What Summer Break Really Means For Educators

Just lounging by the pool and drinking mojitos, my teacher-friend casually joked the other day when I bumped into her at the grocery store. This was her satirical response to a question she hears too much this time of year: What are you doing with all of your free time this summer?

School may be out for the summer but our nation’s school employees are staying busy – and that doesn’t mean paging through magazines at the beach everyday (though they certainly deserve all the relaxation they can squeeze in once the school year wraps up).

According to LifeChanger of the Year’s 2016 Summer Survey, a national annual survey conducted by National Life Group of teachers, administrators and other k-12 school employees, 81% of school employee respondents indicated that they would be dedicating a portion of their summer months to their job. How much time? Nearly 50% of their time would be spent working or preparing for the next school year while 12.5% would be spent taking classes and 7.5% on volunteering.

One of the biggest themes the survey uncovered was that educators are spending their time strengthening their connections with students and their communities.

Many of the nominations we receive describe activities our nominees do during the summer months to give back to their school communities.

One respondent commented, “I meet with various former and current students two or three times a week for mentoring and coaching. I also formed a club for students that meets weekly and helps the homeless and less fortunate twice a month.”

While nearly half their time is dedicated to school and community, school employees definitely enjoy some time relaxing and recharging for the upcoming year. And you know what? They’ve earned it. According to the 2016 survey results, roughly a quarter of their time was spent on leisure activities such as travel and reading.

National Life Group and LifeChanger of the Year are conducting the annual summer survey again. The survey, which is open for all k-12 school employees, kicked off on June 28th and will be open through July 21st. Just like last year, we want to hear how school employees spend their time, whether it be on school prep, continuing education, volunteering, summer jobs and yes, even relaxation and leisure activities. The survey also asks questions pertaining to educator resources, and career and retirement concerns.

So, the next time you see your child’s teacher in the community this summer, instead of asking them if they are bored yet with all of their free time, thank them for all that they do – all year long.