When the summer months hit, there are many who will shake their heads and complain about the easy living of teachers who have 8 weeks of vacation. This envy stems from the expectation that teachers are now sleeping in till noon, spending their afternoons by the lake or on the beach, or are sipping drinks with umbrellas until the early hours of the morning - just because they can!
While most teachers will joyfully spend their first couple of days off celebrating their newfound freedom, it usually does not continue as an 8-week long party. Teachers spend the majority of the year in a state of planning, preparation and organization. The onset to the summer break does not completely eradicate these habits and routines. Instead, teachers will often take on new projects or look ahead to the next academic year.
Here are the secrets to what teachers actually do during their summer breaks:
1. Summer School. For the first month of vacation, some educators will continue teaching in summer school classes to help students who need to make up a credit or who want to earn a credit early. This often cuts a teacher's summer in half.
2. Teach Abroad. While this may sound like a vacation, there are teachers who will embark on a 4-8 week international program to teach abroad in another country. So, while they may be relaxing on a beach, hiking through a forest or shopping on cobblestone streets during their weekends, these teachers are back in the classroom full-time from Monday to Friday.
3. Enroll in Courses. Many teachers will opt to hit the books and take in-class or online teaching courses. These courses or additional qualifications are taken to increase their knowledge, sharpen their skills and add new subject areas to their teaching licenses. Most courses are 4-8 weeks and require intensive readings, postings and assignments.
4. Improve Curriculum and Professional Development. There are some who spend their time revising curriculum expectations and improving their lessons or units of work for the upcoming academic year. Others will take courses (see above), research new teaching methodologies, test new technologies or attend webinars to ensure they are up-to-date and current in their classrooms.
5. Create Resources & Set up their Classrooms. In an effort to not scramble the week before school starts, many teachers will spent time building new resources, designing their classroom layout and creating the labels, displays and decorations that will add vibrancy and excitement to their classrooms in September.
6. Pursue Other Interests. Let's also not forget that teachers do have a life outside of the classroom. Their summer vacations may be spent pursuing other hobbies or goals that cannot be accomplished during the academic year. Some may take up a second job to earn extra income, particularly occasional or daily supply teachers. And there are others who will leave their classrooms only to look after their kids full-time.
So, like most people, teachers want to keep busy. While they will actually vacation for part of the summer break, they usually do not 'vacation' for all of it.
Teachers still spend time in teaching even during their vacations!! It is something great!!
Thank you for this insightful post. I really enjoyed reading.