An Ode to a Teacher's Summer Vacation

Every June, I suffer from what I call a teacher hangover. It sticks around for about a week. There are some telltale signs that I have yet again succumbed to the condition. For instance, last night's dinner consisted solely of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies. I begin asking myself if I took a shower within the last 48 hours. Laundry piles up, gym memberships are wasted and Netflix marathons commence. It's the only way I know to officially start my summer.

Over the next two months, there are several things I will do.

I will turn off my alarms. I will enjoy lengthy meals at restaurants instead of 30-minute lunches in a drafty break room. I will laugh. A lot. I will take naps. I will no longer be asked questions like "why are there so many commercials on TV for reptile dysfunction?" I will not answer to Dad. I will stop using the excuse, "it's a school night." I will find out who won American Idol, The Voice, or whatever singing competition we're obsessed with now. I will read a book without a highlighter in hand. I will find out what Saturdays are supposed to be like. I will wear white. I will get in my car and drive, with no destination in mind. I will host game nights with friends and apologize for always being so busy. I will promise to do it again soon and mean it. I will write out to-do lists and forget about them, but it won't matter. I will avoid fluorescent lighting. But perhaps the greatest joy of all: I will pee whenever I want.

Some will only consider the above list and blast teachers for enjoying the summer, despite the fact that they are not contracted to work those two months. These are the people that confuse our legitimate concerns during the school year with whining. They will say things to us like "it must be nice" in a tone that is anything but. To those few who still don't get what we do, I say this: We're asking for your respect, not your pity.

Despite enjoying summer vacation, there are several things I will still do.

I will still wake up early each morning because my body is programmed to do so. I will still coach my students at a national tournament next week. I will still teach at a week-long summer camp. I will still deliver five presentations at three conferences. I will still gain 60 hours of Continuing Professional Education credit. I will still answer emails. I will still host fundraisers. I will still volunteer at church because I finally can. I will still revamp lessons that could use a little extra oomph. I will still edit rough drafts of next year's competition speeches. I will still plan what to do every day in each of the five courses I teach for the next year. I will still have responsibilities that I will still fulfill.

And yes, I will still wear pants. Sometimes.

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