The school-year has officially come to an end; classroom walls stand bare, its floors smudged by the underside of our students’ sneaker prints, and classroom lights are switched off for the next two months. Except, this description is simply not true.
Although teachers take about a week’s worth of vacation at the end of the school-year, the truth is that most educators continue teaching in some manner or form during summer. Whether through programs that allow teachers to work abroad, or through summer school, educators never take a break from teaching. After all, education is not a suit and mask we wear at specific times as superheroes are shown to do. The teacher in us is not an alter-ego that goes into hiding over summer. We are educators at all times, and in everything we endeavour, we strive to seek out an effective use of our identity as educators.
I truly enjoyed celebrating each and every one of our graduating seniors this past week. We celebrated students from Richmond, California, who will be attending Yale University, Brown University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Sonoma State University, community colleges, and enlisting in the Marine Corps. These are all trailblazing students who deserve to be recognized in all possible ways, but the fact is that there is another group of students who unfortunately could not walk the stage because they fell short of the necessary course units. As a result, I will be returning to my high school campus in a couple of weeks as a summer school teacher.
All students deserve an opportunity to succeed. This includes students who might have been battling with health issues, family circumstances, socio-emotional stressors, and things of the sort this past year that might have played a role in their delayed graduation. I am returning as a summer school English teacher because I want to see these students walk the stage as much as they want to walk the stage. I want them to live through a positive summer school experience, an experience that will serve as the last for some of our seniors. Most of all, I am returning to campus because I cannot enjoy a month of vacation, celebrating the end of a school-year, knowing that there are some students who are not done with their high school career; if they have not finished, then I am not finished.
Although the school-year has officially come to an end for many students, and the classroom walls might stand stripped of last year’s work; their floors will be swept so that they can take on more sneaker prints, and classroom lights will be switched on for the next month while students take another shot at courses. There will be hundreds of thousands of educators traveling all over the world to continue practicing their craft as educators. Summer vacation is an opportunity for educators to further impact our cities, our states, our countries, and even our world. The life of an educator over the summer will always consist of more teaching, and that’s just how we like it.
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