Punching In

Summer is awesome. Or, at least for me, this summer was awesome. I went to Europe read a lot and reconnected with my loved ones. Oh, and had some variation of this conversation, more often than I can count.

Me: Hey. How’s it going?

Idiot: Fine. Just been working, you know? Oh, wait. You don’t know. You’re on your annual three month vacation.

I can take a joke. (I make them at my own expense on a daily basis.) And it’s not that I don’t appreciate a few weeks of vacay. (Summer is awesome, remember?) It’s just that this idea that educators get to enjoy three months of tanning in exchange for 9 months of babysitting is so far off-base, I’m not even sure how to respond to statements like the one above.

I could clear up the misconception by giving a glimpse of my (awesome) summer.  I could explain that my time in Europe  was as a chaperone high school juniors and seniors. Or that, mixed in with my YA dystopian and cozy mystery reads, my Kindle is filled with tomes on classroom management and the latest instructional manual on Adobe CS6. I could point out that my time with loved ones included meeting former students for lunch, writing sincere and heartfelt recommendation letters and emailing some of the latest graduates to say just once more that, yes, they were going to do great in college.

I could explain those things to my idiot friend, but I don’t. I don’t because they won’t matter – not to idiot.  Because I didn’t do those things in an office, they won’t count as work. It wasn’t on the clock.

And I don’t explain any of that for another reason, too.  I don’t explain because I don’t want to explain.  I worked my butt off last school year. (Unfortunately my pants tell another story.) I love teaching and I put my whole heart into it. I deserve a break to recharge.

Which brings me to this blog.  I want to document one year of teaching.  The hours spent planning, grading and meeting, but also the ones spent cheering on the team, chaperoning the service trips and leading the retreats.  Because there’s more to my job than babysitting.  So maybe, this way, when some idiot makes a joke about my vacation next summer, I can just direct them here.

Because I earned it.

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