Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Mentionables: A New Year Begins!

"There's no word in the language I revere more than 'teacher.' My heart sings when a kid refers to me as his teacher, and it always has. I've honored myself and the entire family of man by becoming a teacher." (Pat Conroy)

Ayayayay....where did the summer go? yes, I know: I was remiss last week in blogging, but I'm back now only to say it's the first day of school for me which means my whole lazy summer schedule has vanished for yet another year :(

Don't get me wrong; I love teaching. I also love that there's an ending to every year and a chance for rejuvenation before a whole new group of students arrives. And yes, I know many people out there will tell me to stop grumbling, because teachers have it so easy with summers off. To them I say, then you should be a teacher! Kidding aside, while it's certainly nice to have time off, I don't get paid during the summer, which means hubby and I either need to work side jobs  to pay the bills or save and budget very carefully from September to June so that we have enough in our bank account to cover them. We don't, as some people think, get paid for sitting home and doing nothing.

Not like we're doing "nothing," by the way. More likely, if teachers aren't working a second (or third) job during the summer, we're spending our own time and money learning something we can use in school, taking classes, reading, visiting potential field trip sites, buying supplies for our classroom (out of our own money), or meeting with others to plan for a new year.

I'd also remind non-teachers that unlike many other professions, it is not a 9-5 job that we leave behind once we shut the classroom door for the day. After 7 or 8 hours of teaching, we either stay late to plan lessons, grade work, or prepare for the next day, or we load up our bags with work to do at home (sometimes both). This doesn't include the emotional ways we bring our work home with us either, contacting students with questions or concerns, emailing support staff for ways to reach troubled students, lying awake at night trying to think of a way to deal with the student who acts out because he's desperate for attention or failing every subject or thinking of commiting suicide or so panicked about getting into college he has anxiety attacks every week or...


Anyway, I'm looking forward to school starting up again, heartache and hard work and all. However, this also means I have less time to write, a definite downside, but it also means I will take full advantage of those slivers of time I do have.

By the way, we had a great time in Boston. One place we visited was the Sam Adams Brewery, and our tour guide, a fantastically energetic young guy who knew every detail of the place and all the beers, was none other than........a high school history teacher working a summer job!

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