Summer: the Ultimate Educational Argument

From September to May, Facebook feeds are littered with discussions and arguments between teachers and non-teachers on countless topics like:

  • Common Core
  • Accountability
  • Differentiation
  • Grit
  • Homework
  • Teaching to the Test

But one topic— more than any other— inspires angry emojis, melts keyboards, and conjures unfriendings…

Summer. More to the point: summers off. “Teachers are overpaid! They get the whole summer off.”

I used to spar these dragons with my pool-noodle sword:

“We take a lot of continuing education classes” and “It’s actually only, like, two-and-a-half months” or “I’ve hiked Route 66 in search of the perfect lesson plan.”

But just like I knew what I was getting into when I became a teacher, others knew what they weren’t getting into. Every other job goes year round. And most pay better than education. Much better.

Of course, I think teachers should make more money, but that’s a topic for a different day. For now, I’ll have to make due with 89 consecutive days off…oh and, of course, coffers-full of payment in angel tears and children’s smiles (also fodder for another discussion, this notion of payment in heavenly reward and how it has affected teacher salaries).

Teachers, the point is this: Enjoy your summer. If you want to take classes or read books in your discipline, go ahead. If you need to take on a side hustle to make ends meet, do that too.

But if you want to lie on the couch or on a raft in your pool or on a giant lily pad in a pond in eastern West Africa, do it! And don’t feel a second of guilt about it.

We all made our career choices. This is what ours gets us.

(DId you miss what Teach Like a Teacher and Mr Middlesworth are all about? Click here to find out )

I’m just a regular old teacher. No cape, no eye patch. I have no synonyms for innovation but I do want to do my job as best as I can.