Goodness guru

Which of the following best describes what school teachers love to do during their summer break: A. Work a second job. B. Go to the pool with grandkids. C. Read a book. D. Host family BBQs. E. All of the above.

Summer is so amazing! It has finally stopped raining! (Six weeks after my school got out for the summer.)

I can go to the pool with grandkids! I can take two-hour bike rides with my dad! (It’s hard to keep up with him even though he is only 78.) I can take long evening walks! I can host family BBQs! I can sleep in until 7 a.m. if I want to! I can go to a matinee movie! It’s all so much fun!

Isn’t this the life for a school teacher? Aren’t all of you non-schoolteachers jealous? Well, I understand if you are, but …

What do schoolteachers really do all summer? All of the above and more. However, I bet you they don’t sit around eating bonbons. And they don’t get paid for the days they aren’t teaching. (Although most teachers spread their paychecks out over the entire year.)

Regardless, I’ve found many teachers love summer. They love sleeping in until 7 a.m. They love being able to assist with family needs such as child or elderly care. They love having the time to actually prepare lessons for the upcoming year. Yep. That’s exactly right. I’ve spent at least three hours a day so far this summer preparing for my new upcoming classes. They love having time to work the second job; even if it is just a change of pace from teaching with a little bit of pay. Yes, again. Most of my colleagues work a second job over the summer to make ends meet. They love thinking they are taking a vacation, even if they might not leave their own city. It’s just a beautiful change of pace that gives them the chance to replenish and get ready for the new school year.

What do you do to take a break and rejuvenate your life? My husband goes fishing. One daughter goes out with friends. One son goes to movies with his son. Another daughter comes to my house for vacation and then has to get back to work to get her relaxing break. Another son loves spending more time with his young children. One son-in-law takes fishing vacations with my husband.

My teenage grandchildren are bored. They love being out of school, but they have more joy when they are scheduled and busy. I’ve actually spent several hours on FaceTime with many of them. I know they just try to appease me because I think it is important to keep up with school skills. I can actually hear their eyes roll as they say, “OK, Grandma, I will do some math for you.” Then they click on the video button so I can see their smiling faces. But they love having a break from their regular school year activities.

We all love summer. It is a special time to just “be” different. I think we all relish our non-conventional time. Even if we just take time to read a book. That is what summer is for.

Jennifer Sant is a Utah high school teacher, energy wellness coach mother of five and currently grandmother of ten. Contact her at jennifersant801@gmail.com.

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