Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Extras and the Finish Line

It's all the "extras" that really get us, isn't it? Sure there's the lesson planning, the grading, the meetings, etc. But the other things... I think that's the black hole into which our time really disappears. For me, last week it was hollowing eggs. This week:

Basket one of two; the dryer at the school isn't working. Yay for bringing home a week's worth of school laundry!

I think that one of the reasons this time of year is so tough on a lot of teachers is that we become acutely aware of all of the extras, especially since so many are added on right now. Additional planning because the kids are super antsy, filling out inventory forms and checklists, packing away what we don't want to have "disappear" over the summer, putting together little thank yous for our support and custodial staffs, the send-off gifts/thoughts we give to our students... a few minutes here and there add up to hours pretty quickly!

All of this while we have our eyes on that glorious finish line... I think to teachers it's not the break that's such a big deal; after all, we all know that summer "break" should always be in quotation marks for us, due to our overly optimistic to-do lists (c'mon, you know yours is huge!) along with our have-to lists. But that line of demarcation, where we can feel that we have finished, that we can breathe and gather our wits and prepare for the next start - that's one of the truly great things about teaching, that we have that finish line that once crossed allows us a clean slate and a fresh start. There are plenty of other professions that cycle as well, but very few that allow that very definite and very clean end date. A release from all of the "extras"...

And then there's setting up the classroom in August... 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! My thoughts exactly. Yesterday (Sunday), I spent two hours at two separate grocery stores tracking down supplies for an ethnic foods lab. My preschool age children even had to come along on the second adventure. Today when the students in charge of that lab came without recipes for the other groups, I thought I was going to completely lose it :) All those extra things we do...