An Answer to, “Teachers have it easy–three months off!”

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Hi poets and teachers–I’m sharing another poem from my new collection, The Heart of a Teacher, today. (And an educator just gave it a 5‑star review on Amazon–so excited:>) About this time of year, lots of teachers I know start hearing all over again how lucky they are to only work 8–9 months a year. Right. And I read blogs and Tweets and emails full of teachers sharing all their professional reading, training, brainstorming, and creating they plan to do over the summer. Sometimes, this idea about teachers having it super easy just cheeses me off. So I wrote this slightly sarcastic song parody.

I Think You Should Try It Too

If you like it, and IF you’re fed up with hearing about your three-month paid vacation, I hope you’ll share it with your colleagues. If you don’t ever get those comments, I am glad for you that you live in an area where the community really values and respects its educators.

And everyone, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with wonderful teacher/writer/poet Margaret Simon!

heart of a teacher
The Heart of a Teacher — 64 poems about being an educator

19 Responses

  1. So true Laura, as evidenced by family and friends who give their all to their profession. I’ve seen your verses played out in their ten weeks. The only problem I have is how to get through the day without the melody surfacing to the forefront of my brain every few minutes. “Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now … ! I suppose laughing is better than the alternative.

    1. Heehee. Thanks a lot, Martha. Now *I’m* going to be singing about peanuts all day! But yes. Laughing is better than crying or screaming :>)

  2. Too many people in too many jobs take their work home, work after the kids are in bed, start each day a little more tired and fried than the last. I feel for teachers, but they aren’t the only ones who struggle. On the other hand, after 8–9 months with other people’s kids, I suspect you need to take time as badly as the kids do. I value and respect teachers, and a good teacher is above rubies, emeralds or gold.

    1. True, Brenda. As a culture, we are working ourselves ragged. The thing that’s different about teaching, to me, is that the people who make these remarks are usually implying (or saying outright) that teachers get paid too much or don’t really work a full-time job or, basically, have it easy. That makes me want to scream. But I know there are many jobs that I don’t realize how hard they are, too!

      1. Most people I know who don’t teach are terrified by groups of kids. Most of them can’t even speak publicly, much less control a crowd. I think even those vocally complaining at some level realize that they could not do your job. But rather than admit it, they poke at a teacher’s vulnerabilities.

        1. That is a generous way to look at it, Brenda–thank you! (I’m not a teacher anymore–I only taught for two years.) When I hear derogatory remarks, it still gets my back up. Obviously:>)

          1. I taught writing, and I was amazed how much out-of-class work was required, while the salary was only for in-class work. I did end up feeling quite taken for granted in some way. In others, it was highly rewarding and wonderful work.

  3. One part of summer that I did love when I taught was that I had hours of relaxing time to plan for the next year, and to work in my classroom. I guess anyone other than a teacher wouldn’t understand it, but you show that you do through this poem, Laura.

    1. Yes! It’s relaxing to be able to have the time separate from the kids to regroup and dream and plan. It’s less stressful work. (But still part of your work.)

  4. Love that poem, Laura. It was also nice to see Jayne (from Your Daily Poem) give this book a shout-out on Facebook the other day. I felt like I was rubbing elbows with a couple of celebrities!

    1. Aw, thanks, Violet:>) That was so nice of Jayne to do! Snort on the celebrities–yep, that’s us.

  5. AMEN, sister! (Plus, I’m stealing “cheeses me off.”) A parent visited in my classroom for most of the day today and left with her eyes WIDE open at all we accomplish in a day, and how many plates I spin simultaneously. Simple? Hardly.

    1. Yes! Isn’t it wonderful when people gain a new appreciation for the hard work you do?

  6. I loved this poem. It’s so true. Working as a high school teacher and counselor, I met many talented and hard working teachers. I wish them all a lovely summer.

    1. Thanks, Zoraida–counselors are sure hard-working, too. It’s a tough job. Our family worked closely with several school counselors for one of our daughters…such a needed (but also often misused by admin, in my opinion) position.

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