Across America (TWP)
In the glorious days of summer, when teachers frolic and gambol through the wildflower fields, all is right with the world. The teachers rise each day somewhere between ten and noon and then eat blueberry pancakes with specially ground French roast bean coffee and nap and watch a Lifetime movie in the afternoon.
After watching the movie and perhaps playing with a very furry calico kitten, the teachers take another nap and then rise at dinnertime to have fettuccine Bolognese or roasted chicken with garlic or grilled salmon, because they have time to learn to be top chefs in the summer when they are OFF.
In the evening, the teachers might gather together with friends and family for board games or dominoes or cards, which they will win at . . . because they are teachers. Or they might have a martini on the lawn at the city museum where an outdoor art exhibit is being presented. Afterwards, they will go to the horse races and bet on number 8 in the fifth race to place because its name is Schoolhouse, and they will win.
They will go to bed around midnight after having an aperitif and half a Cuban cigar on the veranda of their home with a special friend, lover, or partner. They will be wearing white linen or lace or both and the hummingbirds will swoon in their presence, and the moon will shine only for them through the wisteria branches cascading across the trellised porch railing.
Throughout the night, they will have the flying dream and sail above the bright blue ocean and the mint-green grasses of some beautiful and foreign locale and then alight upon an island to share champagne with George Clooney (or Penelope Cruz) (or Anderson Cooper or Jodie Foster) and become enveloped in the music of the night’s sea breezes and swaying palm trees.
This summer day will be repeated over and over for eight weeks or six or three . . . whatever constitutes summer in the district the teacher resides. During these sensual, lazy days, the teachers will read no books or texts related to their teaching field, attend no conferences or workshops, grade no AP exams, compile no PowerPoints or lesson plans, attend no staff development or college classes for continuing credit, do no training in the latest educational fad, perform no part-time work like cutting lawns or painting or teaching summer school or tutoring in order to make enough money to continue in the work that is one’s calling for the other 10 months of the year, write no letters of recommendation for current or former students, enroll in no classes for continuing toward a master’s degree, design no new curriculum even though they are being asked to teach a new class in the fall with no text or resources or funds, learn no new skills, teach no driver’s ed classes, administer or monitor no ACT or SAT exams, conduct no teacher workshops, plan for no student council, cheerleading, journalism, choir, drama, speech, or academic team competitions or workshops to be held at their school in the fall, and they definitely will not write to senators and departments of education and speak with other teachers or write pointless blogs on wordpress sites about issues of concern to schools across the nation.
In short, in their summers OFF, teachers will live as so many believe they really do.