I know you all know that funny joke where the non-teaching world thinks ALL teachers everywhere get…TWO MONTHS OFF in summer! What is this ludicrous idea and who ever thought it up? *(In case you didn’t know, back in the day when everyone grew their own food, children were needed on the farm to help with the planting and harvests; thus, the two month break from studies).

I didn't need to enlist the help of a small child for tonight's dinner harvest, but one day our own children will be shoulder deep in those potato plants during the summer harvest!
I didn’t need to enlist the help of a small child for tonight’s dinner harvest, but one day our own children will be shoulder deep in those potato plants during the summer break!

My biggest pet peeve of all time is when people ask me “what I do”, and I say “I teach”, and they reply, “Sweet! Summers off! Nice life!”  This summer is my first summer as a teacher.  I know I’ve only been a real teacher for one year, but I was a student in the faculty of Education for SEVEN YEARS (I took my time, okay?) so I do know what summer jobs are like, and trust me…I have had quite the variety of summer employment in my 26 years.

A list in chronological order of some of the summer jobs I’ve had over the years:

1) Grocery store, customer service (worst)

2) Plywood mill clean up crew (graveyard shifts)

3) RCMP – safety patrol crew (probably best and most fun)

4) Another police station, BlockWatch Office (also hilarious and lots of fun)

5) Coaching gymnastics summer camps (two summers)

6) That summer I took off to plan our wedding (amazing summer full of unpaid work)

7) Summer camp leader (9 weeks of outdoor camps…I do love children, but never again)

Last summer I was a day camp leader for a local rec centre.  It was great, but I think that was my first and last "camp" summer.  Like my painted arms and legs?
Last summer I was a day camp leader for a local rec centre. It was great, but I think that was my first and last “camp” summer. Like my painted arms and legs?

Many teachers I know actually do take on summer jobs (especially the younger, newer teachers).  Most of these teachers are either TOCs or have temporary contracts throughout the year, so in order to keep paying the rent and buying groceries, a summer job is essential.  Some of my new teacher friends’ jobs include, but are not limited to: serving (tips, tips, tips!), leading summer camps, coaching, painting houses, landscaping, and the like.  I admire these people.  Today is my second day of summer vacation and I am exhausted, recovering from the lamest cold I’ve had all year, and I can not even imagine being a camp leader this year.  *Note: For the past six years my husband and I have lived off of one income (his). I am fortunate to have a spouse who is not a teacher and who works all year round; without his income, I’d definitely be working this summer.

I am curious about other teachers out there…do you work in the summer? If so, what kind of jobs do you take on?

How do you manage to unwind and rejuvenate from the busy school year, and plan for next year, while continuing to work your summer job?

And, how do YOU respond to people who say: “Two whole months off? Nice life!”?

One summer I might have to take on a summer job to keep the cash flowing, but for now I am excited to kick back and learn French! School starts in two days!

 

Karley