- Teaching in a Pandemic: Help Teachers, Help You - February 2, 2021
- The Importance of Feedback in Distance Learning - October 9, 2020
- What a Teacher Wants: One Teacher's View - March 25, 2018
- Artist is Not a Dirty Word - March 18, 2018
- The Death of Reflection in English/Language Arts Classrooms - March 9, 2018
- More Than A Teacher - March 4, 2018
- Real Teaching Resolutions - January 5, 2017
- 23 Times I have Questioned My Sanity While Teaching - September 7, 2016
- Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts - Let Them Be Great - August 23, 2016
- Part 2: Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: Making Them Care - August 4, 2016
At the end of the year, we are all “done.” Done with the kids, the administration, the testing, and even each other. The kids pushed us to a breaking point and we not only crossed it, but are holding on to the branch with only one hand. End of the year evaluations are coming in and they are very stressful, but not as stressful as the standardized test scores. Needless to say, it is time for a break.
The first two weeks without children are welcomed. They usually aren’t without school work, but there are no students and that is a relief. Not having to worry about twenty-something kids turning into a project or just being able to come and go through the halls without having to worry about the students being alone for five minutes is a great stress reliever. Then I feel something missing in the middle of June. Where are my kids? I feel empty without them. I wonder what they are doing. I hope they are doing something educational and attempting to complete summer reading. I worry about them over the summer and miss them.
I miss the “aha!” moments. Or “Could you please read my short story?” There is no one to proudly share their heart-felt poetry with me. I would miss seeing a piece of literature through a new readers’ eyes. I miss the high fives and the fist bumps in the hall. There are no drawings left on my desk or thank you notes on my keyboard. There are no practical jokes of flipping my computer screen and no giggles while I try to figure out what is wrong. There is no need to shut my door during my prep period to get things done. There is no one peeking through the window or no whispering through the vent in my door, “Why is your door locked? I need to turn this in. PLEASE OPEN IT!” There are no pep rallies or bon fires, in fact the school is a “creepy” quiet.
During the summer, there are no fights with the copy machine or melted chocolate from the vending machine. There is always hot coffee and “good” creamer. There are perfectly clean white boards and always a ton of pens. Books are stacked neatly and my papers are filed. But, there is something missing.
My students fill my life with happiness, frustration, and laughter. They make my time here count for something. In the lull of the summer months, I miss my job. My real job. My job showing them new ways to look at life and how to manage life’s ups and downs. I understand the summer break is important for rest and recovery, but it also makes me appreciate them. It gives me time to miss them so when August comes I am ready and excited to be happy, silly, frustrated, and triumphant.
Have a wonderful summer and remember to miss them even if it is just a little bit.