The end of the school year is here and summer is ready to begin. Summer is the time that both teachers and kids take a deep breath and replenish themselves. I’m guessing that a lot of you have at least one friend who is a teacher that you are slightly jealous of, as she gets to relax all summer long. While you are still working, you imagine that she is at the pool with her kids or going for bicycle rides to the park. While those things will most likely happen at some point over the summer, your teacher friend has just experienced the most stressful few weeks of the school year!
The Final Countdown
While you were going about your normal daily routine at work, she was planning and going on a field trip with 75 students (plus 40 adults, if you’re in my class), giving her students multiple end-of-the-year assessments (which with my kindergarteners has to be done one-on-one, so they are extremely time consuming), and taking her class to every single school-wide assembly (which is often at the end of the year). We have had 5 over the past two weeks, in fact.
If that doesn’t sound like much, don’t forget that she is working on 18 report cards that are 6 pages each, meeting with her team and support staff weekly, meeting with her building team every other week, helping to interview six new teachers for open teaching positions in her building, and writing a large amount of thank-yous for things families gave her during Teacher Appreciation Week.
But Wait, There’s More!
Still not convinced that the end of the school year is stressful for your teacher friend? Don’t forget that she is creating a video for her class with every single picture she has taken over the entire year, picking out and adding songs to go with it that she can’t listen to anymore because they make her too emotional, and burning a copy of the video onto DVDs so that every family in her classroom can have one to keep forever. When all is said and done, she has spent HOURS on her DVD project!
She is also planning countdown activities for her class for each day until the last day of school and purchasing all of the items herself that are needed to make each day on the countdown special (bubble gum, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, popsicles, etc.). Plus, she is, of course, still teaching her class for 8 hours each day!
And That’s Not All…
One other thing you must not forget is that your friend is doing all of these things while still doing the same evening activities with her own child that you do every evening as well. After staying late at school to get things ready for the next day, your teacher friend is taking her own child to dance class, driving her child to a separate dress rehearsal for the dance recital, and driving her child to two different t-ball games (and stays to watch both) every week. She’s doing all of this while her husband (who also happens to be a teacher), plays adult rec league softball two nights a week himself.
Give Us Grace
So as the summer begins, take a moment to reflect on all that your teacher friend (and your own child’s teacher) has done over the past couple of weeks. She has tried her best to make the end of the school year really awesome and fun for her students and has sacrificed a lot of time with her own family to make that happen. The time she spends going to the pool or on that bike ride you imagined is well deserved and not taken for granted. Your friend knows how lucky she is to be able to make her own schedule for the couple months of summer she has at home.
What she really wants next is for you to take a day off and join her at the pool or the park! Play hooky from work and experience the joy of summer together with your teacher friend. She will be excited to have someone to have an adult conversation with, and she will make sure you enjoy every minute of your day together!