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It’s almost that time. You know what I mean. They mope about having to go back to school. They try to bargain with God for extra time. You practically have to get the jaws of life to drag them to the classroom.
Am I talking about children? Hell no. It’s the end of summer break for teachers.
The days of not setting an alarm for an ungodly hour, losing all sense of a calendar between the months of June and July, loving Sunday nights, using the bathroom no matter the time, reading a book that’s not about student mindset, and drinking a margarita at noon are quickly coming to a close for this year.
And while we all love our jobs, teachers definitely mourn the loss of their summer freedom. To help my fellow teachers cope with their feelings, here are the stages of summertime sadness, #TeacherLife edition.
The point when you refuse to accept that you have to go back to work. You make last minute vacation plans. You refuse to go anywhere near an education supply store. What’s common core?
As you move closer and closer to the final day, your anger starts to come to the surface. You think about all those summer bucket list items you couldn’t scratch off your list and rage. When someone casually asks, “When do you go back to school,” they receive a growl for an answer. You find yourself flipping off Target’s “Back to School” decor that backhands you in the face when you first walk through those automatic doors.
The wheeling and dealing starts: promises of keeping up with grading during the school year for just a few more days. Praying that if a water pipe bursts in the student restrooms, you vow to put the recommended monthly 20% in your retirement fund. Is it rational thinking? Absolutely not, but you’re going to give it the good old college try.
The irony of being on summer break is that at the beginning, you lose track of time. At the end? Each hour that goes by brings on your tears. You mourn over the idea that you have to put on a bra before 10 am. Commercials about Back to School shopping elicit the same visceral response as those ASPCA ads. When someone talks about the start of the school year, you have to act like your allergies acted up and that’s why your eyes are watering.
It’s here: the day that you chant to yourself, “I accept what I cannot change.” You wake up before that alarm clock can ring, retrain your bladder to retain liquids for at least three hours, reintegrate the words “common” and “core” back into your everyday vernacular, and rediscover why you love this profession.