Tuesday, July 23, 2013

As a teacher, your life is a constant countdown. From the first day of school you count how many days until the first day off. Then its until Christmas break. After that, Spring Break. When you come back from Spring Break its "testing season" (similar to hunting or fishing season but not as much fun) so you begin the countdown to the best time of year- SUMMER!! Now, I teach summer school every year. Its "hell month". But it is like receiving an extra paycheck every year, so its so hard to say no. And every year I say "I am NEVER doing this again". As the regular year progresses, I forget how much pain it causes me- like childbirth. So I do it again, and again, and again. So when its finally over, at the end of June, I can finally begin my summer break. Meanwhile, my friends who don't teach summer school have already had four glorious weeks off and have been enjoying the lake, the pool and relaxing. For those lucky ones, July 4th rolls around and they are ready to go back after the holiday because they have already been off an entire month. For me, I read their Facebook and Twitter updates about how they have been in their classrooms cleaning, organizing and decorating and I want to shake them. It is NOT TIME YET!! Where did MY summer go? I end up trying to cram home repairs, vacations, shopping and spending time with my family in four weeks instead of eight. So summer time for me is a constant whirlwind of activity. I have few days where I can sit around in my pj's and drink coffee in the morning without having to shower, brush my hair, even worry about looking in the mirror. I am jealous of my friends who have a full summer off. However, I need the money. Its the root of all evil in the end. Coming from a single income household, it is just too hard to say no to $21 an hour for basically just handing out remedial packets to the kids who have figured out the system. 
I spend 9 months focused on the young people sitting in our classrooms, making sure they are learning, meeting objectives, setting goals, defining their future. It is a lot of energy to do this. It takes a lot out of us mentally. You go home exhausted, as if you have run a marathon all day when in reality you have been in a room surrounded by kids needing your constant attention. Decision making happens each second of the day. I don't even want to answer the dreaded "whats for dinner?" question at the end of the day..... 
So here I sit, three weeks until the first day. I have yet to step foot back into my classroom. I have a lot of work to do. But this happens every year. I somehow manage to pull it together and seem semi-organized by the first day. I will do it again this year too. I guess I should maybe think about revising a syllabus?