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Teachers get tired of it, too

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School is out, and you know who's happy about that.

No more classes. No more homework. No more papers.

Just like that there's more time to play with friends and sleep in and hang out.

Yeah, the teachers — they're sure glad it's over.

Did you think kids are the only ones who are celebrating the end of school?

"We're terrible," says Morgan Brown, an Alta High teacher. "We're all going nuts. We've got an hour-by-hour countdown. We're trying not to let on to the kids, but we're just as excited as they are."

"We're like the kids — we have our countdowns," says Scott Lambert, a geography teacher at Indian Hills Middle School.

There you have it: Two teachers, two schools, same countdown. Now if we can just keep them off the streets and find something for them to do this summer.

Teachers could hardly wait for the last bell to sound, probably so they could collapse in a heap and sleep. Or get out of Dodge. Just hours after he walked out of his classroom for the last time this school year, Lambert was on a plane headed for Orlando. He was going to Disney World. Maybe he thought he just won the Super Bowl.

Memo to kids: Teachers get tired of it, too.

"I love teaching, but there are days that's it's more about crowd control than teaching, because of the large class sizes," says Lambert. "There are times when I feel more like a glorified baby sitter than a teacher."

And now all he cares about is the summer and his own family. Maybe teachers do have too many students and too much paperwork and hyperactive students — but they do get summers off.

Most people — and here we are thinking of that segment of the population under the age of 18 — forget that teachers are people, too. They aren't robots who are rolled out of the closet every morning — except for math teachers, of course.

They actually have real lives away from the classroom. Some of them are even allowed to marry and reproduce.

If they have time. Lambert gets up at 5:45 a.m. to squeeze in a morning workout. He gets out of school at 3:30 p.m. and then starts his other job, which is selling air-vending machines to gas stations. Like most teachers — and this will come as a surprise — he finds it difficult to support a family on a teacher's salary.

What he'll do on his summer vacation: Camping, get out of town and, oh, yeah, a trip to the dentist that he couldn't squeeze in during school.

"I'm going to do a little golfing and do stuff with my kids," says Lambert.

But not other people's kids.

Brown's school-day routine starts at 4:15 a.m. on the road with driver's ed students. He begins teaching classes at 7:30. In the afternoon, he serves as the school athletic director and takes more driver's ed students on the road. He easily puts in 12- to 14-hour days.

Thankfully, there is summer. "All the pressure's off," says Brown. "It's like the businessman who meets his big goal at the end of the year. We meet the end of the school year."

Well, sort of. To supplement his income, he will teach 90 hours of road driving this summer and 70 hours of classroom instruction.

His real vacation doesn't begin until mid-July.

A month later, he and the other teachers are back on the job.

Meanwhile, summer's on. Memo to students: If you need help with a problem or have a question or are wondering what extra credit you can do to avoid summer school even though you should have taken care of it four weeks ago — take it next door, pal, or ask your mom. Teacher's gone fishing.


Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesday. Please send e-mail to drob@desnews.com.