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Old 06-14-2009, 06:08 AM
 
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every year, around this time, i start to hear little remarks about "how nice it must be to get 3 months paid vacation" from my family and neighbors who are not in the education field. what's your best reply to this sort of comment?


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Old 06-14-2009, 06:22 AM
 
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Our school secretary starts making these comments too, and it is super annoying! I say nothing to her ecause I want to remain on her good side!

However, when others say it to me, my response it "It's all about choices. You coulld have chosen to become a teacher but you didn't. Instead you chose ________." Or, "I can't help that my place of employment shuts down for the months of July and August."

I don't get a 3 month PAID vacation. It is unpaid time off. Anyone else get paid in the summer????
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182 days
Old 06-14-2009, 06:28 AM
 
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I'm paid for 182 days, they just stretch it out so we get a check in the summer. Most people don't realize how much work we do after 3:30 and on weekends and holidays. Plus I plan during the summer, make things, and go back mid July to get the classroom ready. So.... what vacation?
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:29 AM
 
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This is usually when I tell them that I actually spend my summer researching, preparing, and attending trainings. I don't actually get the summer off and I it isn't exactly paid. Rather than sort of say something mean back to them, I make sure to tell them how it really is.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:35 AM
 
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We know that we don't get a paid vacation, but the gen. public doesn't know.

I give the same response every time: Yes, it's wonderful. Why don't you go back to school to get certified to teach? And without fail I hear the same response: Oh, no, I could never teach. I would hate to be in a room full of kids all day, etc. etc. etc.

Then I smile and walk away.


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Smile sweetly and say...
Old 06-14-2009, 08:12 AM
 
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"Yes, it is nice to have a break from the 60+ hour weeks with lesson planning and grading work every weekend! I'm so glad they hold back part of my salary each month too so I don't have to teach summer school or get another job and can clean my house and do other things that get put on hold for 10 months."
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thanks Audriana
Old 06-14-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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I've tried all the responses posted in these replies, but I think I will just start using Audriana's in the future:

Yes, it's wonderful!

They never really seem to/want to understand what our summers (or school years) are really like!


Thanks, Audriana!
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I laugh
Old 06-14-2009, 08:32 AM
 
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it off and say "I bet your jealous. That's why I went into teaching you know. I get to deal with insane crazy parents, kids who cough, sneeze, and puke on me during the year. I get to call CPS on parents who are beating the crap out of their kids or just forgetting to take care of them. I go through kids hair checking for nits, listen to them as they tell me how their parents screamed all night and they couldn't sleep. The highlights of my day would be when a student tells me his mom uses him as a mule for drugs or there is the one who takes care of the 3 younger siblings while the mom shoots crystal meth up her arm."

"Yes, I am a lucky person to not have to work in the summers." I love it, except I worry about all my precious students.

They don't know what to say after that except that I guess you probably need a break from all of that.

Ya think so???
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my response
Old 06-14-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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Gee, it must be nice to only work from 8:00-4:30 each day and not have to work during the evenings and take work home with you. It must be nice not to have to attend workshops and training sessions and conferences with people and work related events after you finish your work day. It must be nice not to have to make elaborate plans for someone to do your work when you are out for the day.

Paid vacation? No such thing. I am on a ten-month salary plan (not my choice, but the district's), and I will NOT get paid during the months of June and July. Even twelve-month teachers, such as my husband, have their annual salary divided into 12 equal payments.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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Side note--I grew up in a home with two parents who worked round the clock and on weekends to do an excellent job in their professions. My dad is a lawyer and my mom works in marketing. So, it isn't just teachers that go above and beyond or that have to work out of the day to get it done.

My friends are jealous, but I just smile and make sure I don't discuss my plans too much. They also have heard me discuss everything that happened this year and they know how much I need a break. I think the best thing to do is laugh it off and discuss how nice it is to plan for the next year!!


