The Final Countdown
Published on April 17, 2010
It's an unfortunate side effect of having a tough job that one gets a little burnt out from time to time. Sometimes, all I need is one hour of rest and relaxation to get through it (and no small children tugging on my shirt to tell me about spiders). Other times, I need an entire summer.
Teachers here have begun the much anticipated countdown to the end of the school year. Some, like me, count down by days. Others count down by hours and add that to the number of gray hairs accumulated over the year. No matter the method, it seems that the end of the year brings with it the same struggles and joys as the year before. In honor of these, I've compiled a list of all the signs associated with the nearing of summer break.
1. Kindergartners are beginning to understand that just because Johnny's stomach hurts, doesn't mean theirs does too.
2. First grade twins (boy and girl) who once hugged each other randomly throughout Kindergarten, now don't even like to sit next to each other.
3. Second graders are starting to process sarcasm, in very small doses, which they may or may not practice in class.
4. Third graders have successfully met "the look" given by their teacher, without flinching for a full fifteen seconds. It gets a little sketchy after that.
5. Fourth grade boys begin to suspect that girls don't have cooties after all.
6. Teachers start to talk about retirement, whether it's this year or 10 years from now.
7. Teachers begin to tell nostalgic stories about how much their students have grown throughout the year.
8. The high school auditorium is now booked for the following school year.
9. The cafeteria staff begin asking for silverware and bowls that they know are hoarded in some teachers' cabinets growing moldy.
10. First year teachers are bidding farewell to their "honeymoon year", the one and only year in which other teachers don't criticize their teaching or lifestyle.
11. Teachers begin discussing their plans for the following year, only after describing the sleep-coma they've scheduled for summer break.
12. Retiring teachers are both celebrating and mourning their departure. They're making plans to stay busy during retirement, all the while knowing that very little can keep them as busy as teaching did.
13. Last, and most important of all, teachers everywhere are looking forward to the days when their bladder doesn't have to keep up with their job. Bring on the coffee!