Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Summer Sendoff & Back To School

As a teacher, the end of summer is always a cross between bittersweet and melancholy, yet with the hint of excitement to come. It's an odd combination. Parents may feel it to a degree with their kids going up to that next grade level, showing off that unauthorized growth that always seems to come whether we want it to or not.

But there's something about being a teacher and having that 8-10 weeks off in the summer. It's that time for a breathe-er, where you aren't bringing stacks of papers home to grade on the couch extending your 8 hour work day to upwards of 10-12+. There's no lesson planning, no report card writing, no substitute plans to come up with if your own child gets sick at 2 in the morning. No Professional Development meetings to attend or standards and objectives to meet.

Teacher schedules during the school year aren't like regular 9-5 jobs where you can go home and
leave it for another day. Yes, I understand most 9-5'ers don't have this level of vacation time, nor am I trying to say being a teacher is more stressful than other jobs. But due to the juggling nature of being the expert on either many subjects or grade levels, and the phone calls or emails to/from parents, the deep concerns for the social/emotional/academic progress of each child in your classroom crew... they can be exhausting. Summer brings about breathing space! It's why the summer is so therapeutic, relaxing, and necessary to teachers.  Of course, as the wind down of summer comes, so does the Pinterest searching for bulletin boards or the writing of new curricular units for the year ahead. Perhaps there's been a workshop or two, or even a professional read for those back to school meetings. A teacher's mind doesn't slow down for very long. Insert the excitement and the joy of our profession here!

According to the news feeds of Facebook, the first day photos are up and still coming! Some of my friends' kids returned to school mid August, while many ahead are not returning until this week, right after Labor Day. Teachers, of course, don't just start on that first day of school! Our students returned Wednesday, August 29th... which makes for a wonderful way to toe-dip into the start of school. 3 days with students, 3 days off due to Labor Day, a 4 day week, then into a more regular schedule. We all (teachers and students alike) are tired after those first three days!

As has been my GTG tradition, I often bid farewell to the summer, but send forth well-wishes for a
great year ahead to the teachers out there. I know how hard we all work, I know the dichotomy between the feelings of loss with the excitement ahead.

May this year be your best yet. 
May your students feel all your care and concern for them. 
May your colleagues and family members be a rock-solid support for any rough days ahead. 
May you always remember you are scultping our future citizens and leaders,
Cheers to a wonderful year!

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