No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Alice Cooper

Ok, so I’m definitely not a huge Alice Cooper fan, but 1) this song was in my head today as I left work on the last day before my summer vacation (not to be confused with “my summer off” – details later) and 2) it’s totally appropriate to how I feel at the end of this school year, more like a student leaving school…not a teacher.

It has been a hard school year.  A hard year in general for me.  Half the time I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark, except that everyone else could see the huge ass I was making of myself.  The other half I was extremely grateful for the extended hands who helped me find the light, and keep my head above water. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want school to end forever…I just desperately need a break.  Even if it is just one week…which it is.

So this is the dirty secret about teaching. Everyone THINKS teachers have it “easy” …work 9-10 months out of the year and then have the summer off to travel the world, right? WRONG.  Many teachers in traditional school settings have to work summer school to make extra money to just live because teacher pay is so pathetic, so they don’t get those summers off.  Travelling the world? Maybe after a few years of saving or working summers, or doing 8 million extra things to afford it. Those in non-traditional settings that are year-round (like myself) have no choice but to work the summer because that is when the school year starts over.      So, I get a week.  I do have time saved up to take time off throughout the year (which I intend to figure out how to do without stressing myself out more…)…but it’s not the school year of old where it starts the week after Labor Day and ends in June… more like, it ends today and starts back up July 1.

Where will I be during my week, you ask? Santa Barbara, suckers!  I can only afford two days (see above-mentioned note about pathetic pay) but M and I are going to have a rollicking good time, visiting the zoo, seeing old college friends (of mine, not M’s), dipping in the pool and the ocean, eating lots of ice cream and enjoying Solstice, SB-Style.  The rest of the time will be a bit of a staycation, some yoga, a massage or two, and some home organizing (because less clutter makes Joy a happy girl.)

And with that, I will say good night and happy First Day of Summer!