on the first day of summer break my true love gave to me…

Starting summer break is always weird.

I look forward to it for weeks while I finish up the million things that I have to do at school.  This year was especially taxing.  Not only did I have six classes instead of five to wrap up, I had graduation to run.

I had tests and quizzes and essays to grade.

I had make-ups and credit recovery to chase.

I had seniors to hound about credits, parents to call about failing grades, graduation rehearsals to plan and run, a senior picnic to organize, and the list really keeps going.

It was a whirlwind.

This past Tuesday I was at school from 7:15am until 8:30pm because of graduation.  I didn’t go home between school and the ceremony because I had so much to work on and it seemed silly to drive 40 minutes home just to turn around and come back.

Wednesday and Thursday were half days for the students, but I still had meetings and grading to get done in the afternoon.

When Friday finally showed up, I was in sort of a daze.

For two hours the staff had their final meeting of the year and then we were free.

We had our annual staff get-together at a teacher’s house to unwind and gab about the latest dirt and rumors in the district about what could possibly happen to our jobs, and then it was time to go.

I got home and just sat.

After all the constant going and doing over the past few weeks I was suddenly done.

So what did I do?  I fell asleep on the couch while Cort watched Tivo-ed episodes of Whale Wars.

Today I woke up somewhat refreshed.

Cort bought me a Groupon to get a shellac mani/pedi so I cashed that in, treated myself to a venti frappacino at Starbucks, and did a little shopping at Target.

I still don’t think it’s sunk in yet that I am done with work for a few months.

And it’s hard to enjoy because my district faces a pantload of cuts again due to decisions made in Lansing, but we won’t know until the end of June who is getting pink slipped.

And it could be August before I see a teaching assignment or schedule.

Of course the snide comments about how easy my job is because I get 2.5 months off each summer have already started.

It’s hard to come off one of the most difficult teaching years of my career and get slapped with a “pfft.  I wish I got more than two months off every year.  must be nice!”

It is nice, yes.

And if I had to teach year ’round?  I would consider another job.

And if you want your summers off too?  They DO still have teaching certificates available.  You could go to school for the rest of your life and pay $175 each time it expires to keep it too.

Go ahead.

I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

Anyway…what was I talking about?

I don’t even know.

This post is not going anywhere.

But I am off for the summer.  There are haters, but guess what.  I still have the summer off.

Well, until I start that class in two weeks that I have to pay for in order to keep my teaching certificate which expires next year that I have to pay $175 to keep so I can have a job…if there is a job for me.

Yay!  Summer!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Happy summer friend! Enjoy because after such a crazy year, you deserve it!

  2. 2 months off is great. For all the work that most teachers do they deserve that break.

    My state is making huge cuts to money for education. I hope you aren’t too effected by the cuts and you have a job to go back to.

  3. It would be nice if people kept in mind that for every up there is usually a down, right?

    Enjoy your summer and I really hope your job doesn’t get cut!

  4. OMG. The haters. THE HATERS. GAH.

    Know what I say to them:

    EFF YOU.

    In other news, I totally know what you mean about the whole “What do I do now?” feeling. Because I spent the past two days feeling it. It feels strange.

  5. Yay Katie!! I have lots of teacher friends and I am always jealous of them this time of year…but not come September :0) Enjoy your couple of free weeks.

  6. Yay for summer breaks for teachers, the most unappreciated group of people in the world!

    My sister is a teacher – she can’t take time off during term AT ALL, so any breaks is precious and welcomed. Screw the haters, they’re just jealous.

    Enjoy your time! Glad you got it off to a great start with a mani/ pedi, coffee and much needed sleep!

  7. I hate all those haters. I mean when you said that if teachers had to work full time you might find a new job, that is so true! I mean we so work more than a 40 hour week with all we take home…plus all the stress of working for a state funded organization fueled by politics…grrrr…the stress. This year I paid $500 to update my certificate…well $1000 if you don’t count my district reimbursing me. My state makes us get our professional certificate within the first 7 years of teaching. It’s a big pain in the ass…part time school while working full time. Well, you know. Just getting a vent out in the comments section of your post. Hope you don’t mind ;). But so glad you got to sit back today. You so deserve it!

