At the end of the school year this year, I was on the receiving end of some nasty comments about teachers. A little bit of evil looks about the three months of “vacation” I was embarking on, and some useless comments about how I would be bored all day. And for the first time ever, I felt the need to keep my end of the year thoughts to myself, holding back on blogging and facebook, not announcing the end of the school year.
Some of those people with the looks and the comments, I thought they knew me. I thought they knew that I hadn’t taken a sick day at all this school year (not that I hadn’t been sick). I thought they knew that I pretty much worked all weekend long on school stuff. I thought they knew that when summer came, I would be working like crazy to amp up my curriculum.
It’s strange how words can hurt or cause someone to hold back. I’m sure if any of these people had really thought about who they were talking to, they might have chosen their words more carefully.
If you’re not a teacher, here are my suggestions on appropriate things to say to someone who is a teacher at the end of the school year, or just during the summer:
- Congratulations! Wow, I wish I had you as a teacher, those kids sure got lucky this year!
- Tell me about the one kid you’re really gonna miss this summer.
- Can I take you out one night to celebrate?
- Do you have any plans for the summer?
- I love how I get to see you more in the summer!
- If you’ve got any great books to read this summer, I’d like to read one with you!
It’s the heart of summer. And believe me, I’ve been doing a ton of teacher related stuff. Some of this has been in the pool, and you can be jealous of that as long as you would willingly read a 200 page book about whatever your profession is, take notes on it, and develop a system to incorporate it into your working day, during your time off (by the way, you’ll also have to buy that book with your own money).
My name is Rachel, and I love my job, even during the long months of September, October, November in which you feel blessed if I have enough time to like your Instagram photo. I am a teacher; I am happy about that; please don’t try to steal my joy.