For teachers, summer vacation is a chance to relax, but it is also a chance to reflect upon the previous year, prepare for the year to come, and enrich teaching skills.
Last day of School
Everything starts on the last day of classes, which is very special. We spend it with our students, sharing memories of the year and plans for the summer break. Children have all their books, binders, and pictures ready to take home. We are all excited and looking forward to the time off.
In my school, we get all together, students, teachers, and administrators, in the hallway, near the front door, and when the last bell of the year is about to ring, we join in to share the final countdown. Children leave cheerfully with their families, and we stay, full of mixed feelings. Our students will not be ours anymore. That’s heartbreaking. On the other hand, we are exhausted, we need and deserve a break, and it has just started!
Relax and Recharge
It’s not that we’re going to spend the next three months on the beach sipping piña colada under a palapa, but we’re going to have some time off to recharge and do the things we can’t do during the school year, such as making every doctor’s and dentist’s appointment, car maintenance, and even what is “spring cleaning” for most people. We also visit family and friends out of town and spend quality time with our loved ones.
Teachers also relax, have fun, and take time off to recharge. We need to be ready to handle all the following year’s stress.
Work Never Stops
We may have three months off, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be updating or creating new lesson plans or finding better projects for the next year. Also, much of our professional development takes place during the summer, when most of us have free time. Some teachers use their vacation period to enroll in an advanced course, while others choose to teach summer school—or do any other kind of work—to earn a few extra dollars. Some others volunteer to spend time overseas doing what they love—working with kids. Like many others, I love my job—it’s the best profession in the world! So I’m excited when a new school year starts, but I miss all of the things that I can do only in the summer.