The Joke I Cannot Tolerate

“What are the three most important words to a teacher?”

“June, July, and August.”

I despise this joke. It adds to the rhetoric that teachers do not care about their students, that teachers are lazy ne’er-do-wells who couldn’t figure out anything better to do with their lives.

And it implies that once the school year ends, teachers don’t give their students–or their pedagogy–a single thought.

It’s not true.

Today is the first day of summer break, and what have I done? Finished reading “The Book Whisperer” by Donalyn Miller, and thought about how I can implement her approach to growing readers in my own classroom. Checked in on Twitter occasionally, and read some articles about how to be a better teacher. Built up my GoodReads to-read list so I have recommendations for students next year. Thought about how I can make my teaching life a little more manageable next year.

I haven’t been out of school for 24 hours, and I’m already trying to figure out how to do it better next year. This is not new–this is what the first few days of summer break look like for me.

That’s not to say I don’t have some fun things planned for the summer…mostly just relaxing and hanging out with my family. Trips will likely not happen this summer, as I’m saving for a trip to Japan for next summer. That plan is worth the sacrifice of laying low for the next several weeks.

And I do have some lofty goals, as well. Run (but let’s be real…mostly walk) 100 miles before August 14. Read 24 books. Write a textbook for a class I teach, because no textbook exists for it. Revise the memoir I wrote in November. Learn the 1st page of Rhapsody in Blue (it’s a crazy hard song, and I have tiny hands, so that may not happen).

I’m not just sitting around, doing nothing all summer. Sure, right now it’s 11 AM and I’m still in my PJs, books strewn all over my bed and my home is a bit of a mess. I’m giving myself some lazy time for the next few days. And since a Redbox code just popped up on my phone, I think today might be the day I finally see Captain America.

But next week? It’s back to work.

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