I can’t help but count down the months of this year. To be relieved as each unique pressure passes by at work. The start of the year is not easy. Kindergartners don’t know how to line up or follow any direction in mass for that matter. Cute might be nice when you’re dealing with one five year old, but having a whole room full of five year olds wanting to share every thought is not easy. Learning names…now that’s a challenge every fall. I easily must be able to recall 400 plus names weekly. And as the kids grow past me and I see them at Target or Bread Co. or wherever else I run into them I need to be able to recall them and add some age progressing filter so that I will still recognize them even years later. They recognize me…I don’t change that much. But having six graders come up to you and them expecting you to remember them from first grade is a bit tricky…they tend to do quite a bit of changing!
Fall is the time for rules and procedures…the time of year when you can’t let up or ease up in any way shape or form or you will live to regret it come winter and spring. Been there done that. Don’t do it anymore. Fall is when I must hold the line the hardest. And yet be fair and consistent and respectful and hopefully extend the love of Jesus at the same time. No easy job.
Fall is the time when I have such a hard time coming off of summer and not wanting to be bound by the weight of going back to school. People talk about the wonderful season of fall and I get it. I do. I mean the cooler air, the changing leaves…if I was in any other profession I would probably love fall too. But I can’t quite get past the reality of it being the beginning of a long year.
I’m a good teacher. I give it everything I have. Everyday. That’s probably the problem. I do give it everything I have everyday. Maybe if I could hold something back it would make it easier. But how do you hold something back when you’re job is interacting with children all day. What if they suddenly move away. What if they’re being abused and I don’t know it. What if they don’t know how special they are. What if nobody else will take the time to love them or to hold the line and make them behave. So…tomorrow I’ll plow back in and that’s what it feels like for me.
On the weekend I get a chance to set the plow down. It’s back breaking work. I know there will be a harvest someday. I know what I do is good and necessary and worth giving my life to, but that doesn’t make the unending days of plowing the ground any easier. We teachers…we plant seeds. We rarely see them bloom. We plant seeds and hope that what we’ve planted will get enough to keep it going and cause it to grown and flourish in time. It’s a rare gift when we get to see the blooming side of things. Every once in a while I get a glimpse. It helps that I see some of my kids from kindergarten all the way through 8th grade. They really do grow on you over that many years:).
August is done. September now done. October coming…this is program prep time. The time of year when I repeatedly sing the same songs over and over and over to hopefully create a program that will be enjoyable for parents and help the kids to feel successful. This is IMEA time for choir when I take kids to audition individually and rejoice with those who make it and try to comfort those who don’t. This is the calm before the storm. November will bring on our first performances and they don’t stop til Christmas break from that point on.
It feels good this year to mark August and September off of my calendar. It feels good to be putting first quarter grades in the computer this week. The year really is going by fast already. I’m ok with that. Maybe if I was just a mom I might be clinging to the time but as a teacher…I’m good with how quickly it passes by. It’s about all I can handle.
I can’t help but wonder what August will be like for me next year. I wonder what it will feel like for everybody else’s life to go back on the school schedule and for me to be able to just enjoy the fall season. I might learn to really like fall.