Editorial: Educators don't really have a summer 'break' anymore

Posted 7/3/19

With the publication of the East Providence High School fourth quarter honor roll in this week’s paper, we’ve just about closed the book at The Post on the 2018-19 academic term in city. Almost, …

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Editorial: Educators don't really have a summer 'break' anymore

Posted

With the publication of the East Providence High School fourth quarter honor roll in this week’s paper, we’ve just about closed the book at The Post on the 2018-19 academic term in city. Almost, but not quite yet.

There’s a couple of more stories left in the hopper. For a quick sneak peak, one is about three EPHS students who ranked nationally in a finance-based competition “Capital Hill Challenge” and the other is an photo update to the long-running Annawamscutt Creek project at Waddington Elementary School. Oh, and not to be forgotten, we still have a slew of college achievements to run, including Dean’s List notices for the Spring 2019 semester and a listing of city students who graduated with bachelors or masters degrees.

When it comes down to it, really, our coverage of East Providence’s education scene doesn’t actually end on the last day or school, nor does it start when classes open late each summer. And neither does the work of most administrators and teachers in the district, something many us of fail to grasp.

The perception is when the final bell rings for the school year each June, that’s it. Employees of the district are done. They’re either off to far flung place on vacations or to work other jobs. Their attention is elsewhere, anywhere except their chosen profession. It’s simply not the case. While some do, most don’t.

All one has to do is look around the dozen or so buildings to quickly dispel that notion. Much-needed and necessary work is being done by facilities division personnel to refurbish many of the district’s tired structures. On the academic side, a host of teachers spend their summers enhancing or maintaining their credentials, mentoring students often at education based camps or programs or meticulously preparing their lesson plans for the next term. And the administrators are well into their efforts to ready the entire city for the 2019-20 session, which will be upon us sooner rather than later.

It’s a perspective of the position many of us don’t often comprehend or appreciate, though we should. The days of those involved in education using their break solely for the purposes of leisure seemingly are long gone. There’s too much associated with the job these days to take summers off.

Of course they’ll enjoy some down time to relax and refresh. They should and must. But although the fourth quarter marks the conclusion of one school term, the work of most involved in education doesn’t really ever end.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.