Re-Creation is No Vacation

Summers are for work. The myth lingers on that academics enjoy a three month vacation. Nothing could be further from the truth. We teach, but teaching is but one facet of what we do. Summer is time for everything else. (At least for those of us not teaching summer school.) Are we paid to teach? Yes, but… we can only truly teach others to achieve excellence when we continue to cultivate excellence in ourselves.

Unless I take time now in these brief months to do my own research, think my own thoughts, and write my own words, I will be of little use in helping my students hone their research, thinking, and writing. For that is what we academics are: professional researchers, thinkers, and writers. Or at least that is what we should be. There is too little time for the full-fledged pursuit of these matters September through May. Educators’ summers are for the re-creation of our minds.

2 Responses to “Re-Creation is No Vacation”

  1. Bintou on

    Amanda, that’s certainly piblosse when you have the child at home learning, but it’s extremely difficult when the child is in school, as I learned when I put my previously homeschooled older daughter in school in 2nd grade, at her request.After a long day of joyless learning, they have no desire to do anything more that looks to them like more joyless work.As for reading: When Olivia first went into public school 2nd grade, she was a little bookworm. Two months into school, she was happy to be read to, but she’d stopped voluntarily picking up books to read on her own. This child, who had formerly devoured books, now had no desire to pick up a book, saying Reading’s boring. That was when I knew she had to come home for good. (That wasn’t the only problem, but that was the straw that broke our desire for public schooling.) Now she is back to devouring books and happily diving into books of her choice. And because she isn’t pressured into writing specific things regarding what she’s reading, she keeps a journal and writes stories, letters, and reports of the things she is interested in all the time.Back to the topic of writing: unfortunately that is the sort of writing schools focus on, at least in my experience. Yes, in college they train you for all the best kind of teaching, but the practical reality is: that’s not reality. Most teachers are so busy teaching to the test -at least in public schools- that any creative learning goes out the window.I hope I haven’t come across as attacking you, Amanda. That’s not my intent at all. It’s an important topic; one that I feel strongly about, given our family’s personal experience with it, and then seeing friends going through the same struggle regarding writing.


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