It’s a teacher thing — those summer months. Anyone else just doesn’t get it. See, if you’re not a teacher, you are quick to assume that teachers use these blissfully beautiful summer days to lay around, soak up the sun, and do absolutely nothing. And okay, on some days, that assumption might be right because, honestly, there are some beautiful days we just can’t pass up. But the reality is that those summer months do not signify a two-to-three month excursion of doing nothing work related.
Summertime is when teachers meticulously go over everything they did the previous school year. We are like football coaches reviewing videotapes in the locker room after a big game. Like coaches wondering why their mastermind play didn’t work or how on earth their Hail Mary actually did, we are reviewing everything from our curriculum to the posters on our walls. See, like a coach, our “draft” changes every season. A well-practiced play, or lesson, that works for one team won’t necessarily work the same way for another.
Summertime, for a teacher, is filled with hours of collaboration, research, and dedication. We are searching for ways to refine our craft, raise the bar, and keep ourselves a step ahead. We spend some of those blissfully beautiful summer days tearing apart and rebuilding our classrooms, spending hours debating if that poster or that desk should really be in that location.
We are spending our money on our job. Wait, that’s an important one, so let me repeat. We are spending our money on our job. We are buying materials, decorations, books, and essentials for the school year. If you are not a teacher, I want you to think about the last time you dropped a couple hundred bucks on perfecting your work place for your clients’ benefit…without reimbursement. Teachers do this. Teachers do this nearly every summer.
I’m assuming that most people would not heckle an athlete in the off-season, an astronaut when they are on the ground, or a soldier at a boot camp. Why? Because they are perfecting their craft. That is what summer months are for teachers, a time to perfect their craft.