Summer Break for Teachers: The Reality

Teacher Tuesday


Beginning in late August every day is pretty much the same.  I get up early, really early, a time of day normally only seen by emergency workers and 3rd shift people getting off of work.

I get up and start preparing for my day.  I have had classes as small as two children and as large as twenty-eight (though that was student teaching).  Here’s the thing, the same amount of prep as it takes to get ready for a class of twenty-eight is the exact same amount of prep one puts into teaching just two (you only make less copies at the copy machine).

I get myself ready, then i get my children up and ready.  Most of the time my husband takes our son to his mother’s (sometimes i need to because he is at work), and I get my daughter off to school (this year she starts kindergarten).  I then get myself to work, hopefully with an hour before school starts.   At the private school I work at kids could be waiting for you when you arrive even if you are an hour early.

The year goes by and before you know it it’s Summer Vacation!!!  Woohoo!!!


It must be nice being a teacher, you get holidays and summers off.

I have heard this so many times and it is times when I hear this that I wish it was socially acceptable to laugh in someones face (or just back hand them).

Sure, I have three months each year where I do not need to drag my butt out of bed at 5:30 am (unless my kids decide otherwise)  I have three months where I do not need to wear dress shoes or dress professionally (yeah I kind of live in a-frame tanks and yoga pants all summer long – and go barefoot as much as possible).  I have three months to hang out with my children and make up for the school year where I was either at work at school or working on lesson plans at home.

For a teacher, summer break is not a vacation — well not a full three month vacation.

If you are in the public schools you have training meetings, staff meetings, curriculum development meetings, professional development classes.

In all schools (public or private) teachers are thinking about last year.  What worked, what didn’t, what activities you should NEVER attempt again, which ones you can refine, how you should refine them to make them more effective? What would you like to add?

Oh and if you find yourself teaching a new grade level the next year you can scrap all your hard work from the year before because now you get to develop completely new lesson plans.  This also holds true when after three or four years with excellent lesson plans that flow and work the school district decided to try a new curriculum that completely changes scope and sequence of your school year.  You can pull from past lesson plans but once again they’re scrapped and you’re back at square one.

I love teaching, this is by no means a complaint.  But for my non-teacher friends – I want to show you the reality of a teacher’s summer break, or any break at that.

Our day doesn’t always end when we leave school. Many nights I will come home, make dinner, spend some time with my kids (bath time is often our best one on one time), get the kids to bed and them  I am up till 1 am preparing for the next day.

And holiday breaks allow me to catch up on classroom projects (Lamination fun!!!)

For my Teacher friends:  Here are the links to my teaching pinterest boards for your school year inspiration (Parents: some of these are excellent at-home activities).

Click the picture under the subject and it will take you directly to my pinterest board for that subject




Phonics/Reading/Language Arts







Social Studies



Character Education



Classroom Management

Would you please share your favorite educational pins with me?  

Please leave them in the comment box (with links)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. One Creative Mommy
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 20:47:02

    This post made me laugh! I used to be a teacher, and you are exactly right! The schedule may change during the summer, but there is still plenty of work to do! That’s like saying moms never have to work!


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