It Must be Nice to Have Summers Off
There are many things that you learn your first few years of teaching. You learn how to write lesson plans, how to talk to parents and how to keep 30 children on task. But one of the things that you won’t learn that first year and possibly for many years is how to respond to that statement, “It must be nice to have summers off.”
During the school year, most people appreciate teachers. You hear comments like, “Wow, you teach middle school. I could never do that” or “Teachers don’t get the respect they deserve.” But the minute summer vacation begins all of the appreciation is thrown out the window and all a teacher hears is, “It must be nice to have summers off.”
The phrase, ‘It must be nice to have summer off’ isn’t necessarily a bad phrase. But after you have heard it ten times and always with the condescending tone, which is attempting to imply you teach for summers off, your head comes very close to exploding.
Next time you come close to completely losing it, consider using one of these fun and feisty ways to respond to that statement.
Yes it is.
It is the last thing that they will expect to hear. They are saying it to put you on the spot, so throw it back. They want you to defend yourself. Don’t buy in. Simply state, “Yes it is”. Then stare at them until they think of something else to say.
I work the same hours.
Review with them the hours a teacher works. We work 7.5 hours a day at school and provide extra help / run clubs or coach for an additional 1.5 hours a day. We go home and grade and plan for another 2 hours. Then we usually must dedicate an entire Saturday, usually about 10 hours a month to grading and data input. That puts a teacher at 2300 hours of work in 10 months. A person who works 40 hours a week and gets a 2 week vacation works 2000 hours a year. So we have worked longer in 10 months than they do in 12 months. So, summer break is just giving them a chance to catch up.
This isn’t a classroom.
This is just a fun way to make a silly statement just go away. Start looking around wildly saying, “Wait, what? This isn’t a classroom. I’m not teaching right now.” Eventually they will go away.
Even when I’m off I’m still learning.
You could take the high road and remind them that teachers use this time to grow professionally. We read, we learn, we plan and we reflect. We use this time to do our best to become the best teachers we can be.
This is a strategy that I have learned from my two year old daughter. Whenever I say something she doesn’t really like, such as, “Stop jumping on the couch,” or “Don’t try to feed the dog crayons”, she looks at me with big, startled eyes and simply says, “Huh?” What a great way to respond to things you don’t what to respond to.
Remind them what teachers do.
The whole purpose of the statement is to attempt to make you feel guilty for having a longer vacation than they have. Remind them that we spend 10 months a year giving everything we have to other people’s children. We dedicate our hearts, minds and souls to children and dream about their success. We give our absolute best and we really need some time to recharge.
Of course teachers love summer vacation. Who wouldn’t love to have the summer off? But there is no reason to allow anyone to try to make you feel bad about it. As a teacher, the summer is a time to recharge, relax and learn. Enjoy the summer and feel free to check out my Summer Teacher Store!