  8. My cousin is a teacher in Idaho and every summer she takes a job at Target to keep paying her rent. It’s INSANE what she does to continue teaching history to junior high students. Major kudos for being willing to manage other people’s kids, work WAY MORE than 40 hours a week, and have to listen to people who don’t get it think you’re just a babysitter. You’re SO much more than that!

  9. Screw the haters. You’ve worked hard all year and deserve this. Enjoy it!

    I am a former preschool teacher and my brother is currently a high school teacher. We’re not allowed days off during the school year, so think of this as taking your whole vacation time in one long stretch.

    Let the be jealous! 😉

  10. I’m so jealous I can’t stand it! 🙂 Okay, I’m jealous until I think about all the uncertainty, politics, and general BS that I’m sure you have to deal with when teaching. Don’t let the haters (ahem, ME) try to spoil your fun! Soak it up! Brag about it! I WOULD.

  11. Girl, don’t get me started! I hate, HATE when people say “Oh you have the summer’s off, lucky.” Oh, I’m sorry. Maybe they missed the part where I spend a large portion of my summer in my classroom creating material for the forthcoming school year. Because not only does the state government review curriculum yearly, they have the right to change it and if they do, we have to change our instruction.

    And like now, since we are locked out of school cause of some silly construction and painting they are doing in the building? I am creating the resources the entire First Grade team (4 teachers) will use to teach our children Fry’s 2nd 100 sight words per our new standard for next year that all 1st graders know the first 200 sight words by the end of the year.

    And to echo what everyone else said. We are under-appreciated and clearly don’t get paid enough. This is why I am working a 2nd job as a freelance writer AND teaching summer school starting July 14th. Summer’s off? My a**!

    Love you girl. Kick your feet up. Drink wine. Go to Target in the middle of the day and do other stuff we don’t get to do when school is in session.

  12. …”if you want your summers off too? They DO still have teaching certificates available. You could go to school for the rest of your life and pay $175 each time it expires to keep it…”

    I love you for saying this. So hard.

    Yes, yes, and oh yeah one more time YES.

    p.s. Hope your toes look cute.

  13. I wish I all those “haters” for one week could switch shoes with me. Sort of…see what it is like to carry the emotional burdens home, to spend most nights grading and planning and your weekends doing extra school things like coaching that rarely amount to minimum wage when it is all said I done.
    I used to get angry when people would say those things and defend our profession but now I brush it off. I think that there are a lot people who couldn’t hack it in our profession and the entitlement in corporate America is beyond my comprehension.
    What I walk away with every day is the satisfaction that I do something that matters, that involves kids, and maybe just maybe will make a difference so day down the road.

  14. I hate those haters who think that teachers have such an easy ride. Pft…if they could only walk a day in your shoes.
    Enjoy the summer my friend. Kick the shoes off…walk in the grass barefoot with Eddie. Life is going to be swell for you…I know it will

  15. Shifting gears for the summer is hard. I do wish there was year-around school. I still think you deserve 10+ weeks off but spread out.
    I am so grateful to my kids’ teachers and teachers in my life. Y’all work so hard and care so much.
    My comment is all over the place as well

  16. ((((((())))) i hear ya! happy summer!

  17. I thought I was going to be an English teacher for a long time.

    Until I was an English major.

    Enjoy your summers, and smile at all the haters. Cause they’re at work and you’re not.

  18. YEA, I don’t hate you…but I do ENVY you…a lot. I’d love to have the next few months off.

    WHO-HOO it’s summertime!

  19. wouldn’t it be nice to REALLY have those summers off? while we are not required to be at our job for a few months, there is always SOMETHING to do, SOMETHING to think about, SOMETHING to accomplish. it certainly is not a 9-5 job during those eight months.

    thanks for this post. it’s good to know there are people out there that aren’t in it for the summers off 🙂


  20. Seriously, people who make snide comments are just ridiculous and short-sighted and don’t think about all the work teachers have to do the rest of the year. That’s all. That being said I hope you can unwind a bit, and that things go as well as can be for you.

  21. Enjoy your summer. No matter when your vacation time is, or how long it is, every person that works deserves it!

    But about the teaching certificates? I have a friend who taught middle school math for 3 years and then lost his job because he didn’t have a bachelor’s degree in education. And it’s very hard to convince someone to get a degree when they won’t make enough in the next ten years to pay off the loans in addition to the regular bills.

  22. i don’t even know how you deal with those comments. ARRRRGHHH!

    Enjoy your very well deserved break ma lady!!!