Thursday, March 20, 2014

One more day...

And no. I'm not singing Les Mis style. One more day of school before the children and I get a solid break from one another, and despite the snow days, I'm ready for this break.

Non educators don't understand the NEED for spring break. Next week will most likely piss off the majority of working folks because Monday morning will fill Facebook with jubilant statuses about time off; however, before getting panties in a wad, people should consider that they work for vacation time they can take as they please. We are told when we get our time. Business folks get stressed out, and they can take a week of vacay to recoup; teachers get stressed, and we just have to put on a happy face and hope we don't choke a child before the next scheduled break. That's hard sometimes. Battling a room full of squirmy teens when the weather has just jumped from 30 to 70 overnight is like trying to herd cats. Tomorrow is going to be a case of the security guards trying to keep the inmates from running the asylum. I'm not a superstitious person, but I can attest to the weird behaviors of children on full moons, changes in weather, and before breaks. They lose their minds. For serious.

As they stroll into the room (the ones who actually bother coming to school on the last day before break), you'll have to wonder if an imaginary someone jerked their chains and kicked their mouths into overdrive. One always walks over to the blinds to pull them up for optimal outdoorness on the inside...they're like little plants that need high light. After the chatter and indoor sunbathing ensues, one goofball never fails to ask, "are we doing anything today?" Teachers, this is the perfect moment to slap on that fake smile and say to yourself, "I love my job, I love my job." If you're clever, you'll answer with something quick: "Um, no. I thought we'd celebrate the day before break through interpretive dance. Surprise! You're first!" Expect eye rolls. Teenagers don't like when adults use sarcasm to make them feel dumb. Once you convince them that there really isn't a dvd in the player, they settle in with looks that could kill. The clock gets more glances the day before a break than any other day of the year, and time, of course, passes at a handicapped snail's pace. Fight the current, teachers. You have classes to teach.

Rules exist for days before breaks:

  • Don't start anything new. 
  • Don't set a due date for the day you return from break.
  • Don't underestimate the number of teachers showing movies and the even larger multitude of questions and sighs you'll receive for not showing one.
  • Don't remind them of things that are happening well after break and think it sufficient. Once they leave the room, a magic vacuum above the door sucks the sense from them, and they're no better than drooling puppies itching to go play in the yard. 

Regardless of what others think, spring break is necessary. Honestly, I kind of think parents don't like breaks because they fear having to occupy their teens for an entire week. Trust me, parents. We love your children, but we feel your pain. Trying to come up with efficient ways to occupy, entertain, teach, enlighten, and challenge your children 180 days out of the year is a scary task. So give us a break: let us enjoy the five days we get before we're thrown back into state testing, AP testing, graduation, recommendations, prom, field trips, research papers, etc. Without break, you might see us on the 10 o'clock news, and I hear the camera adds ten pounds -- that is just not ok with me.

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