There are two weeks left of my first ever “summer vacation.” Now, I have to say, I didn’t really get the traditional summer off, since I worked as a technical writer the entire summer. It’s not all doom and gloom though, I went to California for almost three weeks. Yes, I know. Sing me a sad song for my measly three weeks of vacation. Don’t you feel sorry for me? No? Fine. Don’t.
I figured before my students started to fill my mind with endless amounts of who knows what, I figured I’d give non-teachers a peak into ten thoughts of a teacher preparing for the new school year.
1. It occurs to you, once again, that you must be a role model.
“Crap. I have to be an adult in like, less than a month. That sucks.”
2. All of the sale ads for back-to-school are full of anticipation and twinged with guilt, because you will spend ALL. THE. MONEY.
“YES. I get to go back-to-school shopping! Buy ALL the writing utensils! I NEED 217 colors of post-its in various sizes!”
3. Your wardrobe is about to get a WHOLE LOT more conservative and constricting.
“Crap. I have to wear pants. With zero elastic. ZERO.”
4. You find out all the teachers who aren’t coming back after all, because they are traitors and can never be spoken of again. We pour beer into the ground where they used to park their car. (Not really. Alcohol is not allowed on school property, so we do not do that.)
“Wait. Who retired? Who left? HIM TOO!? TRAITORS! Burn them ! Burn them with fire!”
5. You realize that all those other teachers who are not stressed during the year just spent two straight months of curriculum development…and you have two weeks before you’re going to stand in front of 30 high schools who are not impressed.
“I guess I should probably start on all that curriculum planning I was going to do over summer…but. But then there IS still that Netflix show..”
6. You finally take your guard down when you’re grocery shopping in yoga pants and a grease-stained t-shirt, and you inevitably run into a student.
“Isn’t that…oh crap. It is. Maybe she won’t recognize me. Annnnd she spotted me. It’s only been two months, how come I can remember her name? Something with a K…She was such a brown-noser, I should totally remember…Kelly? K….” followed by, “HEY, you! Stranger! I’ve missed you!”
7. You make unreasonable exercise and healthy eating goals that start only when school starts.
“I am going to get up every single day before school and workout. And I’m going to bring all of my lunches so I stay out of the reward candy. And I’m going to be one of those super fit teachers who is NOT part of the athletic department.”
8. You start thinking about all of the students who you released into the wild at the end of last year.
“Hey, I’ll see…no. No, I won’t. I won’t see any of them. Because they were seniors. #ForeverAlone”
9. You spend a lot of time thinking about how you will be SO much more organized, SO much better dressed, and WAY more consistent of a disciplinarian.
“Oh man. I’m so going to get a folder for every unit. Then I’m gonna divide it into tabbed worksheet sections. And I’m going to organize my online folders. And I’m going to have tabbed folders for every student to keep track of late work and missing work. YES. I WILL ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS!” (Spoiler alert: You will, for about two weeks. Then, you won’t. But you get points for trying.)
10. At some point you will realize that it’s so cool that you get a whole new year to meet students and be the person that tries desperately to get them to be a non-knuckle-dragging, non-drooling, contributing member of society. A little bit of that initial teacherly optimism returns.
“Oh man. I’m gonna teach the crap out of those kids. Their minds are gonna be so blown, and I’m going to be that teacher to whom a class will say, “Oh Captain, my Captain!” (For the record, I had a student do that to me last year. But it was with complete sarcasm and irony. It’s sort of ruined now.)