How do you respond to...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Emily Bronte, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Jul 8, 2010

    what do you do all day if you are a teacher with summers off. It seems I have been asked that a lot lately. Since I have started my teaching career, I have also held a second job. During the school year I worked the minimal shift required to keep my employment at that second job, where they have also given my additional hours over the summer. I have decided that this will be my last summer at that second job and my last day is August 28th. I will finally have a real weekend when school starts up again. People ask about my summer. I often tell them that I am leaving that second job as I am not getting enough hours to make it worth my while. Then people ask me...What do you do all day????? What do I tell them? I don't have children so people may truly wonder. How do I respond to this? Why are they even asking anyway? Sorry, I kind of needed to vent a bit too....
     
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  3. Chalk

    Chalk Companion

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    Jul 9, 2010

    Just a few musings....

    The public misconception often is that "all those lazy teachers get paid by our tax money all summer to do nothing". I hear that many times from woefully ignorant people typically followed up by the line "teaching is such a cushy easy job ha ha ha" To which I smile sardonically doing my best not to let that little part of me that wants to verbally dismember that person show through. Of course that stems from me being cynical.

    They could be just asking because they would love to join in the 2 1/2 months of "free time" I know that if I get paid through the summer I would want to grow my hair out long head to Savannah Georgia and sit on the beach all summer drinking Captain Morgan's and Coke with lizards hanging from my ears.

    If you feel you need to respond to such an invasive question ( I do mostly to not "Appear" rude to them) I answer with:
    "I am doing research this summer on the financial aspects of the civil war to help augment (sometimes I have to define augment for them) my civil war unit plan for next year. WANT to hear the numbers?"
    95% of the time, their eyes roll up and they smile that great big grin and I can almost hear their brains saying "OH GOD PLEASE NO".
    To which I promptly shift the subject to something more palatable for them.

    For the 5% who want to know.... well I am a history nerd and I can readily give a succinct overview of the financial aspects of the civil war.... I know I know, pathetic but history is my life LOL.

    ANYWAY have fun with your new freedom and remember ITS your business what you do with your free time not theirs, just because we are public employees doesn't mean we have to answer to the public about our private lives anymore than they do.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2010

    I have spent at least a few hours each day this summer preparing for next year. I'm going to workshops, doing research, shopping for materials, etc.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Actually, I have 3 kids, I teach a summer course, and I have a ton of freelance writing I have to get to. And I have a little prep to get to for next year, mostly tidying up last year's notes.

    But, in your shoes, I would admit that I plan to take it easy. Something along the lines of: "I can't wait to have a whole summer to do whatever it is I want. Now, tell me about your summer-- are you planng to go away??"
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I get that sort of thing from my husband's family ALL the time. The thing is, I am the first of the "wives" not to stay home with their kids. I have 3 kids. Why would they imagine that my days in the summer are any worse than the other wives' days, all the time?

    I also get the "it's such an easy job, only 9-3, etc" from one particular brother in law. He is obnoxious about it. My dh stepped in a couple of years ago and told him to cut it out. Now he no longer speaks to us at family gatherings.

    If someone really does ask, I tell them our swim team schedule (Mon-Fri, one kid has to be at the pool from 8-9. another one from 9-10 and the last one from 11-12.) I list all of the camps the kids are doing, the fact that we volunteer with the Fresh Air Fund every summer, the recertification course I have to take...oh, and at the beginning of August, I'll start going to school a couple of days a week, just to get everything done in time.

    Summer is busier than the school year, for me.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 9, 2010

    Then my response would be: "Summer is my chance to be a Stay at Home Mom, like Sue and Cathy."

    But I'm pretty open about the fact that I LOVE the laziness of summer.

    Each job brings its own perks. This is a big one that comes with teaching.
     
  8. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    What do I do all day during the summer?

    Work at the Summer Camp for our school district.
    Drive the bus and chaperone kids on several field trips.
    Increase the hours I work at my 2nd job.
    Catch up on projects at the house that I didn't have time to do while grading papers and writing lesson plans each weekend during the school year (after getting home from my 2nd job).
    Attend workshops and research new projects for students to do next year.
    Start going back to school at the beginning of August to prepare my classroom for the new year.
    Study for Praxis II tests in other content areas so I can become a more versatile and well-rounded educator.
    Spend time with my own children.

    Now, what did you say YOU do all day during the summer? (smile sweetly) :p
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Wow-you all do make me feel very lazy ;) ! I haven't left the house in 2 days (it's been raining a lot, flooding in my area yesterday, and I'm trying not to spend $ - so it doesn't leave a lot of options).

