iIt's that time of year. Teachers are counting down with a little bit of sadness to say good bye to some students but also excitement to be nearing the summer, when we can finally turn our alarms off, eat lunch at a normal hour, not spend our entire days with hordes of children, and pee whenever we want. I know it's bad when I start to sound like a middle school student - means it is time for some time apart! Of course many of us work in the summer, too, which still means alarms and schedules, but at least it is a change of pace.
In my school, there are definite markers of May:
The smells begin to increase in intensity and bad smelliness.
In May, our heating system has not officially changed over to the cooling system, something the whole district has to do at once because of antiquated equipment. Since May is so crazy weather-wise in New England, this means we can have 50 degree days followed by 90 degree days, and school heats up fast. In addition to freakishly long arms, I have a hyper-sensitive nose. As you can probably tell - since I keep coming back to the lovely smelliness of middle school. May is one of the worst times for that.
7th graders' behaviors begin to look and sound more like 8th graders' behaviors, and 8th graders already think they are in high school.
7th graders are getting taller and in some cases more mature. In other cases, well, it might be a while.
8th graders are starting the breakup process with us. Some of them become aloof, others act like jerks, and some of them get more attached to us right before they leave. It's all part of the process. They will come back next year to visit, especially the ones who drive you the most crazy.
Teachers are counting down and not hiding it.
Some teachers have been counting down since September, at least quietly. Now it's out in the open. I love teaching and I love my job - but, yes, there are 26 "early wake-ups" left and I am tracking it on my whiteboard.
MCAS is over.
Hallelujah, thank God for that. Although we opted out kids out again this year (and so glad we did), as a teacher I still deal with my students' stress and the aftermath of MCAS. And the in between time, when it is almost impossible to make progress because they are so worn out.
Teachers are getting sillier.
It's just in the air. Part of it is being in a middle school - a lot of times silly is ok. And part of it is we are actually pretty fried, so being silly and laughing helps us through. Thank goodness for my silly teacher friends and the laughter we share.
Speaking of laughter, this had me almost in tears. If you are or were a teacher, you'll appreciate the silliness. Hang in there!
Copy the link into your browser - it's worth the laugh.