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Old 06-14-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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I get this all the time from my friends. Depending on my mood I'll say something like, "Well it must be nice to leave work at 5 everyday and not have to do any other work when you get home. It also must be nice to have every weekend free to do what you choose. I wish I had that!" My friends know how much work I do on the weekends and at night so this usually shuts them up. If I'm in a good mood though I'll just say "Yes, it is nice and it's one of the reasons I went into teaching."
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Oh man....
Old 06-14-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Who gets 3 months off????? I'm teaching summer school til the end of June, then taking a 7 day class in July and going back the middle of Aug. That to me looks like about 5 weeks of vacation.

I wish everyone could spend a year teaching to see what a teacher really goes through. Maybe then we would get paid what we are worth!
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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"Must be nice to have more than 20 minutes to eat your lunch. Must be nice to be able to go OUT for a leisurely lunch" "BY they way, how many of you constantly pay for your co-workers lunch because they couldn't afford their own? How many of you buy your own supplies plus that of a few co-workers so that they too, can work?"
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Must be nice...
Old 06-14-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Must be nice to be able to use the bathroom at any time of the day, to take phone calls, to get a guaranteed break, to start at a set time and end at a set time with no work to take home. It must be nice to leave work at work and not dream and plan CONSTANTLY about things that you will change and improve next time. It must be nice to not have to ALWAYS take classes or professional development to keep current on your license. It must be nice to report to one boss and not 25 students, 50 parents, 1 principal, 1 superintendent, and 7 school board members, as well as NCLB, Ed Yes!, etc....

Fortunately for me, very few people have ever said this to me!
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unless you're a teacher...
Old 06-14-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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Those who make comments like that do so because they don't understand what it takes to teach!

1- By the end of the year I am so exhausted that I need the summer
to reflect and relax.

2- I usually teach summer school!

3- I use a good portion of my summer to plan and prepare for the new
school year, especially if I'm in a new grade.

4- I usually attend workshops and seminars to improve as an educator.

5- I return to work a week or so early to set up my classroom.

By the time you figure all of this in...I end up with about 3 weeks vacation!

Bottom line...I need time away from students so that I can feel positive about continuing on in the fall...
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It's rude
Old 06-14-2009, 01:19 PM
 
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but I don't even respond anymore. I usually just say hmmm it sure is. There is no point trying to explain to people that are rude enough to make a comment like that to me, how hard I work between September and June.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I hate it when people make comments like that. For one thing, let's end the three months myth. Who honestly has three months off? Not anyone in my state. Plus all the extras everyone has already detailed. Some days I really do want to apply at Home Depot or Denny's just so I won't have work to outside of the work day. Yes, I do know there are other careers where people take work home, but those people never get the three months off comments. It is exhausting to teach and we do need a break. The general public needs to be informed. Maybe we'd get more respect and better pay if they realized what it's really like. Especially since teachers keep getting more and more on their plates every year, but the comps don't match with the expectations. IEP's, 504's are just a tiny little bit of it. I feel for those teachers who have to write detailed lesson plans (professional busy work) and all that behavior documentation, annoying parents, power hungry administrators, etc... ad inf.
okay, I'm done, you all get it. that just hit a button with me
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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Generally speaking, I just smile and say "That's part of the reason I went into teaching!" We do have great schedules, overall, and I don't mind when people don't understand. I just say that, and most people shut up. Hey, they had the choice, too, right?
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Must be nice to be able to use the bathroom at any time of the day, to take phone calls, to get a guaranteed break, to start at a set time and end at a set time with no work to take home. It must be nice to leave work at work and not dream and plan CONSTANTLY about things that you will change and improve next time. It must be nice to not have to ALWAYS take classes or professional development to keep current on your license. It must be nice to report to one boss and not 25 students, 50 parents, 1 principal, 1 superintendent, and 7 school board members, as well as NCLB, Ed Yes!, etc....



AMEN TO THIS!!!!!!!!
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My Response
Old 06-14-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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I really only have one friend who brings this up every year. Mind you she gets 35 days of vacation each year along with probably 5 other days she can take off when she chooses.

When she gets started on how nice it must be to get such a long vacation, I remind her I get NO vacation. I am contracted to work 190 days a year. I have no say when those days are, so I have very little leeway about when I take trips, etc. My district has gone to a "balanced" calendar, so take restricts my time even more.