    I've surprisingly never gotten that question. Like Miss Celia said-I'm actually spending a good deal of time planning, sitting in on interviews, prof. development. I also work with my puppy (who loves mama's summer vacation, by the way-every morning a trip to the park-when it's not raining of course) and working on my house. I have 9 months of clutter that pile up over the school year because I don't have the time to do anything with it. I would never say it-but

    I wonder what it's like to only work a 40 hour week during the year! :p
     
  10. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Kinder, that might be my new comeback! Explain to them what you do and then ask," So, what's it like to be able to work a 40 day work week? Is it nice to not be able to bring your work home to do for hours after the kids go to bed?"

    j/k ;)

    That's just my sarcastic side coming out! I like some of the suggestions from above. Or tell them that you are recovering from 9 months of wiping noses, butts, and babysitting... oops, there's that sarcasm again! lol ;)
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I'm doing a Writing Project Summer Invitational Institute. Because of the commute, it's actually a longer day than a regular school day, and I have homework! (Well, it's reading and writing, and I'm not getting graded.) As of today we're halfway through, and I've already done my demo lesson, so I can relax a bit more.

    If anyone asks, I can bend their ears as long as I need to talking about my professional development activities. A few minutes of "edu-speak" and their eyes usually glaze over. :p
     
  12. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Jul 9, 2010

    I volunteer at my mom's veterinary business and tutor one child. People who see me at the veterinary office ask me "Are you going to be a vet too?" And I cheerfully tell them about my real, paying, job.

    I also don't have any children of my own. But honestly, it isn't anyone's business how we spend our free time. If they're gutsy enough to ask, just smile and give them a "I'm going to take it easy, then work on lessons, cirriculum mapping, etc."

    I feel for you.
     
  13. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I have never been asked that question before but the comments have been made several times where in a conversation people say that it would be nice being a teacher because you get summers off and don't do much.

    Usually, I just ignore these comments since I don't feel I have to justify what I do or don't do during my summer time. When I reply I just say in a jokingly manner that I would be happy to allow them to switch jobs for a while. Most of the times when I say this, they switch to another topic.

    Even my husband used to give me a hard time about having summers off when we first got married. Once he saw how stressed out I am during the school year, he now is happy to see me take a break.
     
  14. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Thanks for all of your replies guys! I feel better! I went to lunch this passed week with my cousin. She was trying to figure out how much of the year I actually work...her thinking was based on 365 days a year..but of course their are not 365 actual working days. She couldnt do the math and I was not going to help her. Then she sort of made the comment that she brings stuff home from work to do too. But, that really is not the same...we can't put things off until tomorrow. You're all right, though, it is no body's business how I spend my days.
     
  15. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2010

    Meh.
    I don't care what people think about my summer time, I know how much I need the break AND how busy I remain in the summer.
     
  16. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 9, 2010

    I'm spending the summer working through the mountain of tasks on my to-do list, about half of which actually involved school work, the other half of which is appointments and stuff around the house I don't have time/energy to get to during the school year :) This is the first summer since I started college that I HAVEN'T worked... and although I'm doing some preschool screeenings nad IEP's for kids who are turning 3 over the summer, I'm enjoying having time of without job hunting (first time in 8 I'm not looking for a job for myself, although about half of those years were looking by choice) :)

    Like someone else before said, I have barely left my apt all week... I had dinner with a friend Monday, went ot WalMart for more storage boxes on Tuesday, and had dinner with a friend on Wednesday. otherwise? haven't left... and am whittling down the to-do list ;)

    I spent a week with the kids from my church at camp, am visiting my bf at camp 2 states away at the end of the month, going to hear Tony Atwood and Temple Grandin at a conference, and gonig on vacation to the Dells 2nd week of August... come back and it's time to get into school mode!!!
     
  17. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jul 9, 2010

    True, summer is when we reconnect with our families, finally clean our house, get our annual physicals and check-ups, plan for the upcoming year, take classes, etc. It may seem like a lot of time off, but for how many hours we put in during the school year, it averages out to a normal persons work year! lol!
     
  18. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 9, 2010

    Maybe you need this t-shirt:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Just had my dh this morning mention my 2 1/2 months off...

    Of course I come back with, "It must be nice to have a job that ends when you get home". Gosh, I work almost as hard at home after work than I do at work. I'd love to leave work at work.....
     
  20. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    This is what I do exactly. ^^^^^^
    Except this summer, I'm taking care of a relative who had surgery. My boyfriend was taunting me about having a long vacation, and I said l said "what vacation? I'm spending it all taking care of(the relative) and then I'm spending a week taking a class, and then it's back to work!"
    He finally understood, and stopped bothering me about it.
     
  21. mustang sally

    mustang sally Rookie

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    My answer is I have cooked supper from scratch every night, vacuumed the carpet, mopped the floors, scrubbed the bathroom, dusted the furniture, cleaned out the closets, picked peas, butterbeans, corn, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Then I shelled peas and beans, shucked and creamed corn, cut up okra, peeled and cut up tomatoes and sliced squash. All that I could put in the freezer made it to the freezer. The cucumbers turned into pickles after about 3 days without any magic. Then I mowed all of the grass and weedeated. I got weeds out of the flower beds and mulched them. Then I vacuumed the pool. Finally, I had about 8 loads of laundry to do, so if I'm not doing anything at this precise moment in time, it's probably becasue I am tired--teaching school is NOT this tiring and summer is not really a "break".
     
  22. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 9, 2010

    I usually respond with a sarcastic "I sit around watching soaps, eating bon bons, and painting my toe nails."
     
