Monday, August 1, 2016

Leave Those TEACHERS Alone

Welcome to August. As of this writing, the days of Summer are beginning their quickening towards Fall. The Memorial Day cookout has passed, as well as the 4th of July celebrations. Now, the next major picnic on the horizon isn't until Labor Day (when we celebrate mothers giving birth?!?). And, as some would say, the end of that nice, long Summer vacation that is the envy of everyone who knows a school teacher.

Hog wash!

This particular post is not just to educate the so-called envious among us. Nor is it just to comfort those where the teacher in question is a spouse or mother. But rather, it is to comfort those who wear the moniker of "teacher" - boldly, proudly.

To bring this into perspective, I am one who calls his spouse a teacher. Not only a teacher, but a public school teacher no less.

This is significant, as my history includes a Christianity where the only proper school a teacher should teach in, and where the only school the progeny of our loins should be educated in, is the Christian (or private) school. As both the educators and the education of the public variety are (wrongly) considered less than second rate.

And what did this narrow-minded religious nut do? He married a public school teacher.

"Then the eyes of them were opened . . . " (Genesis 3:7a)

Somewhere in the middle of July my wife starts getting the questions:

"So how is your summer vacation?"
"Enjoying your time off?"
"Must be nice to have the whole summer off, huh?"

"Horse hockey!" - Colonel Sherman T. Potter

Read those questions again, but this time, give them a heavy coat of envy.

Let me share with you a bit of what I've learned being married to a public school teacher:

They get between three and four weeks of vacation a year; just like most of us. "Wait, J.P., your math is off. From the end of May until the end of August is more than four weeks." And you are right. EXCEPT, my wife (as most teachers can attest to) does not "start" vacation when the last school bell chimes. Oh no. She spends quite a bit of time finishing up paperwork and setting up schedules (of a large number of students that meet with a variety of different teachers with a large number of students). Then after that she is furthering her education (at her own expense) studying ways to better herself in her craft.

After that she gets a few weeks off.

And after that she goes back to the paperwork of future students, and reviewing and correcting schedules (as things change so much with students entering and leaving the district - not to mention having to coordinate the changes submitted by those other teachers effected by the previous changes).

Even during the Winter and Spring "breaks", a teacher spends much of their time working on end of quarter/semester paperwork, and preparations for the next quarter/semester. Add to that trying to be the family's "Wonder Woman" during holidays (preparation, cooking, cleaning, etc.)

The difference between us and them is that where we can pretty much schedule our vacation for at any time of the year, a teacher is UNABLE to take time off (unless sick - and even then they are working from home) from the end of August until the end of May.

During the school year a teacher works pretty much seven days a week, for far more hours a day than you. I have said this many times: (and remember, this is coming from a former religious fanatic) You couldn't pay me enough to be a teacher.

Oh, I could go on (and I have) here, and here, and here to name a few.

And so has my wife.

So, for those of you short-sighted folks who think being a teacher is easy money with summers "off", get a clue.

I look forward to the official end of the school year, for at that time I get my wife back. For the rest of the year (and such a long year it is) she belongs to your kids.

Oh, and if you are looking for an easy way to destroy marriage, and raise the divorce rate, go ahead and make it so kids have to go to school year 'round.

©Emittravel 2016

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