Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jekyll and Hyde

@ell, folks, it's May. May is always an exhausting time of the school year. in addition to all of the mayhem (no pun intended) of walking around  a building full of roaming hormones, dress code violations, and behavior pushbacks on a daily basis, there is also the frenetic pulse of increased professional responsibilities humming in the background. Filling out end of the year data spread sheets, field trips, schedule planning, supply ordering and trying to purge and close down one's own classroom all suddenly need to be fit in around increasingly needy students. Quite frankly, it's a hot mess.

I find this time of year a little bipolar. Some days, my students are in great moods- funny, lovable, dazzling me with the learning risks they take and the journeys they've traveled as they near the finish line. These moments, I can't imagine how I will survive ten weeks without seeing them; I wistfully hope that they will visit me next year. I wonder who will light up my classroom for me the way so and so did after he graduates or she transitions. Other times...well....those times are trying. Every word I say is met with an eyeroll or an undercutting comment. Behaviors and routines that the students mastered in November are cast aside, and in their place comes a regression of the worst kind. Prepubescent whisperings and gossip coupled with a kindergartener's need to always have attention from SOMEBODY. Spring fever clubs us all over the head. Everyone becomes preoccupied with the lasts. The last project. The last dance. The last grades. The last yearbook.

What nobody ever told me before I started teaching was how much I would grow to love these disgusting (I mean it) balls of angst. How hard I try to savor the last moments of the school year. How frustrated I get when they don't appreciate an end of the year activity I've planned. How much it hurts to have them blow me off and run out the door on the last day of school. How proud I am when I compare their fall to spring data. How I worry about their familylivesstealinghabitsinternetviewingsdrugexposuredatinghabitshygiene when I don't see them every day. How relieved I am when they come back to me the next year. Taller. Friendlier. Full of Summer Stories. Because no matter how much they irritate me, or how ready I am for break, or how outwardly I brag about the small number of schooldays left to my friends, secretly I love this job. I a

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