This same friend turns 50 in September. She wants to take a trip to New Orleans. That's great and I'm planning to take 2 (of my 3) personal days to go with her. She got this great idea that we could go around Labor Day so we'd have a day when we got back to unpack, etc. I had to tell her that I can't take personal days around holidays or breaks. I think she's beginning to understand.
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Bugs me too
Old 06-14-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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Our local paper has all sorts of teacher haters that feel the need to comment on every teacher article that gets posted. I smile and tell myself to just let others be wrong. The alternative some days might have unpleasant consequences!
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my response
Old 06-14-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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Here is my response when people make comments like this to me.

1) I don't get 3 months paid vacation. I have 9 weeks of UNPAID time off. I have to budget my money to cover my expenses for all of July, all of August and September since the bills are due before my first paycheck kicks in.

2) During the school year I put in thousands of hours without getting paid, never mind the word overtime. I take work home and spend hours at night and on the weekends creating lesson plans, reviewing my lessons, correcting papers.

3) During the year I pay for many of my own supplies WITH MY OWN MONEY just to get through the year, i.e. copies, copy paper, composition books, pencils, crayons, stickers, books for my students, prizes to reward them, certificates, and the list goes on and on, because my students don't bring these items in and we need them during the year.

4) The last week of August I go into school to set up my classroom on my own time without any pay.

5) I attend workshops during July and August at my own expense and time, as I do during the school year in the evenings and on weekends to keep current with best teaching practices.

6) When I hear that I only work until 3 p.m. I remind the person speaking to me that I also have 25 students that are constantly needing my attention for the entire time I am at school. That I cannot just get up and walk out of the classroom to get a cup of coffee or even go to the bathroom. That if I am doing my job properly each day I have AT LEAST 6 papers per day per student to correct, and we all know that it is more than six. One for literacy, one for math, one for social studies one for science and two for homework = 25 students x 6 papers per student per day = 150 pieces of paper per day x 5 days = 750 pieces of paper a minimum each week, which I must make comments on, assess to see how my lessons went and redesign my lessons, etc. based on these papers.

7) Some days I don't have a minute to myself because I do not have a prep and my lunch is 30 minutes, but by the time I walk down my students to the cafeteria and pick them up I'm down to 15 or 20 minutes if I haven't brought someone back with me to work with during this time. On days I do have a prep I may have a grade level meeting or need to meet with the other teachers to makes plans or I'm correcting papers or filling out reports.

8) In my district teachers work 187 days. Students attend school 180 days. I figured out this past 2008 - 2009 year there were 261 work days in the year. That is counting all of the days Monday through Friday in the year.

NOW take out the holidays during this time that most people in the corporate world get:

January - January 1st and Dr. King's birthday
February - Some people get off Lincoln's birthday, most people get off President's day.
March - 0
April - Some people get off Good Friday
May - Memorial Day
June - 0
July - 4th of July
August - 0
September - Labor Day
October - Columbus Day
November - Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and the day after
December - Christmas Day

So if I say 10 paid holidays for most people in the USA that should be the average.

Now take 261 days available to work M-F less 10 holiday days = 251 work days. Take 180 days from this that the students MUST be in school and I have 71 days left. Take the 44 UNPAID days that we get off in July and August and we have left 27 days between a teacher and a non-teacher.

Out of these 27 days we have to consider that most people working in Corporate America get at least two paid vacation weeks, with many getting three paid vacation weeks. So if I use the two paid vacation weeks from the 27 days that means there are 17 days left to account for between a teacher and everyone else.

I have NOT counted that in my district we work 7 more days than the students so that leaves, for us, only a difference of 10 days between me and most people in Corporate America who get two paid weeks vacation. Of course if they get three paid weeks then that leaves 5 days difference.

People are going to say that we get more time off for Christmas week and Easter week, but I am using ONLY the days in the year. I didn't count in that I have to work a second job to make ends meet, as do many teachers. (I work the after school program and many of us work summer school.)

