part I)

If you are an educator, fill in the blank. Did your excitement (or sense of relief) build during the last few weeks, months, or during the fall? Are you planning on getting some much needed rest? How about taking classes? Are you involved in a graduate or certificate program, and you’re taking classes this summer? Have you planned an out-of-town trip to visit family or friends? How about a trip to just get away?

I am convinced the general public (and especially politicians) don’t have even a partial understanding of what teachers/educators engage in throughout an academic year to bring quality education from children to adults throughout these United States. People often say, “You’re lucky. You get the whole summer off.” Let me tell what that really means.

You’ve given the same instructions incessantly…for 10 consecutive months. “Take the gum out. Stop talking. Put your name on the paper when you first receive it.” Get it? There are teachers across this country who are looking forward to only saying something one time, and being heard. Trust me, having to repeat ourselves daily is an all-too familiar reality. Some of us will end the day over the summer, and NOT be hoarse.

There are some of us who will start a task today, and will make significant progress toward completing it…today. I know that seems a little odd, but when you have a couple of hundred papers to grade every other week (because of course, you have to document student progress), it’s a never-ending job. Never-ending, that is, until the summer.

Since society in general thinks most of us fell off the turnip truck only yesterday, some of us will be involved in structured learning of some kind. Master degree programs, doctoral programs, additional certification programs, and other forms of brain stretching activities. Most of these programs will broaden educators’ knowledge base, and thus enable greater student learning. How many non-teachers can boast that?

As soon as I can wrap-up some family business, I too look forward to a summer break; some time to reflect, purge junk, and decide how I want my world to be. Let’s see, do I really need all those papers I brought home from school for next year? Really?

Kimberly F. Carlos, Ed.D.

5 thoughts on “Now That School’s Out… (Part I)

  1. I am very impressed by your blog. I now have a better understanding of what educators have to endure during those 10 months of school. I have nothing but respect for you.

    • Thank you so much, Janice. Many of us have jobs that challenge us from time to time, and it is no different in the classroom. In my estimation, it is compounded, because there are so many different personalities an educator has to work with.

  2. I really enjoyed your blog. I never realized how much educators had to endure during those 10 months. I have nothing but respect for you as a educator.

  3. Kim don’t forget how the many educational theories and policies that change every week because someone thought this will help children. Or the demands from the many stakeholders who all expect miracles but don’t provide the necessary funding. We cannot discount oversized classrooms and battle weary children whose lives are in jeopardy because of where they live and immature choices they make. Thank you for this blog, other teachers need to know so they can share their perspective as well.

  4. I taught high school for 5 years before making a change. That comment about getting a whole summer off used to irritate me too because I knew that if I had to do all I was doing for an entire year, I would be burnt out. People do not realize that the job does not end at 3.00pm. Besides supervising extra-curricular activities, correcting papers and planning lessons can take one well into the wee hours of the morning.
    I should also add that I appreciate your stopping by and following my blog. I wish you a peaceful summer.

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