Summer, As Told By A Teacher's Kid
Start writing a post

Summer, As Told By A Teacher's Kid

Teachers may have Summer Break, but it’s not a total vacation.

Summer, As Told By A Teacher's Kid
Kinder Craze

As the school year is coming to an end, we’re all excited to be able to finally have some free time. No more homework, no more finals, no more group projects that make you want to rip your hair out. Students of all ages are ready to have fun and enjoy the sunshine during their day now that they’re not trapped in class like usual. And of course, growing up my friends and I always knew that teachers got a summer vacation, too. They get to spend the next three months relaxing and taking a break, just like us. But those assumptions were made before I was fully aware of what my mother, a teacher, actually did over Summer Break.

Now that I’m older and have experienced firsthand what summers entail for teachers, I can safely say that their ‘vacation’ isn’t quite that.

I will admit that the first week of summer is often spent in the typical fashion. There’s a lot of sleeping in, lazy mornings followed by lazy afternoons, and a general sense of relaxation because they can finally sit down for more than two minutes at a time. But after that first week, there’s a lot of time spent focusing on the next school year. And more often than not, teacher’s kids are recruited to help with that work.

If your parent is an elementary school teacher, a lot of your time gets taken up with traveling to every thrift shop and dollar store within a five-mile radius in search of things to be used for next year’s lesson plans. Whether that’s composition notebooks, old board games that can be repurposed into learning games, even more books, or various other random things the bargain hunting is real. You learn very quickly that a store on one side of town has better bulletin board boarders than the one on the other side of town, and that price matching is really important. Office supply stores often have great deals that you can take to your local supermarkets for price matching, if you didn’t know.

We don’t even talk about Walmart’s school supply sale. It’s like The Hunger Games for teachers.

As a teacher’s kid, you’re also the biggest source of labor for cleaning and reorganizing the classroom; you’re always there, and they don’t have pay you because giving you the gift of life is payment enough. Most of the time there are at least two weeks dedicated to sorting through papers and activities, wiping everything down with Lysol wipes, dusting and vacuuming, and rearranging the desks and other furniture a million times until it’s ‘just right.’ To make everything even more fun, schools usually shut down the air conditioning and the electricity for most of the summer, so you get to do everything in the summer heat and in darkness. If your parent has a classroom with windows, then consider yourself extremely lucky. This free labor really comes in handy if your parent has to move out of their room and into another, or is switching schools. When you look into a classroom, you never expect it to have as much stuff inside it as it actually does; I mean, how much can fit in such a small room? The answer is a lot of stuff. Enough stuff to make you never want to see another glue stick again.

And of course, if they’re not working on their classrooms or their lesson plans, they’ve got grade-level meetings, in-service days, training days, and more. These things usually take up the entire day, because it’s summer and they don’t have a class to teach so everyone knows they’re free all day.

In truth, of the three months of vacation that teachers get, they really only have a month of it to themselves and their families.

It’s really hard when you want to see your parent and do things with them during the day, but you can’t because they still have to be at school. It’s even harder because they don’t have to be at school, or rather, it’s not mandatory. But in order to be prepared, they have to start as early as possible. Being a teacher’s kid means that you either spend your summer with your parent in their classroom, or you don’t spend your summer with them. To be honest, it took a few years to adjust to that idea. I was always under the assumption that they didn’t have any work to do after school let out, and unfortunately the majority of the population is under the same assumption. So often I hear or see people making comments about how teachers should get paid less because ‘vacation time is built into their schedules.’ Or people are bitter because the profession as a whole runs on the fact that there are three months for Summer Break as opposed to the one-month Winter Break or week-long Spring Break. Many complain that it’s unfair because corporate jobs don’t get extended vacation. But what they don’t see is that it’s not really a vacation. As I’ve said previously and will continue to say until I’m blue in the face, teachers don’t stop teaching even if they’ve left the classroom. Or, in this case, their job doesn’t end when their students leave.

And even though it’s frustrating, I still wouldn’t want it any other way. Spending your whole summer in school doesn’t sound ideal, but it really grows on you. After the first week, you get excited to go to your parent’s classroom because you’ve grown attached to the space. You get to meet their coworkers who already know your name, explore the school, and walk around with their name badge on like you’re the one that works there. You get to make bulletin boards and organize the books in their classroom library. Most importantly, you get to spend time with your parent doing what they love to do. It’s really special to share that with them.

So, as much as we like to believe that teachers have it easy, it’s not all it’s made out to be. Teaching is a year-long occupation that doesn’t stop when there aren’t any kids to teach. And yet, those who teach wouldn’t want it any other way.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments