Lately, I have been seeing a troublesome trend on educational social media. (I'm paraphrasing and combining various Tweets here, but you'll get the point):
It saddens me to see teachers counting down the days until summer. We need to model that we’re all in.
Counting down the number of days suggests we are eager to leave our students. Instead of gleefully counting down to summer, tell your students that you’re dreading the time away from them.
Don’t be like the other negative teachers counting down to the end of the school year. It sends a horrible message. Instead, we should be counting down the days until the new school year!
Okay, gang. Can I be real?
I count down to summer.
I love my job. I love my students. Teaching is a calling for me. I could not imagine doing any other job in the world and believe I am working in the best and the most important field there is. I am one of those teachers who tell their own children to be teachers and am excited when I see a former student become a teacher.
Nevertheless, I count down to summer.
Because I look forward to giving my brain a break.
I look forward to physically recharging by getting enough sleep.
I look forward to relaxing on my patio, drinking tea, and reading good books, including professionally focused ones, and giving my mind some time to consider what changes I want to make next school year.
I look forward to spending two months completely dedicated to my children and my family.
It sends a dangerous and unrealistic message to younger, newer teachers when we suggest that we teachers do not need a break.
It sends a dangerous and unrealistic message to younger, newer teachers when we promote a "culture of overwork."
It sends a dangerous and unrealistic message to younger, newer teachers when we suggest that we are superheroes.
Teacher burnout is real. We have all heard the United States Department of Education statistic that 50% of all teachers leave our profession within the first five years of working. We know that many states are facing teacher shortages. And this kind of rhetoric certainly isn't helping to draw good people to our profession.
I don’t wear a cape. And neither do you.