So… it’s that time [the final days are upon us – actually, they are upon me]. This weekend ends another summer and begins the new school year. Saturday…Sunday…and then, I am expected to return to the place that I have been dreading: school, work, hell on earth, teenager-adult purgatory, or whatever you’d like to call it. I want to bolt, fly, run away. How can it be that these weeks have fallen to the wayside? If only I had no financial responsibilities! I would leave and refuse to look back. Escaping is a daydream. The reality: my schedule is fixed, students have been assigned to my rosters, and I am expected to be a teacher.
The last two years, I have been a traveling teacher (I had no classroom – just a meager cart to push through the halls from one space to another). But this year, I have the extra added burden of claiming one room the entire year: my own classroom. It’s another thing I have to be think about; figuring out what to do with this “space” – how to make it bearable, perhaps pleasant.
I have forgone the usual teacher-poster-ugliness that spans the walls (and ceilings) in most classrooms, and have given this space a calming vibe – just for me. The way I see it, if the kids enjoy it, it’s an added perk [for them]. I’ve gone in and put up art work and signs…littered the space with flowers and lamps. I just left the room, and before I turned out the lights I felt the claustrophobia creeping in. Even the pretty things look ugly in that space. I have to change my mindset [mission impossible…for real].
I have hatched a plan that is supposed to help the year move smoother and faster: get in, do my job (nothing more, nothing less), and get the hell out. Don’t get worked up over the stuff that is supposed to be important [you know, the usual – kids learning, me teaching effectively, blah, blah, blah…]. In all honesty, this is easier said than done. But I am going to try my damnedest.
I have looked in the mirror and talked to the face that appears when my body is facing the reflective glass. I have told the face (and the brain) not to get wrapped up in the bullshit. I just have to hang in there. This job can’t kill me physically [at least that’s what I tell myself], but emotionally and psychologically, it leaves scars.
I’m picking up the metaphorical bike, strapping on my helmet, and getting back on for one more journey. The initial pedaling will result in a ride that’s a bit wobbly – that’s expected. At the very least, I should be able to enjoy the scenery after I stabilize. Then, I’ll find the groove and coast. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to close my eyes and enjoy the forward motion. At the end of this ride there is the arrival of another summer. I promise to cherish it just as much as I have cherished the one that has passed by.
Here’s to another summer gone – don’t hold your glass up in a toast. Instead, pour out a little liquor for the death of another seasonal release laid to rest. RIP summer of 2018. Gone but not forgotten, and forever in my heart.