The Truth About a Teacher’s Summer Break

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It is often said that teachers get the “summer off.”   While it is true that teachers may not have students in the summer (unless they teach summer school or tutor) it is a bit of a stretch to say that from the last day of school to the first day of school teachers are “off.”   So, what then, are teachers really doing in the summer? Here is the truth about a teacher’s summer break told by a teacher!

A teacher's summer "off" often includes lesson plans, teacher workshops, and trainings. Learn the truth about a teacher's summer break!

The Truth About a Teacher’s Summer Break

I often find myself needing to clarify what a real day in the life of a Kindergarten teacher looks like. Today, I am here to clear some things up about our summers!

Well… people may imagine us doing this after the last bell rings… (And wouldn’t we like to!).

Parents and students may picture teachers on a beach for the whole summer break.

While we do perhaps go on some nice vacations or spend time outside, this isn’t exactly what we spend the majority of our time doing! (Although I do hope we find time to!)

Here are some things you may find teachers engaged in over the summer:

Classes and Trainings

Teachers often attend workshops and conferences over the summer to gather new ideas, learn new research, or practice new strategies to take back to the classroom with them in the fall. Many teachers also further their education and pursue additional degrees or certificates at colleges or online during the summer.

Often teachers spend their summer break in the classroom furthering their education.

Curriculum Work and Lesson Plans

Teachers really never stop planning. We are always thinking of new ideas and how we can implement them, and that doesn’t stop over summer break!

Often, teachers work solo or get together in small groups over summer to work on lesson plans or curriculum together.

Often, teachers work on lesson plans or curriculum during the summer.

Professional Reading

There are some amazing books out there to help us grow and learn as teachers. Summer is a great time for us to catch up on that learning and get new ideas for the following school year.

What books are you reading this summer break? Let me know so I can check them out!

Classroom Cleaning and Design

Well, to put it bluntly – the classroom doesn’t pack itself! Many teachers are required to pack up a ton of their classroom after each school year. This allows for summer cleaning to be done. This is often a good time to do some summer cleaning of our own and (ahem) throw things away that we swore we needed but haven’t used (Guilty!).

Teachers also go back weeks before students. Some of us even sooner than that. We need to set the room up again and prepare for our next year in the classroom.

Many teachers are required to pack up a ton of their classroom after each school year so that summer cleaning can be done.

So, the truth is, teachers don’t get 3 months off like is often assumed. Even if we ran out the door screaming on the last day, abandoned any responsibilities, and strolled in the first day of school (I really don’t recommend this approach) it would still not be as long as is often perceived.

Even though teachers often do school related things over summer break – that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy some well deserved time off! We spend time with our friends and family, take time to ourselves, and perhaps get some things done around our house or explore our hobbies some more, maybe even travel!

So the next time someone may be wondering what a teacher really does this summer, you can tell them you DO have some fun, but that a teacher’s job really never ends! Good thing we love it!

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  1. Hi Alex, I am currently teaching summer school in hopes of saving for my dream home. In the midst of teaching, I am wrapping up requirements for my Master’s of Reading. I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.

  2. I love this post Alex. This is right on! I would also like to add (and do inform people when they comment on our time off) that this is unpaid time. We only get paid 10 months out of the school year, vs. a full 12 months. However, we need some down time b/c when we are on, we are on. I was nodding my head to each of your thoughts!
    Kindergarten Planet

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