Truly, my best response when someone tells me how nice it is to be a teacher working so few hours is: I remind them that my summer time is NOT paid, which many of them do not realize. I also remind them that during the year I am "cooking" at least FOUR Thanksgiving dinners a day, each and every day. I explain it this way.

When one cooks a Thanksgiving Dinner one has to plan the menu, then go shopping for the ingredients, store the ingredients, then take them out and cook the meal, then serve the meal, which takes 10 to 20 minutes to eat, and then spend hours cleaning up and figuring out what to do with the left overs.

Well, teaching, especially the little ones, is the same thing. I have to plan my lesson plan. Get the ingredients to the lesson plan together. Store it until I use it. Take it out, teach it to the students and then let them complete the lesson which usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. I then have to grade the papers and assess how the lesson went and decide if I am going to reteach the lesson or modify it and move on. I do this at least 4 times a day, so that means I am preparing a minimum of 20 Thanksgiving Dinners each week x 36 weeks = 720 Thanksgiving Dinners each school year, minimum.

OR YOU COULD JUST SAY, "YES, THE TWO MONTHS UNPAID SUMMER BREAK IS WHY I BECAME A TEACHER. DON'T YOU WISH YOU WERE A TEACHER ALSO?"

Last edited by Nunziata; 06-14-2009 at 07:01 PM..
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Amen to
Old 06-15-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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What Nunziata said!
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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It looks to me, like someone on here is just pretending to be a teacher.
It is hard work and we don't get the time we need to do the additional paperwork that keeps getting added to our load. Dukesters post was very offensive to me. I'm stunned that someone would even say that.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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Seriously?
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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Can't cllick on Dukester's link to see where he/she is located, but it's not in my state, or the districts of the posters I've read on this site. Wow, I hope he/she was kidding.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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You've got to be kidding... This is a heart and soul job and
this is a vent board. If you don't agree, that's fine.. read a different post. I definitely find your use of the word "most" as in "most teachers" offensive.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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i'm so glad you are not part of my school's staff. your bad attitude would disrupt the morale of a dedicated group of professionals. i don't know why people are in any profession they don't enjoy and respect. teaching is a draining as it is rewarding.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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I think there are some really crappy schools and principals that don't hold teachers to high expectations. I don't know where these schools are, but you are obviously at one of them (??).

Not at my school. There are way too many ways of being held accountable. Our lesson plans have to be ridiculously long, and our principals come and check to make sure we are following our specific standards using cooperative learning and SIOP strategies. If we aren't they meet with us, come up with goals, and then do a follow-up. Plus, we share our common assessment scores with other teachers, so if my scores are super low, everyone knows, and everyone has to help. We meet with our principals every quarter to share data information.
I honestly don't believe that teachers can just slide through without putting in a ton of effort.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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Yikes!!! You are in the wrong field. If you are not into teaching get out!!! I have always done my best in any position I have held and I consider teaching to be one of the greatest jobs on earth AND one of the most time consuming -- you may want to consider the post office!!
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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I am a 12 month employee and have been for approximately half my teaching career - first because the school I worked for was year round, and now because I'm contracted to do curriculum and administrative work. When people ask me what I am doing for the summer, I'm always sure to mention that I am working, even if I'm also going away or planning fun activities for my vacation days. I do want people to know that I'm putting in the time and that the organizing and planning for the school year doesn't magically happen by itself.

PS - Don't feed the trolls.
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Dukester where do you teach?
Old 06-15-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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Dukester, where do you teach? In my school there are NO teachers that stand around talking or observing work. In my school my administration does not allow worksheets or people not doing there job. We work very hard in my school. We are constantly working to improve our teaching. We meet weekly with our grade level and administration. I don't know where you teach, but my job is not the easiest job on the plant. I have worked in Corporate America and I have owned my own business and I teach. None of these jobs compare with each other. I work long and hard to be an effective teacher. In my school if I did a crappy job my administration would make sure I either improved or moved to another profession.

