At the end of every semester for the past … forever now … there’s this sense of finality when I turn in grades. I often celebrate with a social media post like the ones highlighted above and joke about catching up on napping. And there’s loads of memes floating around social media right now encouraging teachers to binge Netflix, wear PJs all day, etc. And I’m all for that, if you can.
The end to this Fall 2020 semester felt significantly different to me, though. Of course, I’m sure the pandemic has something to do with that. But, truthfully, it got me thinking about why there’s no “end” to the work and what teachers really do during Christmas break. So here’s some work that I know I and others keep doing throughout the break:
- Managing students who are still turning in work (i.e., incompletes and extensions)
- Departmental meetings and documentation
- Professional development (i.e., certification programs and other extras to make us better teachers, often on our own time and our own dime)
- Side gigs and projects (i.e., work we’re passionate about but can’t do normally because teaching takes up all our time and energy normally)
And there’s probably a lot more than I’m not accounting for here. So, if you have a teacher friend, maybe think twice before commenting on him/her being “off” for weeks. Instead, make sure the coffee’s full and the wi-fi strong. And if, by chance, there’s time for a nap, mind your own business.