Monday, 9 December 2013

End of the Year Blues

I hate the end of the school year. Loathe it. Absolutely detest it. Not so much as a parent, but as a teacher it just sucks the life out of me.  I'm tired, I'm emotional, I'm done. And yet, as much as I desperately need the luxury of learning to sleep past 5:45am I don't want the year to end. I am not looking forward to the bell ringing at 2:30 on Friday. I dread that moment. In fact, I'm pretty sure I had a nightmare about it last night.
I know I'm not alone in this feeling, although you'd never think that if you listened to early morning staffroom conversations. I'm not sure why other people don't like the end of the year but here are my reasons:

  • I love my job. I love the challenges, the opportunities, the variety. I often feel like I'm cheating somehow: how is it right that I get paid to have this much fun? Holidays are great'n'all but, for me, my job is just as enjoyable as most holiday time. (Which may say more about my holiday plans than anything else?!?!)
  • I love my kids. Sure, there are times they drive me to distraction, but on the whole they are amazing. Both of my classes are astoundingly wonderful. I'm blessed with two groups of kids to love. I will miss them all terribly. I know this, because I still miss last years' kids terribly.
  • I'm not a fan of packing up. This isn't to say that I'm a messy person, just that I MUCH prefer being creative and setting up awesome learning spaces than pulling them apart. Empty classrooms at the end of the school year look tired and forlorn. Interesting isn't it that the exact same space with the exact same furniture will look exciting and full of promise in a few weeks?
AFS offers programmes in more
than 80 countries around the world.
  • I suck at goodbyes. I've known this for a while. When I was 17 I did a year long AFS student exchange to Honduras in Central America. The day I left my host family to return to Australia the airport security had to escort me through the departure gate because I was so distraught from the farewells. Some years later, in a volunteer role with the same organisation I was required to be at the airport as our international students returned home after their exchange here. I met most of these kids for the first time that day at the airport. I always cried before them, and usually long after they'd left because watching their goodbyes was so freaking difficult. I am not good at goodbyes. As a contract teacher I'm not sure what next year holds for me and so I will be leaving this school at the end of the school year not knowing if I'll be back next year. That's a bucket load of goodbyes. Argh!
  • I'm not good at being still. Or doing nothing. Or relaxing. My husband really struggles with this. He can pull up a chair, pour himself a glass of wine and quietly watch the world around him. I, on the other hand, need to be doing something while we sit there: I'll chatter, I'll be researching something (on my smart phone), I'll be scribbling notes for some idea or other (usually also on my smart phone), I'll be playing sudoku (again, on my smart phone... I sense a theme here), I usually have a book in my bag ready to whip out at the slightest sign of prolonged sitting, I'll be people watching, I'll possibly be silently assessing the phonological development of some unwitting stranger, I'll always be moving. (Yes, I'm that person who has the radio and TV playing at the same time while I read.) So, y'all can imagine how I love holidays. The end of the school year means holidays. Lots of holidays.
  • As I mentioned, I'm a contract teacher. Nothing else needs be said really.
So there we have it folks. I hate the end of the school year. 

Having said that, the holidays will give me the chance to catch up on writing all the blog ideas I've had lately. And sleep. And hang out with my OWN kids. And spend time with my husband. And finally sort out my office space. And catalogue my books. (Yep, I'm that kinda geek.) And see my teacher friends who are also too busy during term to do more than wave across cyberspace. And ride to the new coffee shop with my delightful neighbour. And crochet my awesome Very Hungry Caterpillar (my husband bought me a kit, and whilst I'm a complete noob at crocheting, I'm chaffing at the bit to give it a go). And well. I think I've made my point. I hate the end of the school year but I'll make it work for me. 

This post doesn't relate to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in any meaningful way because it's just a vent. Thanks for letting me getting it off my chest!