  23. CanukTeach

    CanukTeach Companion

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    My family has learned not to question me about this as I point out for a good 1/2 hour how much I need this time to decompress! If strangers question, I say that I am in a course, doing prep, gardening (1 acre!), getting to all the house stuff I didn't all year. By this point the person is usually over the question.

    But really decompressing is critical. Two days ago an administrator called me at home (at a number I told my P not to give out - he gave it out!) to request that I change courses for next year - I thought I was going to have to say no and felt awful about saying no - so it got me stressed out again! Literally the calming impact of 7 days off is out the door. I'm totally hyper again - so I'm going to garden to try to calm down again :)
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'll admit that I really don't do much in the summertime.

    I'm in a very small town, so there aren't really jobs avilable. We're also in a high-poverty area. So, I figure that the jobs that ARE available would be better for somebody else, not for someone like me who would just want some extra money and something to do.

    I work on my hobbies. I garden. I read. Today I went to the grocery with my best friend . . . just to be doing something. I always give my hosue a thorough cleaning, and I do "fix it" types of jobs around the house.

    And, yes, I also stay up late, sleep late, and stay in my pajamas all day sometimes.
     
  25. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Jul 9, 2010

    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  26. Southern JC

    Southern JC Companion

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    I hate that question. As already stated, many people think teachers get paid to do nothing. They don't realize all the hard work many of us put into preparing for the upcoming year. So I try to keep it brief when responding to a question like this because I feel they don't really care. I usually share that I'm reflecting on the past year (things that I want to try again/things that I won't do again type stuff); reading education magazines to keep up with the latest trends; and planning for the upcoming year. I also remind them that I have three children that I love and adore and try to spend as much time as possible with them.
     
  27. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    LOL. I love it!!!

    If I were feeling really sarcastic, I would say something like..

    "Oh, I sit around the house all day watching TV, thinking about the good things in my life and wondering why nosy people ask such dumb@$$ questions sometimes."

    :whistle::D
     
  28. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2010

    People are shocked when they find out I am working...and it's *gasp* summertime! I just remind them that the notion of having summer's off is really a leisure that I can't afford to take right now.
     
  29. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I usually just smile and say well maybe some of us don't have work to do on our vacation, but I do! Then I take out my lesson plans and show them the new course I have to design.
     
  30. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I get so annoyed with this question, too. I honestly never thought about summers off all through college...The first time it really hit me was last summer, which was my first time experiencing "summers off."

    Personally, I teach summer school, which starts the Monday after school gets off until July 22nd. I have to go back to work the first week in August for in-services and summer academy. Then it's back to school! People are usually shocked when I tell them I have to go back the first week in August. I technically only have 1 week "off."

    Also, I just tell people "I don't get paid in summer." Technically, I don't...I just choose to have my yearly paychecks spread out.
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You guys work too hard!!!

    I taught a week of summer school.

    I'm teaching an SAT prep course, once a week for an hour and a half.

    And I'm doing a ton of freelance writing, mostly early in the morning.

    But I most certainly feel as though all those people are right-- I'm off for the summer and I'm the luckiest person in the conversation any time it comes up!!! I openly admit that my annual salary is cut into 24 pieces and that I get a paycheck all summer, even if I don't set foot in the building.

    Let them wallow in jealosy!!
     
  32. Blkjacq

    Blkjacq Companion

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    Jul 9, 2010

     
  33. boomer mitra

    boomer mitra Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2010

    I generally read more and more books during summer vacs..aggregating more knowledge doesn't harm ;)
     
  34. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'm scrambling for other work to stretch my 10-month income. And you?
     
  35. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    If it's some cute tiny old lady who seems genuinely interested in what I'm doing, I will respond truthfully and politely.

    If it's someone who is just being a nosy jerk, I'll usually say, "Lounging around the house gathering my sanity and self-respect after working 15 hour days for 10 months to educate your children while being berated by the community for earning too much money while not doing enough. What are YOU doing?"

    Shuts them up every time.
     
  36. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    :lol: Too funny! I mentioned bringing work home to my cousin. She said..."I bring work home too. A lot of people do." No, she brings work home as an aspect of being a perfectionist who wants to look good. Bringing work home for teachers is a basic requirement of doing the job as there are not enough hours in the work day to get done what needs to get done.
     
  37. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I love the fact that, for the months of July and August, I can return some of the favours I have to ask of others during the rest of the year--the drives for Lauren to soccer practices, etc. During the summer I can be the driver--to the mall, the amusement park, to the practices and out-of-town games. As for the "smart" comments--I laugh and shrug my shoulders.
     
  38. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Once after the conversation about my summers did not end, I said "You could have chosen my profession."
     
  39. BCPMWK

    BCPMWK Companion

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Chalk~I love your answer! I tell people all the time that we need our break so that our murderous thoughts don't come to fruition. When the people look at me like I'm crazy, I ask them how often they spend 7 hours with their children and 25 of their nearest and dearest friends while managing to keep them quiet in an organized activity. Then I say, "See! Now you know why I have eight weeks off during the summer, which I really spend planning lessons for the next school year." :)
     

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