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I chose to extend my pay for the 12 months also... mainly because I was worried about not having money coming in for 2 months. I am a single teacher who lives alone in a house she owns. I have a dog who I rarely see because I spend 75% of my time at the school. I've even been up at the school at 11pm finishing up things for the next day. Teachers not only teach. They have many other responsibilities and tons of people to answer to... prinicipals, their bosses, board of educators, superintendents, students and parents. We get stomped on by students, yelled at by parents and lectured by administrators constantly. I work in a rough school which adds to the stress of teaching. Most teachers in my school spend 70% of classtime punishing and 30% teaching. One tiny mistake or thing not completed comes back on the teacher. People put their children in our hands. Children spend majority of their time awake with us. What we do and what we teach them influences them for the rest of their life. But somehow, we are some of the lowest paid employees (next to fast food restaurant workers). So many people think that summer is teacher's freetime but most people don't realize that teachers sometimes work 50 hour weeks or all weekend long after 12 hour days at school... And if we're not physically at the school, it's in the back of our minds... what's tomorrow going to be like? What kind of activity can I come up with to keep the students engaged while teaching this? There are so many things to consider. But instead of spending our summers relaxing and recooperating, we spend it searching for work to make money to pay back all of the bills that have piled up during the school year. I've had friends say, "Why don't you get a second job during the school year?" My first thought is, when will I sleep? So to all of you who think teaching is a piece of cake, think about having the lives of 100 kids in your hands while people look over your shoulders as you work 50-60 hour weeks, sometimes 7 days a week. THEN, complain that teachers get 2 months off from teaching.


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