I spent the first ten or so years of my teaching career trying to convince “those that DO NOT teach” that teachers work their tails off in the summer months to make ends meet-that we are SIMPLY not on vacation.
I put in ten solid years of teaching summer school, coaching varsity athletics, working at Pottery Barn, tutoring, and putting my time and extensive energy into the restaurant industry to SURVIVE. In fact right out of college, my first salary as a 5th grade teacher in a Catholic school was $16,900. While that was 1998, I gave teaching my all and still had to bartend to pay rent, my car payment, and all that comes with not being in college any longer.
Fast forward to TODAY…one of the best things about being a teacher with a family is that from Memorial Day until around the first week in August the majority of my summer days can be spent enjoying my kiddos and pretty terrific husband. Currently we are fortunate enough for him to have his own internet marketing business and he works from home. Fifteen years into teaching, I have the opportunity to attend summer workshops and professional development, develop units for my students, participate in novel studies, and blog on my own schedule during these rejuvenating summer months, which I find to be pretty AMAZING! However, never does my mind go into “VACATION” mode.
Like the majority of teachers my “teacher mind” is NEVER TURNED OFF! I am ALWAYS thinking about: a book, activity, item needing to be purchased for my incoming students, an update to my classroom, a song for the end of year video, a template I want to use in place of another I didn’t find quite as helpful, how I can improve upon something that I believe needs a little something else, etc.
I know those of you reading this can relate 100%. So while I no longer feel the need to justify what I do during what I like to call my “Summer REJUVENATION”-here is a look into a day in my life…
6:00-6:30AM: wake-up, make a cup of coffee, check/respond to e-mail, and check blog stats, read a few favorite blogs, and maybe take a peek at Pinterest
6:30-7:30AM: Run…I love running! It is a favorite stress reliever and there is nothing better than pounding the pavement first thing. I also love a butt-kicking cross-training class with my friends Maria and Rachel. Often Maria and I catch up for a few minutes about teaching..
7:30-8:30AM: my kiddos wake-up, breakfast, get dressed, figure out the day ahead if there is no football camp, basketball camp, or swimming lesson
8:30-9:30AM: morning playtime, we may read some books, build Lego creations, dress-up, draw some pictures, or JUST PLAY
9:30-12:00: maybe we play outside, go to a park, go to King’s Island or Soak City, visit the Cincinnati Zoo or the Newport Aquarium, the pool, an indoor play place, etc. Snack falls into that timeframe somewhere, too and I NEED a coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts-venti/x-large and cream!
12:00-1:00PM: lunch time-outside is the best!
1:00-2:00PM: more playtime-grocery store, pet shop, explosions of yelling, chasing, running, whining (not my favorite)
2:00-4:00PM: naptime for my daughter, but not before book time and a few minutes of Food Network-Giada is her favorite…for my son, it is time to do some work. He journals in his Daily Journal about an event of the day, we read his STAR words, go through sight word flash cards, (100 of them), we read 5 books and outside we go so he can play with his friend
4:00-5:00PM: “THE WITCHING HOUR”-I like to call this complaining time. Kids are hungry…
5:00-6:00PM certainly not an hour is spent at the dinner table, but that is the time frame when we cook and eat. Our favorite is eating outside.
6:00-6:30PM: walk to the library for new books
6:30-9:00PM: play outside with our neighbors, sand or water table, run through the sprinkler, football, basketball, wiffleball, chase, swing, eat ice cream cones, etc
9:00-10:00PM: bathtime, booktime, snack, a show, more books, 5-minutes of Food Network (Chopped or Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) bed for kiddos
10:00-11:00PM: check and respond to e-mail, check blogs, blurt out any new ideas, read a teacher resource or teaching-related text, jot down some thoughts, and head to bed
Perhaps this is vacation to some, but I find I am a little exhausted at documenting it all. Most importantly, I don’t feel compelled to defend what I do as an educator during my “Summer Rejuvenation” because I know it helps me be my best from mid-August until the next Memorial Day!
…until then, I’ll be eating some popsicles with these handsome guys and running through the sprinkler with these silly chicks…