It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Okay, it’s wonderful for somebody. Is it you? According to the latest educational news, our science standards suck, various school districts are trying to finalize teachers’ contracts, pink slime is masquerading as lunch, and oh, Rob Kardashian is NOT going to USC law school. In my typical fashion, I think I’ll have a little fun with what the end of summer symbolizes for many of us in the profession. I have to give credit to my friend and super-educator mentor Janet Underwood for the title.
It’s the end of summer, and you know what that means:
- Totally awesome sales for school supplies at all of the big-box and office supply stores. You’re spending money for which you will never fully be reimbursed, but you don’t mind, because your classroom will be stocked for powerful and interactive learning. Hopefully, the parents of your students will see the same advertisements about 75 times so they, too, can have their children well-supplied. I’ve got two words for you, tissue and hand-sanitizer. Make it three…germs. All are plenteous.
- Half of your summer wardrobe is inappropriate for school. You worked out, or not, and everyone knows it. Especially the not part. Shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, jeans, and particularly your birthday suit while comfortable, would have your students gawking, laughing, and using ALL of the technology skills they could muster up to “put you on blast.” That’s what Labor Day sales are for. Look professional while your students get over having been unbridled for several weeks.
- Pray, chant, meditate. Why? Think about it. Which co-workers have mentally retired, but physically have another 10-20 years to officially retire? You get the picture. Hope. I forgot that word. Hope they won the lottery, or relocated (Anybody for out-of-state?), because you know they tried your patience and every sainted spirit in the universe last year. Literally. The school year tends to drag on when you work with really negative people.
- Do a movie/television marathon. I did it, and I’m proud of it. I just adore classic movies; Audrey/Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier, Cary Grant, etc. I selected to mentally escape to a fantasy world, because I knew the reality of the upcoming academic year was going to require all of my effort, creativity, ingenuity, and duck tape for my mouth. I wasn’t always successful, but I did give it my level best.
- Do a reading marathon. There is nothing more satisfying than reading something you’re so into, you stay up a couple of nights trying to finish. Compare this with staying up half the night grading papers, or prepping for a performance. I’ll bet the reading marathon sounds a lot better now, doesn’t it?
The education arena is getting more heated than ever. Those of us who have endured the heat should encourage those who might be headed toward the frying pan. May every educator be fulfilled, and have peace and strength this year, and employment in your discipline if you so desire.