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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All Work, No Play, Makes a Teacher.....

Much is said about the fact that teachers (technically) have two months off!  Truth be told, most of us find some kind of summer job to keep a paycheck coming in.  Others take on the daunting task of full time parenthood.  As a mother of two active boys, I often tried to unionize the other mothers on the beach to fight for a 35 minute, duty-free lunch….but alas!

Hit the Refresh Button
Many of us do try to schedule a vacation “while we have the time”…and there is something to be said for traveling.  Getting away in a tent, motorhome, bed and breakfast or hotel, gives you time to refresh and sometime to build memories with your own children.  Often our destinations are selected to fuel our passions – for art, history, or the great out of doors

Teachers in the Real World
The fact is, you need life experiences to be a teacher.  How can you relate the reasons for learning something or offer authentic experiences if you don’t have any yourself?  Even going through a museum –the same museum you have been to many times with students- is a different experience when you are not spending the whole time counting heads!   Why, you can even read some of the signage!  There are so many opportunities that you use to connect your life experiences to the world to academics in the classroom.   

In addition, it is also good for your students to actually know you have a life.  How many times have you seen the look on a kids face when they “catch” you outside the building?  There is usually a look of shock, a whisper to their mom, “That’s Mrs. Wozniak,” followed by a big grin that they have somehow caught you in the act of living.   Of course, the encounter usually happens when you are buying toilet paper in Shoprite, having a beer at the bowling alleys or sunning yourself on the nude beach (just seeing if you are paying attention – I actually wear one of those 1920’s bathing suits with the pantaloons unless I have left the state, but I digress. )

The bottom line is that, teachers do have two months outside of the classroom, but it seems like we never stop thinking about it.  Once we have hit the refresh button, our minds go back to the many possibilities for connections in the classroom.  How does taking a break make YOU a better teacher?


  1. As a part time community college instructor, with wages below the poverty level and no benefits, I have to continually look for work to survive and cannot afford to take a vacation. However, I try to attend free concerts and take walks in nature when there is no smoke here from forest fires.

  2. It is a sad state of affairs that education is so underfunded. I am glad that you are able to take advantage of those free things in life!