It is the first week of summer break for most Michigan teachers. While on twitter a well meaning teacher friend posted the message above, signaling to all teaching friends to enjoy the well deserved summer break. Teachers have to be careful of sharing this type of message on social media. It gives the misperception that teachers don’t work the same amount of time that “other” employed adults work.
Teachers need breaks to rejuvenate and grow professionally. The same educator who posted this message spent yesterday in Lansing lobbying for adequate funding for schools, which could not be done during normal school hours. (#RedforEd Rally) The really message educators need to share is that it is summer and NOW teachers can finally act like all other employed adults. We can go to the doctor or dentists without taking the day off. We can get to the markets before all the fresh produce is picked over, during the day. We can go out to eat and do so taking our time, instead of normal rushed thirty minute lunch while multi-tasking.
The thing is teacher spend most of their day working. Not just the 8-3 time that students are in the classrooms. Teachers have to plan the lessons, grade papers, attend meeting and stay current.
Constantly looking to improve teachers work hard like all other professionals. In fact best estimates are that teachers work 2,200 hours per year . So to put that in perspective if an employee works 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year it comes to 2,000 hours per year. Nobody calls Doctors, Dentists or Lawyers part timers but most of them have office hours less than 40 hours per week. Actors and professional athletes spend far less time on their stage than educators again they aren’t part of the narrative of being part time or working less than a year. So why does society hang this narrative on educators?
It might be because we impact those around us. Parents are impacted when schools are out for breaks, now they have to figure out their children’s schedule and who will watch them during their working hours. This impact and teachers public “joy” of a break (which is valid and needed), gives rise to the “part-time” teacher position.
It is time for society to recognize that teachers put in MORE than enough time for their pay! As an educator I am going to share ALL the work I do during my summer “off” to give evidence that my district is getting every penny worth of my salary!
I previously wrote: 7 hour workday and summers off.. 4 years ago with similar sentiments.
2 thoughts on “Summer Perception of Educators”
I’m a teacher and get where you are going, but I wanted to mention that actors and athletes (both of which I believe are grossly overpaid) are putting in year round hours rehearsing/practicing, networking, etc. Again, their paychecks more than compensate for that time, just want to be careful about how we compare ourselves. A colleague of mine likes to call us seasonal employees, which, I think is an accurate description. We are paid to work 10 months, and we put in more than 12 months of energy and time into that time frame. I don’t feel obligated to justify how I spend my 2 months of unpaid time off. Maybe we could spend more time educating the general public on that fact instead of making them feel less anxiety about what they will do with their kids and their summer schedule.
Gretchen you hit my point on the grossly overpaid actors and athletes! They do work endlessly to do their craft just like teachers … but we are seen as seasonal or part time … my entire point we work hard all the time and need the summer break. Why doesn’t the public view us in similar light as the actors and athletes?