Well it is that time of the summer where we are seeing so many “Back to School” signs and supplies almost everywhere we turn. I remember for so many years that this time of the year would launch me into a state of anxiety and foreboding. For a teacher, it is that visual reminder that summer is beginning to wind down and returning to work is looming in the not so distant future. While you may truly love your job and certainly the kids you teach, it represents the end of your vacation and the beginning of a new year.
And for a teacher, you cannot just say, well 4 more weeks and I start working again because August 1st is most often the launch date. You begin going into the class room to set it up that first week. And you usually return once or twice a week to continue getting the class ready, while beginning to make active plans for the new year as you sit on your patio or continue with your end of summer plans. Your rest is slowly being replaced with the imminent thoughts of preparing for a new class….a new year. You try to push it back and say “I am going to continue to enjoy my summer” but….those thoughts keep coming.
There are almost no teachers in America who wait for that first day of reporting. If you pay attention in the next few weeks, you will see cars in school parking lots throughout the day and you will be able to pick teachers out of a crowd at stores, for as they are planning their classes, they are buying supplies and preparing for their kids. It is what teachers do.
While I am retired and smiling now, there were many years when I was there in that August dilemma: Sitting at home and relaxing and then fretting more as the month went on about what needed to be done to get the class ready for that first day. It would get to the point where seeing a yellow school bus would make me almost hyperventilate. LOL! I did not want summer to end!
I don’t miss that part at all. I don’t miss the extraordinary amount of preparation it takes to set up a class or the amount of time one puts into preparing lessons and setting up themes to supplement curriculums. I don’t miss the labeling, cutting, creation of lists, etc. I do not miss studying a new curriculum over the summer that often would be implemented for the upcoming school year. What I do miss are the children and the excitement of a new year.
I miss their smiles and feeling of expectation for a new year. I miss their inquisitive minds and their sense of wonder as you open them up to new learning experiences. I miss their joy!
For me August is now just another summer month that I can fully enjoy. There is nothing work related looming on the horizon. I can enjoy my patio, plan my trips or just walk past a display of school supplies and feel absolutely no pain. Life is good! It is a joy to be retired and smiling….