Today is August 1st. If you’re a teacher you know what that means. Every day now feels like Sunday night. Back at the end of June, you looked at your blank calendar; there were so many days and weeks ahead away from school. Now, beginning today, with July over, there’s little summer left.
This year marks my second year away from the classroom, yet I still think like a classroom teacher. For me, the year begins in September and ends in June. Those two lovely long months in between are times for renewal, reflection, reading and planning. I used to create a “to do” list, checking off each task that would stretch to the end of summer.
While I may not be in school, enough of my family are – daughter in college, sons in graduate school, grandkids in day care – to be reminded about how September to June marks the year, punctuated with holidays or family celebrations practically every month.
It’s not like teachers don’t want to return to school. My sister Madeline, an elementary ESL teacher, has already had meetings with colleagues. She goes back August 20. And no longer in many districts does school begin after Labor Day. Her kids arrive August 27. She’s excited about new ideas and meeting her new students.
I don’t have to buy school supplies, decorate bulletin boards, prepare lessons, organize books, take out my clothes the night before and make lunches. Instead, I’ll be a writing mentor to a high school student and have enrolled in a writing course; both meet September to June.
With each school year, I remember looking at the years the kids were born. This post by Todd Pack reminded me of that. The other worry of course, is what kids learn and how well they’re prepared for jobs. I wrote about that here.