Mine eyes have seen the glory. And it kind of looks like the splendid months of July and August. Let me be the teacher to say it out loud: summer can’t come fast enough. And not just for the hot, sunny weather, Netflix and Freezies.
You know how all you parents out there can’t wait until you can stop packing kid lunches that simultaneously ‘contain and avoid’ any and all toxins, allergens, vegetables, peel-able fruit that children won’t eat (such as oranges and apples), along with any and all generally gross, yucky kid-hating stuff?
Like flakes-of-ham sandwiches? Akin to it’s sister- food group, ‘cat food’?
You know how you detest the nightly signing of fourteen different pieces of paper (not-including your kid’s homework agendas) and how you all loathe bi-weekly paying in installments for end-of-the-year field trips? The latter of which has dipped into your retirement savings, forcing you to consider whether or not you might also need to pick up a second job? You know how your child’s jean collection is now down to one good pair (which is still shredded beyond any means of repair in key areas like the knees, bum and crotch)? And you know how you are all just desperately praying that the duct tape holding your kid’s backpacks together won’t let go until your child’s report card is safely in your hands?
Don’t get me started on indoor sneakers.
You know what I’m talking about. About how we parents are holding out hope that we won’t lose our last thread of sanity to some June-madness/end-of-school function or poorly devised make-work project conniving-ly scheduled for the last month of the school calendar?
I feel your pain. And then some.
Because I am teacher and I am losing my marbles at an alarming rate these days. These crazy, fun-filled last days of the school year. Aren’t they bliss? The world likes to refer to it as the month of June, but we all in the school-system (kids and teachers alike) know it is really called ‘the countdown to holidays’. A time of the year when the finish line is deceivingly close, yet still far enough away to warrant in-class work and out of class assignments. And we teachers/students know this month of June countdown is solely a figment of our imagination fooling us into believing we have made it to the end when we still have one whole month left. But then again, you do what you have to do to get by.
And then some.
If that feeling of exasperation and frustration we all feel as parents were a number. Multiply that number by twenty to the power of 45 and that kind of would sum up where a teacher’s mental status is right about now. In other words. Certifiable and ready for the looney bin, if you are like myself and find even math at this time of the year too hard to grasp.
I found myself the other day trying to add up change that I owed a fellow co-worker, and this little exercise in mathematics cut ten minutes into my lunch break because I could not, I tell you, figure out even the simplest of math equations- using a pen and paper and the original receipt, no less. That’s how bad it is.
And we teachers are barely holding on to that dwindling reserve of common sense and good judgment we are getting paid to exhibit. Let alone, our ability to perform and function in an educational, institutional environment as normal, adult-like figures. I find myself yawning at the drop of a hat. Speechless, and then slurring my words together at any given moment. Unable to read the words in a book correctly, so much so that my avid Kindergarten readers are now correcting me. On simple words like ‘the’, nonetheless. I am forgetful. Absent-minded. I spill things. I fall up the steps. I forget meetings. I am late for meetings. I am still late for school.
I have even killed the classroom plants. Twice.
In my view, the month of June calls for drastic emergency measures to be taken in the form of extended recess and end of the day games, such as ‘duck-duck-goose’. Or at the very least. It calls for a few good books and a picnic blanket on which to rest while whittling the afternoon away reading a great book. Or the sale flyer. I am open minded and ready for suggestions. But please just let it be an outside activity. Because an outdoor education is severely under-rated. And I can’t think of a better time than June to examine the results of which.
And in closing, homework in June should be just a suggestion. If you are bored, it is raining, you already filed you toenails and all your bikes have flat tires, you can then justify and endure the forty-five painful minutes it takes to complete the Easy Reader sent home on worms to read with your child. Not that I don’t love reading. Because you all know I do. But let’s get real. And believe me when I say this, as I am being completely transparent here: I am sadly guilty of assigning nightly homework for my child and then not even cracking open the masking tape holding that reading bag together. It just didn’t get done. We were too busy playing.
So cut me some slack, and I most certainly will return the favor. Back ‘atcha.
What I won’t miss: the insanely late nights and wicked early mornings. The long meetings and crazy hectic schedule. Eating while standing close to the door as I simultaneously supervise and try to keep from choking on my apple. Trying to find ways to bribe children into eating the food their parent’s packed for them. Trying to bribe my own child to eat the food her father packed her, and not my own hastily packed lunch which I am eating in front of her, on the fly. And I won’t miss telling children for the umpteenth time to either pull their fingers out of the nose, out of their pants or out of their friend’s sandwich.
But then again, there are a few things I will miss. The hugs. The smiles. The precious voices and laughter. And the hilariously funny things I get to hear each and every day from the mouths of the students I see and teach. Kid humor. There’s nothing like it.
I’m really gonna miss the kids.
So, bring on the July heat-wave. The beach strolls and the sand in my hair. And bring on the super-reasonable passes to the local Fun Park. And then, let the games begin.
Can’t wait to see all my favorite kids at the pool. All 200 of them.