Aug. 22, 2021: School Calendars
At the end of July, I was spending time with a friend and lamented that “summer is over next week”. She looked at me with confusion in her eyes. Next week is the start of August, she pointed out. We have another month of summer.
Not for me. It is interesting living your life within the parameters of school calendars. Here, teachers return to school the first week of August and students the following week. In my mind, that means summer is over. To me, summer is the break between school years, not the season on the calendar.
There are other seasons that only happen within the world of teachers. While they may not be represented on traditional yearly calendars, they dominate our lives much as the regular Christmas Season or Spring Season dominate the lives of others.
- Honeymoon Season
o This is the first couple of weeks of a new school year when the students are still madly in love with their teacher and their classmates and with being back in school. The newness of the classroom, the routines, and the school supplies bring a joy and delight to the day that is palatable. Everyone is on their best behavior and everything is rosy and cheerful!
- Report Card Season
o This season happens 4 times a year and when it does, it dominates our lives for about a week or so. During that time we are immersed in papers, grading, tracking down missing assignments, assessing students, averaging grades, and recording comments. All other tasks fall down the priority list, as this deadline is hard and fast.
- Flu season
o While this season does also impact the general population, it permeates teachers’ lives in ways that it does not for others. Daily informal assessments of our kiddos determines if we can hug or group kids today. We are gaging the runny noses, sneezes, and coughs, and pulling out extra hand sanitizer. Runs to the store for Kleenex and Lysol are weekly events, and our laundry pile increases as we know we must wash every single thing we wear into the classroom, every single day.
- Testing Season
o Usually in the springtime, this is the time of year when all of the mandated exams must be administered to our students. Our classrooms are transformed into testing centers with desks in rows and all charts and posters removed from the walls. Our schedules morph into testing sessions and the only lessons we are engaging in are boot-camp style review sessions.
- End-of-the-School-Year Season
o The last week or so of the school year, this season is short, but powerful. Emotions run high as kids (and teachers) deal with mixed emotions. The positive memories of field trips and laughter and engaging projects are vivid while other not so joyful memories fade. The thought of saying good-bye to our beloved friends and our safe classroom, keeps emotions high until they overflow in a cascade of tears on the last day of school.
Then we have a reprieve of School Seasons, until summer ends and the new year brings another round of School Seasons with it.
I would imagine that there are other professions in which there are also seasons unique to that lifestyle. Whatever calendar you find yourself living in, embrace the seasons!