You know, one thing about teaching that really seems to get people is the vacation time. I think it’s easy to point fingers and say that someone doesn’t deserve it. Instead we should realize that we all deserve it!
It’s no secret that many other countries provide considerably better vacation/sick/personal/maternity/paternity time off than here in America. Would you take a pay cut for more vacation time? longer maternity leave? I think we assume money equals happiness, but time with our family and friends is happiness too. Out in the webosphere you can find article after article citing how time off makes workers not only happier and healthier, but in turn more productive (see below for a few links). How do we make employers see the light, when we keep working overtime and holidays? Maybe we need to stop it! We need to choose jobs with more generous paid leave. This might mean foregoing larger salaries which is tough choice to make. It might mean a house that’s not that fancy, clothes that aren’t always new. But perhaps you’ll hardly think of those things when you’re spending extra time with your grandchildren, children, neighbors and friends. And what’s with this “working until we’re practically dead” thing? I say, no! Retire when you want to. People might be reading this thinking that there is no way they can go without the money they’re used to or they want. Money seems to be a slave driver in that way. Yes, you need money to participate in society but you can have a very full and happy life on less. Think about all the people out there in third world countries who see the poorest Americans lives full of riches they’ll never experience, like running water for example. Money doesn’t have to control us, we can control it!
Wow, that got a bit ranty and preachy. Mainly, being a Mom has made me appreciate time so much more. Since my husband and I are both teachers and have the holidays and the summer, I do feel very wealthy in the time off department. I believe teachers deserve it. My husband works very hard during the school year, considerably more than 8 hour days. In turn, we have a very busy summer and take advantage of the time to visit friends and family and create great memories. I also believe secretaries, bank tellers, bar tenders, accountants, nurses, and the numerous other hard working American employees deserve it too. If you want it, go and get it my friend!
Those articles I mentioned earlier: