Being in the classroom, working with the students, helping them expand their thinking, trying to help them find their passion. All of these things are what teachers do, but as far as being an educator, there are so many more hats that we have to wear.
I have heard many times how lucky I am as a teacher to have summers off. Oh if that were only true. Instead, for example, I was able to have a short vacation to Glacier National Park, but once I got back it was attending multiple conferences and attending committee meetings over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. I was also back in my classroom getting my room ready for the groups of students I would be having walk through that door in weeks that would fly by with all of the planning I was doing. So in a sense, yes I do have summers off in the sense that I do not have scheduled hours that I need to be working, but I spent that time still working…just mostly from my home.
So while, yes, technically teachers have summers off and we are “done” with our work days around 3pm…we have so much more that people don’t realize goes along with our profession. Not only are we teachers, but we are also mentors, committee members, coaches, sponsors, someone our students confide in, collaborators, and anything else you can think of. All of these things we do in addition to the mandates that keep coming down the line to us.
There’s a reason that so many teachers and those involved in education drink so much coffee…we’re all trying to keep up with our many roles that we take on. So if you ever see any of us seeming a little lost that day, we’re probably just trying to find the hat we’re supposed to be wearing at that moment. And to all of my fellow teachers…Here’s to our hats! Wear them proudly and happy teaching!