Summer has come to an end. As I science teacher I know that summer extends well into September, but trust me, summer has come to an end. Tomorrow I officially go back to work for four days of highly structured and time managed days of pre-planning. While all the students in the county enjoy their last taste of freedom, all the teachers will scramble to get everything ready.
1. I cheated
This year I gave up and went in a day early. I had always said on principle I would not start early, but today I went and checked out my keys and opened my room, looked at rosters, found the stapler and basically wasted 3 hours before taking a 2 hour lunch with a fellow teacher. My former union steward self, and as the daughter of a Teamster union steward, I am ashamed. But lets face it, every year I spend a half day in my room on Saturday before school. Is this really any different?
2. I could never teach elementary school
They “all” have their classrooms set up. Their bulletin boards and learning centers organized around the theme for the year. I have seen your FB posts and Pintrest boards. My lab tables are coated with some oily cleaning product that I ignored and decided would eventually wear away on its own. Note to those of you attending the pre-planning meeting in my room. Wear old clothes!
3. I am writing this during an awesome thunderstorm
So I may lose everything any second, including this computer. I really know better, but I haven’t posted forever and I really wanted to write something.
I was nervous driving to school this morning. I had butterflies. Partly because the lane toward school was blocked by an ambulance and two fire trucks and I had to cut through Walmart even to get there. Yes, I did consider buying something at Walmart because I am that much of a rule follower. I know it is a violation to cut through a parking lot.
But the point is, I had butterflies. This is the tenth year in the same school and the third year with basically the same assignment. Old hat, right? Never. In sixth grade I vomited on the first day and was sent home, like many other previous years. At least back to second grade, I think. I thought that was normal. But I missed so much in sixth grade social studies the first day, that I vowed never to give in to the butterflies again. So, they still come, I just don’t give in.
5. Subject Area Meetings
Speaking of butterflies. Wednesday all the teachers will gather for subject specific meetings. I get to present for an hour to all the other chemistry teachers in the county. I am truly blessed that I get to present in my own classroom. I did this last year too. It is still terrifying. Much worse than the 148 students I will meet next Monday! And yes, I counted. As of today, I have 148 students this year.
6. Teachers are optimists
Every year we do pretty much the same things. We edit and revise but honestly, the periodic table doesn’t change that much and neither does what I teach. But every year we expect the students to be more eager and more interested than any group of students has ever been before. So we plan and construct lessons and try to remember all those good ideas gleaned from the hours spent at summer workshops. We have the highest hopes for our students. We are truly optimists.
7. Summer amnesia
Thankfully, all teachers seem to also suffer from amnesia during the summer. I can’t wait to get started. Vaguely I remember the stacks of papers to grade, the hassle of writing tests and getting them copied, the quirky, demanding students who have even quirkier, more demanding parents but right now it doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe that means I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, but please, don’t tell anyone! I need to whine and complain about how short summer was when we all meet at 7:30 tomorrow morning and officially start back.
Have a Great School Year!