Summer is a Waste of Time.

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I’ve been working in schools for so long, I can’t even remember what drew me to this lifestyle.Just the Thought of This Makes Me Miss My Summer.

I know it wasn’t the money (is there anyone who became a teacher for the money?).

Truth be told, there were probably lots of reasons.

The chance to work with students.  Coaching.  The structured schedule. 

The day before Thanksgiving meal that consists of all white food (noodles, mashed potatoes, roll, and milk!)

And of course, the always popular "summer vacation".

I love summers.

I love the countdown to summer vacation.

I love the three months off.

I love not wearing pants (please don’t contact the authorities… I wear shorts).

I love getting paid and not working (I mean I REALLY love getting paid and not working).

I love anything and everything about summer.

Except.

Except the fact that after 18 years of this I am now convinced summer is a waste of time.

We put so much effort into shutting down school for the summer.

Then we put twice as much into starting school back up again in the fall.

This can’t be good for a student’s brain.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

We should go to year round school.

Yes, I said it.

Year round school.

And get rid of my summer.

A part of me just died as I typed that last sentence.

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11 Responses to “Summer is a Waste of Time.”


  1. Randy Seabrook
    on Aug 25th, 2012
    @ 9:26 pm

    Okay Mike. I was with you until that year round school thing. I almost lost my lunch. So I am going to reserve judgement on whether I have to dissolve our friendship to give you time to explain where you are going with this. I would be for year round school if a month of it was used for a trip to camp where kids could climb trees, learn to swim and row boats and sleep in a tent. I would go for a month of enrichment or remediation without all the testing – just time for kids to work on the things they didn’t understand at a slower pace with more individual attention. What is your vision for year round school?
    ( I wasn’t really going to severe our friendship… I was just a little upset. I have calmed down. It was the initial shock).


  2. Michelle Howell-Martin
    on Aug 26th, 2012
    @ 6:01 am

    I ALMOST agree with you.


  3. anita
    on Aug 26th, 2012
    @ 6:43 am

    You are not alone in this thought….I suspect the ANGST we all feel at the end of the summer (kids and teachers) is more related to starting a whole new job rather than picking up after a vacation….
    I suspect I will retire before summer vacations are just a memory, but the summer vacations we envision for our children are just than….dreams and our memories…not theirs.Most of our kids are in “camps” or other places while parents work. Lots sit home alone or do very little for the 8 weeks of vactions.
    http://drferreri.blogspot.com/2012/08/should-we-rethink-school-year.html


  4. Nancy
    on Aug 26th, 2012
    @ 6:51 am

    I’m really, Really, REALLY hoping that this post was written ‘tongue in cheek’. ’3 months off’. Seriously? Uh, what state is it you live in again? ‘…getting paid and not working’ Really? Now I’m definitely curious as to the state because I just might have to move there. Most educators I know do the following during those ’3 months off’: participate in professional development (mostly on their dime), work on curriculum for the upcoming year, work a summer job (because the ‘getting paid and not working’ just doesn’t appear to pay the bills), and if they are an elementary teacher they will have spent countless hours getting their room ready for the arrival of their students. I’d say that for some educators, we’re already in that year round model.


  5. Alicia Manuel Kessler
    on Aug 26th, 2012
    @ 12:37 pm

    Year round school would be the best thing that ever happened to kids in rural America that live in abject poverty. Except for maybe farmer’s or teacher’s kids, I don’t know any kids who can enjoy the kind of summer memories I have. Most are at a babysitter all day, or worse, as someone else said, home alone in front of the TV or Internet device unfiltered.

    We have to stop letting 1950′s TV shows poison us with ideals of an existence that never existed to begin with.

    And as the tech person, I HATE the summer cleaning schedule. Yes please, let’s pull everything out into the hall in a jumbled mess and shove it back in the same way. That would be great.


  6. Marcus Byrd
    on Aug 26th, 2012
    @ 3:05 pm

    That sounds terrible, but I agree!


  7. Mrs. Lipstick
    on Aug 26th, 2012
    @ 6:00 pm

    I taught at a year-round school for years until the district closed it due to budget issues. It was absolutely amazing. The kids didn’t lose out on instruction over the summer and as teachers we loved our breaks that came every 9 weeks. I was devastated when we had to go back to a traditional calendar and am still not completely over it. Our school’s scores plummeted when we went to a traditional calendar- the lack of summer had been so important for our students. I would love for more schools to move in this direction.


  8. Carla
    on Aug 27th, 2012
    @ 9:02 am

    I have to say I agree with you. I am not a teacher, but am going to school for teacher, and I’m getting myself used to the idea of year round school, because I think it’s going to happen someday. There is a district in Minnesota now that wants to do it – not sure if they are though. There are many reasons why I think this – other countries do it, and one might say we are behind other countries in education, and actually they still get the 3 months off, it’s just not all at once, but spread throughout the year. Plus, it would get students, I’m thinking especially those in high school, prepared for the real world – after all most careers do not get 3 months off during the summer. If they did the breaks every 9 weeks, as Mrs. Lipstick mentioned, then students could still go to their favorite camp in the summer time as well.


  9. Debbie Shuler
    on Sep 2nd, 2012
    @ 10:49 am

    Nooooooooooooooooooooo!
    Enough said!


  10. Joe J
    on Sep 6th, 2012
    @ 11:46 am

    I broached the subject of year round school with some friends of mine and thought I was going to be smothered in the response. “Kids need to be kids, when will they get to do that?” This was just the beginning. And then I talked about what year round school means to me. Nine weeks on, three weeks off, with the summer being four more weeks off (total of 7 weeks). Suddenly kids could be kids in this system. So too, could we eliminate students being gone for weeks at a time in the middle of the year because there would be time for the family vacation.

    Year round school does not mean school for 265 days, it simply means taking the time off and spreading it around a little. Not sure about you, but I would LOVE to have the opportunity to travel with my family at different times throughout the year.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Joe J, I absolutely love the travel idea.

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