Top 10 reasons teachers need summers off

Dear everyone who’s not a teacher,

I am a teacher. When I meet someone and they ask me what I do, their reaction invariably falls into one of 2 categories. This first is “Wow! That’s awesome! I don’t think I could do that.” The second is “Must be nice. I should be a teacher, then I’d have summers off too.” To all you people in the first group, thank you. Everybody else, please read carefully.

I love, love, love my job. I could list all the wonderful reasons that keep me going and, to be honest, that list would be longer than a top 10.

And yes, I have summers off.

Would you believe there comes a point where I just can’t be a teacher anymore? It’s like I have a battery and by June, it’s dead. Here’s why.

1. I can’t pee in peace. They knock on the door and wait for me in packs. Sometimes they talk through the door.

2.I am a nurse. Paper cuts, skinned knees and bloody noses are the most common injuries. Every now and then, there’s a fainter.

3. Vomit. Enough said.

4. I am a hairdresser. Ponytails, braids, you name it, I do it. It’s super fun when there’s lice at school.

5. Criers. There’s one every year and she always seems to be in my class.

6. That kid who bullies? The one who gets bullied? The kid with the learning disability? Thinking about them keeps me awake at night.

7. When I have a headache, or a sore stomach, or I’m tired, or anything else that can happen to anyone on a regular basis, I don’t get to “take a minute”. I’m “on” all the time.

8. I grade papers like nobody’s business, usually on weeknights and weekends. Woohoo, party!

9. Kids can be mean to each other. I stand in the middle. Like a human buffer between meanness.

10. Parents. They’re more demanding than the kids. Yes, your child is pure delight, all the time. You need 30 minutes to discuss why your kid’s grade went from a 96 to a 92? No problem, I don’t have anything else to do! You want an immediate response to your e-mail because you are sitting at your desk and you imagine I am too? What do you think I do? If I’m writing e-mails, who’s teaching your kid that Paris is a city, not a country? I don’t even have a desk.

Now, if you’re thinking “Parents do most of this every day and they don’t get summers off.” I agree, you’re right.

However, between the vomit, the lice, the meanness and the band-aids, I teach kids to read, write, spell, add, subtract, multiply, divide, count, and tell the difference between a vertebrate and an invertabrate. I tell stories to get them interested in grammar and geometry. I try to convince each and every one of those kids that they are special. I teach them how to respect each other, respect themselves and respect the planet. I teach them how to be kind, how to be fair and how to stand up for themselves. I teach them to tell time, tell the truth and tell stories.

Are you tired yet?

I am.


The teacher who’s teaching tomorrow’s doctors, lawyers and inventors how to read.

I’m curious and maybe one of you can help me out… my blog stats tell me that a large number of people are finding this post through facebook. I would love to know what page shared it, so I can check it out! Enjoy your summer vacation, you’ve earned it! (I figure most of you reading this are teachers like me!)

17 thoughts on “Top 10 reasons teachers need summers off

  1. A Nature Mom says:

    I get it! My husband is an elementary teacher. He needs those two months off to heal (reground) from the previous ten, or he’d never be able to jump in again in August.

  2. beckygermain says:

    Totally get it. Kids. Are. Exhausting. I can’t imagine teaching a child under 15. The college students I taught practically broke me. That said, I sort of think EVERY career should have two months off. You know, rotate them around? Because let’s face it, no one can perform at a 100% all the time. Everyone needs a break. I’m sure those doctors and lawyers you are churning out would agree, lol.

  3. lisa kaplan says:

    awesome-thank you. you should check out the book “Summers Off-the worldwide adventures of a schoolteacher” i loved it

  4. Dorothy says:

    And what about the child who says: “You don’t like me.” “You like her better.” Maybe that is because she is not whining in my face all the time and comes, sits down and does her work.

    • The Bliss Project says:

      I know! I always tell the kids, if you make noise and wiggle around when you raise your hand, I won’t call on you!

      I’m curious, and maybe you can help me out. I can see in my blog stats that people are finding this post through facebook, and I’m just wondering what page shared it? It would love to check it out!

  5. Jayne says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice we we all had the summer to “rewind”? No I don’t deal with with paper cuts and vomit instead I deal with cranky unforgiving clients, pigheaded bosses, tight deadlines, and adult bullies. Boo hoo the poor teacher. You picked the profession, deal with the consequences. Whine whine whine, you’re worse then the kids.

    • The Bliss Project says:

      Jayne, I think you misunderstood the post. I love my job, as I mentionned. I did choose it, because I enjoy it very much. I wasn’t whining, I was trying to be funny. I guess we have a different sense of humour. You don’t seem very happy with your job choice however.

  6. TLP says:

    Agree with the above. Teachers get zero credit for all that they do… Including parenting kids when the parents don’t. I however would like to tell you that I deal with parents in my job, deliver bad news to people all day, can’t remember the last time I peed before leaving work for the day, work 80+hours a week, and lay in bed at night hoping I made the right choices for people too. I agree that you work very very hard but so do I and I havent had a summer off since my first year of grad school.

    Point is is that many people work hard and don’t get credit or respect for it, not just teachers.

  7. Gene W Watkins says:

    You are working on making the world s better place. molding young people into real adults. You are touching the souls of everybody in the world, maybe not directly but through the young people you teach. Nobody is born with the knowledge it must be taught to them. From adding 1 + 1 to splitiing an atom. Everything from learning to walk and talk to building the space station has to be taught. To make teaching a caree is a hard job and takes a lot of heart and soul to be a good one. You have a big heart and a loving soul. Without you and all the teachers of the world there wouldn’t be a world. You ARE a great teacher and not because your my daughter because you are YOU!

  8. Kathryn Carter says:

    By the time I teach six weeks of summer school, go to trainings, and professional development to prepare me to TEACH your child appropriately for the advances in technology and math since I went to school, I have about two weeks to “recharge” my batteries. For those that say teachers are “whiners”, you have the option of vacation time at your jobs too. If you don’t use it, that is your fault not mine. I need my two weeks to be with my kids and recharge.

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