I love my job. It is very rewarding and challenging and I work in a wonderful community that supports our school. One of the most interesting aspects of teaching involves society's perceptions about teachers. Everyone attends school, so everyone has some exposure to the classroom and teaching. Each individual's experience determines their perception. Therefore when I meet someone or talk to people about teaching a wide range of responses are possible: admiration, callousness, their own stories about high school. And summertime sometimes breeds envy. The perception that teachers are off during the summer is ingrained in our culture. The students are off, so the teachers are too, and to some extent we are "off". We aren't tied to the classroom and interacting with students daily as we are during the school year. Our schedule during June, July, and August is very different than during the school year. However, continuing education, cleaning up files from the past school year, developing or tweaking units for the next school year, and developing a new curriculum for a new class, are all part of summers "off". Technology alone is such a powerful evolving tool, that incorporating it into various aspects of my curriculum is a big priority too. I dread to think what my pay looks like if I broke it down into dollars/hour. But the thing about the summer work, is it is exciting. It is fun to incorporate something new to share with students. Yes, it would be nice to walk away the last contract day and be done until the first contract work day in August, but that is not realistic for me. I want to be better next year, and my "to do" list for the summer will hopefully improve my curriculum for next year.
So, my summer is enviable for a couple of reasons. I do have some flexibility with my schedule, I can wear shorts to work, and come to school at 8:00 or 1:00 or with technology work from home! But, best of all, I am working on something I love. In my estimation, that is worth envying.