Sunday, June 11, 2006

June: A Teacher's Lament.

It's that time of year again.
The time when teachers look frantically for an appropriate-sized rock to hide under for the next 18 days or so.

It is currently 10:30 on Sunday night. About the time I would normally fall into the somewhat restless and fitful slumber of which my average night's sleep is comprised. I don't want to go to sleep tonight, because if I go to sleep, I'll wake up and it will be tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Monday.
Monday is bad, because it means that I have to survive Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday just to get back to Saturday again.

Have you ever walked through thick mud wearing gumboots - and the mud cakes up layer by layer like a giant brown gobstopper and it gets harder...And harder.....And heavier......And heavier........ to lift......... your feet........... until you feel like you're anchored in the mud. Then you strain to take a step and your boots stick - SQUDGE! and your body keeps going..... SPLUCK! There you are. Face down in it. It has taken you, you have become the mud.
That is me in June. I am waiting for the inevitable faceplant at the end of the month. Probably just in time for my 4-day camping trip to Stratchcona Park up Island with ninety thirteen and fourteen-year-olds.

I feel my two months of freedom coming. I can smell them, like the wafting whifs of barbecue from a block or two down the street. The kids can sense them too... only theirs sound more like an ice cream truck coming full-tilt around the block. Their little brains start initiating a countdown sequence to launching anarchy. They are DONE learning and I am the only thing keeping them from running out those doors and enjoying the bounty of "X box 360" and "hanging out at the mall" that will soon be theirs.

That is why, this weekend, when I wasn't marking, I was tweaking my final exams. These little babies are the only thing that keep utter bedlam from breaking loose in my classroom. The kids can detect work that doesn't count from miles away.... one must remain focused, vigilant and firm in order to maintain control of the slippery student masses. Bribing them with pizza doesn't hurt either.

There are a lot of hard-working people out there. Who knows? You may even be one of them. I am. I have no cause to be humble about my career. Teaching is a beautiful profession, a worthy profession. I would cannonize myself right now if I could, along with all the other staff in my Middle School. We are the saints who raise your kids five days a week.

With that, I will put myself to sleep, er, I mean to bed. I have some very heavy gumboots to put on tomorrow...

Look forward to a very exuberant post on June 29th. Until then...
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