Whenever I tell people that I am a high school teacher their first reaction is usually, "wow, I'm sorry" or "man, you must really hate your life." Reaction number two? "They let you show your tattoos in the classroom?" asked with either awe or disapproval (answer- yes.). Finally, usually out of politeness or pity, people will smile and say "well, at least you have summers off!"
And for those of you reading this who are teachers, you know- the magical time of summer vacation is upon us. It's the end of waking up at 5:30 every morning, of grading, and ever-changing bell schedules and parent phone calls. It's the end of evaluations and paperwork and lesson plans and, oh yeah, students..... (for the record, I do love my students. most teachers do. that's why we're the underpaid, overqualified rock stars that we are!)
It is the beginning, however, of life outside of school. Most teachers become so much a part of their jobs that it becomes a second identity for them. Ask any student. Seriously, they all think we live in pup tents in our classrooms and have wild late-night parties where we invite teachers down the hall over and play hangman on our whiteboards. A few days ago a student asked me if he could swing by at the end of June to get help with his summer reading project. He was shocked when I said no. He was shocked when I told him that for two months I will not be a teacher. I will be a human being with a life not broken into 50 minute periods.
I will sleep in, stay out late, go to the beach, go to shows, read for pleasure, mess around endlessly with the dogs, hang out with my family and friends and maybe even just sit in the sun and stare out into space and do nothing for a moment.
And I will write. Always, I will write.
Now, granted, I do all of that and more during the school year as well. But, now, I can do a little more, a little longer and not feel an ounce of guilt. For ten weeks, I am not Ms. Post. I am just Steph. Happy summer everyone......