Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 14 2010

If you work, don’t read this

I spend most of my summer days making intensely stressful decisions. Should I take a nap or stay awake? Should I go to the pool or the gym? Should I go to a restaurant or cook? Where should we go out tonight? It’s sort of sick how nice my life is. Sorry to rub it in.

It’s easy to find teachers who complain about how much work we do, but they’re just trying to justify it. Don’t let them.

Sure, there is work to be done over summer break. I’m in a coffee shop now working on my curriculum for next year, but no one’s making me do that. I’m doing it because I feel like it and I know how much easier it’ll make my life next year. If I didn’t do it, I’d survive the year planning as I go, just like I did last year. But I’d rather never live like that again.

There are lots of teachers taking grad school classes over summer break, but that also just makes life easier later. If they don’t do that, they end up like me: forced to take all my classes while working full time. It is miserable but absolutely survivable.

There are teachers who go to trainings over summer. Again, voluntary and just makes their lives better. They become better teachers and get paid extra for going.

There are teachers who get second jobs over the summer. I happen to be one of them, but my waitressing job is ridiculously fun and a great way to meet people. Again, voluntary. Again, no complaints.
There’s really no way around the fact that I’m getting paid to do nothing all day, every day, for two straight months. Is this real life?

4 Responses

  1. I definitely have my moments of doing nothing — however, nobody pays me for it, unfortunately :)

  2. *Are* you getting paid? I sure as heck am not nor do any teachers in North Carolina. I’m on the “12 month” pay system, but all that means is that they spread the money I am paid for 10 months of teaching over 12 paychecks, not 10.

    Clearly I need to move to Arizona. ;)

  3. mathinaz

    Mrs. B – it’s the same thing here. I also opted to take my pay over the 12 months instead of the 10, which means I got a lump payment on the last day of school to last me through the summer. But it means I stay at the same income level I’ve been at all year, and I set up my savings account to automatically transfer money to my checking account on Fridays… so I’m basically getting “paid” even if it’s not technically additional salary.

  4. So does this mean I will see you on Friday?

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