Tuesday, August 27, 2019

It's the First Day of Break

I'm crazy, right? You're sitting around, bummed out of your mind because one week from today you have to go to work. How is that fair? After all, you've finally located your true self and you're a beachcomber. The only thing you're missing is one of those metal detector thingies, and you've just seen one on sale at Costco. How could you pass up this opportunity?

And honestly, isn't it wasteful that the beach chair you've been lounging around on all summer should be unceremoniously tossed in your garage? Isn't that bad for the environment? I mean sure, it's gonna get cold, and there will be snow on the ground, but you're a reasonable person. What's wrong with opening it up in the living room, making a nice cup of tea, and just sitting there every day with a good book?

After all, to be a good teacher you ought to be a reader, and where are you gonna find time to read if you have to go to frigging work every morning? It's your job to be a role model, and gosh darn it that's what you need to do!

Actually, everything is point of view. I'm chapter leader of a very large school, and I notice that whenever a marking period ends, I get complaints. Why did it end on a Friday? Why can't I have the weekend to finish my grades? Why did it end on a Monday? Do they expect me to spend my weekend doing my grades? There's always a way to work around things like that. Plan your final test for the week before or something, and do the grades in advance. Or wait until the last minute and stay up all night. You can make your marking period end whenever you like, if you plan a little.

It's the same with summer break, in a way. Some people teach summer school. I taught DOE summer school exactly twice. (I used to teach college in the summer, which was a lot easier, but I don't do that anymore either.) Imagine those summer school teachers, though. They're out there, day in and day out, while you sit at the beach. Sure, they might have more money than you do, but money can't buy you home grown tomatoes.

In any case, summer school teachers end their term with two weeks of summer, and those two weeks are their vacation. So while you're sitting around moping and feeling sorry for yourself, they're out going to Hawaii and drinking banana daiquiris. Now sure, you don't have all that dirty summer school cash, but what's keeping you from drinking your own banana daiquiri? What's to stop you from driving that crappy car for another year and taking a vacation?

Now imagine it's December, February, or April. Imagine how thrilled you'll be. A week off! What's better than that? You can travel. You can visit family. Or you can stay home, watch Mindhunter on Netflix, and avoid visiting family altogether. In fact, you can do whatever you like.

So why is today any different from that? You've got an entire week off!  Go celebrate. You deserve it. You have the best job there is, and once school starts, you'll get used to it and things won't seem remotely so traumatic. It's Christmas vacation, President's week, Easter break or all three. Go enjoy yourself. You deserve it. You want your students to be happy, don't you? So celebrate. That's how you begin to set a good example for the 1.1 million children you serve.
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