One of the greatest pet peeves of almost every teacher is the number of times they are reminded of how ‘lucky’ they are to get a two-month summer vacation.
What many people do not realize, of course, is that teachers often push themselves to the limit to ensure that their students reach their full potential. This means working well into the evening on busy school days and enrolling in workshops, revising lesson plans and reassessing the curriculum during vacation time.
All of this work means that teachers’ social lives look very different from those of average nine-to-five office workers. Indeed, the following facts about teachers’ social lives may help put to rest some of the galling myths about school vacations:
1. Free time is like gold dust and socializing can feel impossible
Teachers always have a lot on their plate.
Their list of daily tasks outside of school hours could include:
- Grading papers.
- Planning lessons.
- Researching teaching methods.
- Taking on part-time evening tutoring.
- Running parent-teacher conferences.
Not to mention, of course, the time that is spent doing necessary household work and looking after children of their own. At the end of the day, most teachers simply want to squeeze in an episode of their favorite box set before bedtime. Socializing is often the last thing on a teacher’s mind during a busy semester and it can feel impossible to fit friends and family into the schedule.
2. A restricted social life can generate stress
Socializing is vital when it comes to maintaining good mental health. Indeed, lack of social contact can result in stress, as well as a raft of other problems such as poor self-esteem, cardiovascular issues, and depression. If you’re a teacher that struggles with finding time to socialize, try to mark a few hours in the week out for unwinding with friends. It will help to reduce stress and could even improve your teaching skills.
3. Teachers are worried about a lack of privacy in public
Socializing often involves going out with friends to public places such as restaurants or the cinema. For teachers – particularly those working in close-knit communities – this brings with it the possibility of bumping into students and parents. This lack of privacy can actually be a source of concern for teachers, particularly as student-teacher interactions outside of school have become a hot topic in recent years. If you are a student or parent that spots a teacher in the ‘outside world’, try to leave them be!
4. Teachers love to socialize with other teachers
For teachers, there’s nothing better than offloading job-related stress to someone that understands. Educators love to socialize with colleagues and, although free time may be limited, they always make sure to make the most of their nights out!
5. The joy of teaching is totally worth it
Although teaching can seriously hinder a person’s social life, the joy that comes with the job is usually fantastic compensation!