“Must Be Nice to Have a Spring Break”

If your a teacher, you’ve heard this passive-aggressive line before.

“Must be nice having a spring break every year.”

While I’m sure a few non-teachers have said this innocently, this comment is almost always a verbal punch-in-the-face. It’s usually a thinly-veiled insult suggesting that teaching is a fluff job while the speaker has a real job.

When I hear this, I usually smile and say something like, “Yes, it’s nice to be able to spend some time with my kids.” Now, I love teaching and wouldn’t trade it for any job in the world, but I don’t think the majority of people who say this quite understand the sacrifices our jobs require. I’m starting to think I need to assemble an army of snarky comments from which to respond. Maybe I should point out that:

– I start the day checking school email and often end it emailing parents.

– I spend Friday night grading and recording papers.

– I spend Saturday morning doing plans for the next week.

– I buy a lot of my own supplies for my classroom.

– I spent a day of this vacation working in my classroom, something I almost always do.

– I sometimes have a hard time turning off my teacher brain.

– People with other jobs have breaks too; they just call them vacation days.

The biggest problem is that it’s really hard to say any of these things without sounding like a jerk. And, as a teacher, I am always representing not just my school corporation, but the profession as a whole. None of these comments are complaints, but they would sound like one in an exchange like this:

Some Guy: Must be nice having a spring break.

Me: Oh yeah, well, it must be nice not having to do any work at home.

Some Guy: Wow, you’re a jerk.

See? I’m even aware that this blog post has somehow moved in a complainy direction. So what’s the solution? I think teachers need to just continue to communicate the amazing things that are happening in their classrooms. Showing parents classroom activities is a start, but we need to go beyond this. If the greater community sees the positive things happening in classrooms, they will be less likely to take a verbal-swipe at the profession. Blog posts, school websites, newspaper submissions, putting student publications in waiting rooms, and countless other ideas will help to increase respect for teachers among the public.



About mrwhitehb

I teach 4th grade and am the chair of the Young Hoosier Book Award Committee for grades 4-6.

Posted on April 2, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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