Here it is, May 28th, and it is 90 freakin’ degrees out there! I am much better at coping with seasonally cold weather than this seriously hot and humid stuff. Summer does not officially begin, calendar-wise, until June 20. Holy Toledo!
I was so surprised last Friday to hear some teaching friends sharing the number of days left in the school year. Six days for one; eight days for another. I had completely lost track of that accounting. I am no longer teaching so it was easy to lose track. I did get the same Christmas vacation this year as public school personnel, and even the same spring break. But, we work Veteran’s Day and Presidents’ Day, and my days and weeks no longer fit a classroom schedule. I am not complaining–just making an observation.
For the first time in four decades I won’t have the summer off. I do have vacation days left because I have only used 3-4 days since I started this job on September 1, 2011.
But, I never really did have my summers off. I went to summer school at UD for years for the mere cost of registration. What a wonderful benefit that was to teachers! As a 3rd grade teacher (1972-1989), I worked to improve my reading and math instruction, to update my approaches to social studies and science, to integrate classroom activities with art and music teachers in my school. I worked on putting together coursework that would have fulfilled the requirement to attain certification as a teacher of talented and gifted until the day (one week before school opened) I decided to go back to teaching 3rd grade in a classroom rather than be forced to do a TAG program out in the hall–I kid you not!!!
As a new 6th grade science teacher (starting in 1989), I took course after course to make sure that my science classes were challenging, engaging, and on target. Beyond that, my colleagues and I spent half of the summer at school—they couldn’t keep us away. My two boys grew up playing at school with a brood of other teachers’ kids while their mothers and other colleagues and I reflected on the past year and prepared for the next.
Heck, I can’t even leave the state in June this year! My presence has been requested at a number of important events, not the least of which is what happens in the General Assembly in the next few weeks. Oh, well. To everything there is a season.