AND for the record I do NOT get three months off. I'm working until the 29th of June, which leaves me July and part of August, not counting the days I have already signed up for workshops to learn how to be more effective in my teaching.

I also believe if you are going to say what you have just said that you should at least have the guts to sign in!!!!!!

dramacentral I was thinking troll when I read Dukester's message, but I couldn't help myself from responding.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I generally say, "Isn't that a great perk for shaping our future?"
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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One year, a friend of mine copied the application page to a local university and handed one to anyone who made the "three months off" comment.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I also get so annoyed by this! Fortunately all of the *important* people in my life get it. For the other people, the conversation usually goes like this:

"It must be so nice to have the summer's off"

"I love having the summer's off! Now if I could only convince the government to make it a paid vacation!"

"You don't get paid in the summer?"

"No, I only work September-June, therefore I only get paid September-June. My last paycheque is June 30 and my next paycheque is September 30"

"Really? I thought it was 8 weeks paid holidays"

Don't we wish!!!
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PS (a bit snarky!)
Old 06-15-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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Perhaps Dukester couldn't hack it and had to quit and therefore has decided to take revenge on the rest of us The ghost of teacher past....
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I just smile :)
Old 06-15-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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When people say things like that to me, I just smile and say "Yep, sucks to be you!!"

No, not really...I usually just say something like "Yeah, it is pretty great...you know, you could always go back to school and become a teacher too!" - I don't let it get to me. People just don't realize how much teachers (those who are dedicated) bring home throughout the year and continue to work on during the summer. Just because they're ignorant, they aren't going to spoil my summer fun!

Plus, I didn't even get paid last summer and had to work 50+ hours each week on my "summer break". This year, they gave us the opportunity to spread out our pay over 52 weeks, so I did, but I'm still working a lot.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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We all know the realities. Love some of the snappy come backs I just read.

Here's mine -- and it takes care of two Joe Q. Public pet peeves at once

"I need all that time off to spend all that money I make."
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I disagree
Old 06-15-2009, 08:34 PM
 
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I have to disagree with most of you.

I think it's well deserved time off. But it is a vacation.I do work in the summer, but it's not 8 hours of work every, single day I am off. As teachers, having days off is a perk that not many other professions are able to take part in. There are other professions where people also work long days, take work home with them, and have to attend trainings and etc. These professions do not get extra time off like we do.

Teachers are paid based on a yearly salary. It may be different in other states, but my pay is pretty similar to others who have to work all 12 months out of the year. In other words, our salary is based on a year, not the 9 months we work.

I think the comment of "you must enjoy paid time off" can be offensive. I don't think people mean for it to. You're right, others do not understand what we go through, but we can't speak and compare ourselves to other occupations because we don't know what they are going through.

For me, the vacation is a perk and definitely not something I feel entitled to or feel like I've worked so hard, I deserve it. I am sure others deserve it just as much as we do. I think for us state that we're entitled to this discredits other professions.

Now, let met clarify that I absolutely lovvvee teaching and have been in instances where I countdown until summer. But I don't think I am entitled to this vacation, and I love having the time off for family. I do benefit from it.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:52 AM
 
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that's a funny way to respond. i'd love to see the reaction that got!
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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BCAB, I LOVE your response. I hope you don't mind that I am going to try and remember it and used it the next time someone tells me how lucky I am to have the summer off with pay.

PinkPeonies, I don't think anyone feels that they are entitled to time off just because they are teachers. It just happens to be the way the teaching profession is set up. Would I still teach if it were a 12 month job? Yes!!!! Do I consider having the summer off a perk? Yes I do. Having said that I also believe it is a negative because I am not paid for this time off. I have to make sure I budget myself so I can get through the months without a paycheck.

I do agree that there are a number of professions that people work long and hard hours, bring work home, and do not get the summer off, but everything is in perspective. I acknowledge that these positions exist. The problem is too many of these people don't realize what I do as a teacher and that I am not paid for the time I do not work. I think that was the intent of the original poster. Too many people do not realize that we are not paid for this time off.

