Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Christine Ogren, associate professor in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, shares how the misconception of teachers having the summer off evolved in a Washington Post guest column.

Ogren writes in this except: "The fact that teachers don’t 'work' during the summer months has long legitimated low pay in a profession dominated by women. Since the nine-month school year took shape a century and a half ago, however, teachers have never really had summers “off,” and their activities during the summer months have always been essential to their profession. Revisiting this history shows us what the pandemic has exacerbated: that we depend on teachers’ unpaid, invisible labor for schools to run smoothly."

Ogren is author of “The American State Normal School," and she is currently writing a book entitled “Summers Off? A History of U.S. Teachers’ Other Three Months.” She is an expert in the history of K-12 and higher education in the U.S. and teaches in both the Higher Education and Student Affairs and Schools, Culture, and Society programs in the University of Iowa College of Education's Educational Policy and Leadership Studies department.

Read the entire guest column.