There is an illusion that teachers get summers ‘off.’ First of all, is it me or are summers getting shorter? Maybe I’m still dealing with the hangover of being at a year-round school. I remember sitting in front of someone at a college soccer game who was clearly in training to be an elementary teacher. She said she was learning how to make bulletin boards and was looking forward to having summers off.

Me? I probably go too far. I can’t turn my teaching brain off. And there are a lot of great opportunities for teachers – the NEH has many, for example. But here’s the thing. I always feel like there’s something I can do, something I should do to prepare, to get better, to get ready. Even if it’s just taking some time to take care of myself so I can be reinvigorated for the new school year. School years are marathons; they take endurance.

Should I care about disabusing the general public (particularly those who object to any pay raises) that we don’t really get summers off (in the same way that we don’t really finish work at 3)? I know it bugs me (as do many of the public perceptions of teachers and teaching), but I’m not sure it’s a priority.

What do you like to do – personally, professionally – over the summer?

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