What a Teacher’s Summer REALLY Looks Like

Summer is finally here, and this teacher couldn’t be more excited. I’ve packed up my classroom, I’ve mailed home the final report card, and now I get to sit, for about a minute. Summer is our favorite season over at Casa de Courville. Things slow down, I actually cook dinner, and we spend a lot of time at the Red’s pool. However, I still have work. Crazy right? I hear it all the time, “Well you might not get paid much, but you get three months off!” This could not be more false. While I do not punch a clock in the months of JUNE and JULY (That’s only two months, if you’re ok at counting), I still have job commitments that cover the summer months. I want to be clear that I’m by no means whining about my job. I love my job. I just thought I’d clear up some misconceptions about what a teachers’ summer really looks like.

To begin, we are summer Accelerated Reader testing at our school.

I have a couple of Mondays from 11-1 that I need to be on campus in the library so our students could test. I did volunteer for this … I’m a reading teacher, and the absolute best thing you can do for your child to prevent summer learning loss is read! So, with the exception of the two weeks I’m out of town, some of my 8 Mondays of summer will be spent at school. My own child needs to AR test as well so it happens to work out.

Another summer task is in-services.

While I only have one scheduled right now, there will probably be a couple of days in July where we have in-services. We also receive an email from the district sometime in July with about 20 hours worth of trainings that have to be done online, before school starts. These are topics, such as bullying, suicide prevention, ethics, and first aid. I have to listen to the seminar, then pass a test. Fail the test, you have to start over. I will say, I’m thankful these are assigned over the summer, because it would be incredibly stressful to complete these tasks in August while trying to train a class and begin the school year.

My first day back at school is officially August 1st this year. 

This means that starting August 1st, I have an in-service everyday until the students come of August 8th. In teacher world, that means my classroom must be set up and prepared for students before August 1st. Otherwise, it won’t get done. Between in-services from 8:00 – 3:00 and my own children, I won’t have time to work in my classroom anytime but the end of July. I’d also like to add that classrooms must be completely packed up, and everything must fit on one half of the classroom by the time I leave for summer. The custodial staff waxes the whole school, half my classroom, then moves everything to the other half, and waxes the rest. I can’t come work in my room until this is done. Setting up my classroom is a two – three day task any given year. If for some reason I need to relocate my classroom, make it a solid week. In my nine years of teaching, I’ve moved four times. Twice while pregnant. Bye-bye summer.

Thankfully, my summer is definitely filled with fun stuff too!

We do a lot of cuddling. We do a lot of swimming. We go to the beach with my whole family for a week. This summer, we are also going to go to North and South Carolina to visit family and show my six year old a mountain. (She feels very deprived that she hasn’t seen one yet.) I can usually schedule a lunch or two with my husband, which is a nice intro into real adult world. I have a group of friends who either have the hardest job in the world (stay at home moms) or they work three days a week. We have Thursday hangouts at various places around Lafayette. Some days we just send all the kids to the playroom and hope for the best. 

I also spend a lot of time praying for my new class roster that I won’t see until about August 5th.

I pray that my students show each other kindness. I pray that my students learn the materials they need to learn. I pray that their summer break is peaceful and good because summer for some kids isn’t an exciting thing. I pray that if nothing else, I showed them love this year, and they learn to love to read. I’m so thankful for my time to slow down and recharge. My new year doesn’t happen in January; my new year happens in August. July is my time to pick out the perfect Plum Paper Planner and begin writing down everything that I’ll have to remember for the year.

Kendra Courville
Kendra, originally from Alabama, has called Lafayette home for more than 20 years. After her time at LSU (Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education), Kendra moved back to Lafayette to marry her love, Justin. She has been married to Justin for just over 8 years. They have two daughters, Lillian who was born in October of 2011, and Annie, who was born in January of 2015. Kendra also has a Boston Terrier, named Mister. When she's not busy teaching and planning for her 3rd grade reading classes, Kendra enjoys hanging out with Justin and her girls, family, and friends. She also loves Jesus, coffee, cooking up both healthy and unhealthy meals (it's all about balance y'all), a good workout, and reading.


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