Summer is an anxious topic in my own mind. As an educator I go through so many emotions in the summer. First, it’s the disbelief that the school year is over! A little depression always follows, I miss the kids, I miss the staff and I miss the daily routine of getting up and having a purpose for working during my day.
Then, I have the guilt. The guilt of having this precious time off and feeling like I need to defend it to others. When I tell new people I meet that I am a teacher, the comments start rolling “Oh, how nice! You get the whole summer off?” and “Are you done working?” or “It must be nice to have all that time off!”. Most of the comments are coming from kind, well meaning people. Others are jealous, others seem a bit judgy that I’m being “paid” for this time. (Hello?! Can we finally dispel this myth that teachers are paid for their summers?)
But overall I feel a sense of calm. Yes, there are some work days that will follow but it’s a time for me to recharge and get my head around some of the things that were bothering me during the last school year. I spend my time solving problems, thinking of creative ways to help kids learn more and just reflect. During the school year, I feel that there is SO little time for thoughtful reflection. It’s a constant rush and buzz and lots of stress with the things teachers are expected to fit in. In the summer my mind is finally quiet, and I can truly think.
So teachers, cheers to you. I know you’re not done working! I know that you are already thinking about the next school year, the next project, the next everything. And if you could also take a true break from that and check out mentally for a while, I won’t judge you.