Every year, over and over (and over) again, TEACHERS everywhere across the country give their students -- your kids and mine -- all of their energy, attention, love, support, time and guidance.
And, now, on the eve of the last day of school for the year (for my tykes at least), I think about how these living angels will finally get a break.
Or will they?
Yet, for so many teachers, there are not two to three months of summer fun and at-your-leisure rest.
Most teachers spend their summer preparing for the next school year.
While other teachers continue to teach or run summer programs through the school, community center, or online.
Quite a few teachers hold an alternative summertime, seasonal job so that they can continue to bring in a paycheck.
Some others have children of their own to tend to, care for, be present with and transport to a plethora of activities all over Timbuktu.
Can you even believe that there are teachers who do it ALL over their summer "break" including, but not limited to, caring for their own kids, working a side job, volunteering and literally and mentally preparing for the coming year?
And, honestly, it's impressive AF.
Pretty commonly, you hear from mothers, like myself, who talk and write about how busy we are and how we are struggling to find the "balance" amidst is all.
But, there's this whole other cohort of freakin' Superwomen who are just like you and me, but slightly BETTER.
And, that's not a knock at either of us, it's just an incredibly well-earned shoutout aimed towards teachers.
Because, well, I've come to a conclusion -- reached in complete genuineness and backed by gratitude -- that it is thanks to those individuals who have stepped up to the low-paying, stress-inducing, but-LORD knows-they-are-making-a-HUGE-difference, educational plate, that I am afforded the time to step back from it (or maybe up to my own plate) and do with a few hours of my days whatever it is that I need to for me and my family.
The amount of heart that goes into being a full or part-time teacher is beyond comprehension and because of that, whatever words of appreciation I am attempting to deliver here, will not be enough to adequately encompass and explain how thankful I feel for all that they do.
To every single teacher who just went on or is about to be on some version of a summer hiatus, I hope that you find or make the time, somewhere, to make sure that beyond
preparing your classroom for the fall,
tackling any other kind of work,
caring for your spouse or family,
and tending to your home,
that you find time to visit
a movie theatre,
venture out on a girls' night out,
have a date night with your significant other,
go to a concert,
read a book,
or drink an entire cup of coffee while it's still hot,
or finish a bottle of wine
WITH NO INTERRUPTIONS.
Without your kid or kids, my kid, or any other student innocently taking from your bucket; which you, on the daily, regularly allow them to pull from what they need because you're selfless like that.
Teachers like to give of themselves, and from what I've observed and heard, they feel good about regularly meeting others (especially the little) people's needs.
Well, if you are a teacher, and you are reading this, I'd like you to meet my need -- because why not just add that to your eternally growing list -- which is that I NEED for you to ensure that this summer, you allow yourself some version of a break, however that looks for you.
Every year, over and over (and over) again, TEACHERS everywhere across the country give their students -- your kids and mine -- all of their energy, attention, love, support, time, and guidance.
So, now, on the eve of the last day of school for the year, it's time that we remind teachers just how beholden to them we are for that.
One way we can convey such, is by solely and loudly advocating that for as long as their summer is, they make sure to give the same -- or perhaps, even more -- energy, attention, love, support, time, and guidance to their damn self, because no one is more deserving.
**** To every teacher I know -- my mom who taught when I was growing up, my mother-in-law, my Nana, and my friends and acquaintances who call a classroom their "home away from home" -- you're not just inspiring the youth of America, you're also inspiring women like me.
Keep it up.
This picture-perfect image is of my lovely and dear friend, who is a teacher and a mother. I admire her in SO MANY ways.
Photo Credit: John Finnerty (used with permission)