Sunday, August 01, 2010
I have to say that I hate it when people find out that I'm a teacher and they say, "You are so lucky to have the summer off! And still get paid!" Reality is that we do NOT get paid for summer work unless we take on something extra. We CHOOSE to have our pay spread out over the summer rather than receive it each payday. This helps the town/city/state collect interest and stay afloat over the course of the year.
I began my summer break on June 28. 4 weeks and 4 days later, I'm in the midst of school work beginning again. I savor this time to be able to research new topics and learn new exciting things to share with my students. I'm learning new music, researching cultures beyond our own, and spending lots of time and money planning great and exciting adventures for learning for the coming year.
Summer is a time for renewal. Renewal is far from sitting around and doing nothing. I love what I do for a career and I love sharing my life and learning with my students. A real teacher spends real time and real money and real effort to forge ahead for the sake of his/her students. It is all good. It is all exciting. The only part that hurts and is frustrating are the comments from those who have never "been there" or "done that." They don't know what it is to teach and to believe so deeply in education that one is willing to spend a piece of many many paychecks to purchase things for students whose parents either can't afford it or for a classroom of kids because the town/city/state is broke.
I love my job, my career, my KIDS! I KNOW I have touched lives of young children and that those children have grown to be incredible adults with incredible careers of their own. They contact me and thank me as adults looking back upon their childhood education and experiences. It is all good and it's all beautiful and it's all important. I could not ever hope for more than the day when a student comes back to talk to you and thank you for your work or openly credits you online or in public for your influence in their lives. That's what it is all about....touching lives and shaping children who grow to be very special and very unique adults who create such goodness for humankind.
And that is why I do what I do. I recently had 3 students openly credit their time with me as paramount in shaping their careers in music and film. Life is good. Very very good.