Monday, May 30, 2016

The end of the line, wherever the line is

End of the school year is upon us - yay!

Don’t get me wrong; we teachers tend to like what we do.  But it doesn’t mean we aren’t as eager for the school year to end as the kids are.

Sometimes it’s because you get a crappy class, and you’re just tired of dealing with the personalities in there.  A friend of mine has an English class that he just hates.  The reason he hates them is because they just sit and blink at him and never respond to his questions.  It’s weird enough that a visitor could reasonably assume the kids are just hostile little turds who want to make his job hard.

You might be excited about the end of the year because you’re either quitting or moving on to a new job or new position.  We’ve all had fantasies about running out the door before the students do, yelling “See ya!”  I know I used to.  Of course, I'm happy where I am now, but last year was a different story.  I’d never had a year feel so much like ten years before.  

Sometimes you welcome the end of the year because you’re exhausted.  That’s frequently the case with teachers.  As more and more work gets piled on us, we drag through the year, just barely getting things done.  By the end of the school year, the classroom is a mess, the teacher looks drunk or hungover most days, and she sighs a lot. 

Students are always excited now that the year’s over, especially seniors.  Seniors start asking if you’re coming to graduation, or getting emotional and telling you how much they’ll miss you.  You know they won’t really miss you, but it’s a nice thought.  You might miss some of them, and you might even hear from those few later on down the road. I always grit my teeth when students ask if I'm coming to graduation.  Of course I am, but I wish there were a discreet way to read a book through the ceremony.  Graduations are all the same - boring and uninspiring.  Believe me, I've been to enough that I know what I'm saying.  I even felt the same way about my own.  

I always plan to spend the first few days of summer vacation (after the mandatory teacher development days and “clean out your room days”) sleeping.  After graduation, I plan to stay in bed for the next three days.  I have to sleep off this school year hangover that’s developed over the last nine months.  To sleep, perchance to dream about the perfect class, where students are happy, eager to learn and always turn their work in on time.