T.G.I.S. for TeachersMay 31, 2019
Thank God It’s Summer. Well, Summer’s almost here—and to us that means dancing in the streets. But in between the boogie and the woogie, here are some revitalizing tips for teachers.
- Don’t Do Homework. At least, as Mark Twain said, try to put off till the next day what you could do today. You’ve worked hard. You deserve a rest. If you teach history, sit on a beach and read a Stephen King thriller. If you teach science, sit on a beach and listen to a Parliament Funkadelic. If you teach English, sit on a beach and stare at the waves. If you teach math, well, there’s nothing I can do for you. But you see the pattern. Devote time to do absolutely what you want to do. You’ll get to those lesson plans and all that teachery stuff in August. July belong to you.
- Travel. The two greatest words in the English language are “Summers off.” Take advantage of it. You don’t have to wander the bazaar in downtown Istanbul or snorkel through the Unfortunately Getting Less Great Everyday Barrier Reef. Any change of scenery will do. You’ve spent much of your youth inside a classroom. Get out, get lost, get going. The world is a wild place, check it out. Go to a park. Walk down streets you never went on before. If you feel brave, go to a mall. You might even see young people in their natural habitats. Feel free to observe, but don’t feed them.
- Don’t Talk About Your Summer. The non-teaching population does not want to hear about your endless summer at the beach or hiking the Appalachian Trail or binge-watching all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. No one else understands not just the physical toll of being in the trenches with middle schoolers, or the mental exhaustion of trying to answer every question from pre-pubescents who live to stump you, but the emotional drain teaching requires. You can almost see a fountain of emotional energy pour out of you and into the sponges with braces called your students. All the rest of the world sees is Ten Weeks Off. And make no mistake about it, they hate you for it. So, when asked, just say you spent the summer in professional development. It’s not even a lie.