From the Web: We Know What You Did This Summer

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Vacations are a thing of the past for many teachers, what with financial pressures, summer school, and increased professional development options and course-preparation needs. Visitors to shared their own thoughts about the summer recess.

Break? There’s a break?

I have spent the summer working in three different learning communities related to my school’s [improvement plan] and attending an AP chemistry workshop. I’m also now recovering from lung surgery to remove some nodules that were found in April, but I couldn’t take off from school [then] for the surgery due to state mandated tests having to be administered by a certified teacher.

Watching the hummingbirds, taking walks, and reconnecting with the earth are my aims. I am careful to guard against “activities” that would intrude upon the necessary pursuits of relaxation and daydreaming.

I have been teaching high school mathematics for 18 years, and I have yet to have a summer free of education-related work.

I do not think there is a one-size-fits-all Rx for how teachers should spend their summers. ... Reality is reality—we can’t all take trips, spend entire days in our pj’s, or participate in quality training. But in my opinion, no matter what the situation, all teachers should do whatever they can to reconnect with themselves and their families/friends during the summer, to feel like a real human being who has a life outside of the school and the classroom.

See more responses or post your own at

Vol. 17, Issue 01, Page 12

Published in Print: September 1, 2005, as We Know What You Did This Summer
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