Regarding you comment: "...we can't speak and compare ourselves to other occupations because we don't know what they are going through." I can personally respond to your comment because teaching is technically my second career. Actually I started teaching when I first got out of college and then went into Corporate America. I left Corporate America to run my own business and then went back into Corporate America to a family owned and operated business and finally back into teaching. I believe I can personally speak from a number of different positions. In ALL of my positions I worked long and hard, brought work home, worked overtime, etc. as I was raising my family. My work ethic has not changed because I am a teacher. What has changed is the salary and the responsibilities. What has also changed is the way the public views me in this profession called teaching. I sometimes think the public doesn't respect what I do. They think I am a glorified babysitter. They do not realize I am trying to shape the future of the next generation. In addition too many of them want to blame everything that is wrong in this world on my shoulders.

In many ways it was easier raising my family in Corporate America than it is as a teacher. That may sound funny, but for me it is true. When I worked as a hourly employee I was eligible for overtime. When I worked in Management I was eligible for comp time. I could take longer lunches if I needed to be with my children or did flex time. As a teacher I am much more tied to the clock than I ever was in Corporate America.

I don't know where you work, but my pay is based on 10 months and only 10 months. Everyone in my family works outside of teaching and work 12 month jobs. They are also paid a lot more than I am paid. They don't have to justify their salary or their job to anyone. I realize since my salary is paid by the public I need to justify it, but there is no comparing my salary to a salary for a non-teacher. Having said that, I am paid well because of my district, but I do work hard for this money.

I did not become a teacher because of the money or the time off. I became a teacher because I have always wanted to be a teacher. I enjoy what I do and I am glad for everything that I am able to do because of my profession.

I wish us all a fantastic summer break where we find time to read books that aren't school related, go to workshops we want to benefit ourselves, and time with our families and friends. I wish us all a time to renew our batteries to begin a new school year.

Last edited by Nunziata; 06-16-2009 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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Just to clarify. I am not paid a yearly salary.
My contract and collective agreement define the terms of my employment. The Board pays me for 194 teaching days -- 188 instructional days and 6 PA days. That is the rate at which I earn my pay.
However, the method by which I am paid is 26 equal payments. So yes, currently I am paid during July and August but this is in fact money that I earned from September 1 to June 30. Essentially the Board has held back earned salary to be paid out over the summer months.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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I too am paid for the ten months I work, September to June 26th. I am lucky that my district allows us to take out money each pay period to defer receipt in 4 paychecks during July and August, otherwise I would have to do much more to budget my salary during the school year. These 4 paychecks are money I earned during the 10 months, but in effect "banked" with the district to get paid during July and August. I don't know many public school teachers that work 12 months, but I do know a number of private and pre-school teachers that work year round.
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Yes, it is nice...
Old 06-17-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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... it makes up for all of those 12 hour days and weekends I spent working the last 9 months out of the year!!!
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Amen!
Old 06-20-2009, 09:34 AM
 
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I totally agree with Nunziata...

As "dedicated" teachers that eat, sleep, and even vacation new lessons and activities I wish we were paid what we were worth! I love teaching and wouldn't leave it for anything. However, it sure would be nice to not have to teach summer school and not work a second job throughout the year!
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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Nunziata, my clarification regarding method of pay was in response to PinkPeonies post.
When I began teaching we were paid 100% of our salary during the 10 month school year. Although we changed the method of payment many years ago we still have teachers who think we are paid for our time off, when in fact our salary is simply deferred.
I'm sorry if my post sounded like a challenge to either you or PinkPeonies. That was not my intent. I enjoy reading your posts.
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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Thank you for the clarification regarding your method of pay. Your post did not sound like a challenge to me. My response was also to PinkPeonies post. I do think WE all work hard as teachers. I have one more week and this school year is over. It has been a very rewarding and challenging school year all wrapped up in the same package. I am looking forward to sitting back and assessing what went well and where I can improve as a teacher once the year is over. Right now I am dragging and just hoping I get through this week, as I'm sick. The last week of school is always happy and sad at the same time. I will miss my students and reflecting back always makes me hope that I was a good role model for them.
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