I know many people count the first of September as the end of summer, some wait until the official date on the calendar (Sept. 23rd this year) but for me the end of summer comes at 10pm tonight. Why this oddly arbitrary time? Because at 10pm tonight I have to make myself stop what I'm doing and go to bed. Why? So that I may haul my carcass out of bed at 5am tomorrow morning and return to the world of the working.
Yes, tomorrow is the first teacher's day back for my school district.Why a Friday you ask? Hell if I know! Probably so that they could feel less guilty about scheduling parent open house on Monday night? So with the usual day long faculty meeting on Friday and part of Monday, wanna guess how many staff members were at school these last couple of days trying to get rooms ready so they don't have to come in this weekend?
The answer is a lot. You see we have to strip down our rooms completely at the end of each year. Nothing can remain on walls, shelves, desks, floors, etc. So today I spent about 7 hours arranging desks, hot gluing posters to my cinderblock walls (our school is one of the old style "pod" middle schools which means none of us have any windows) and putting up the backdrop of my bulletin board.
Next Wednesday sees the arrival of my students. And the two weeks that follow will include daily reminders from the wonderful SO that no, I can't quit my job because I like living in doors and no, I don't really hate teaching and early adolescents, I just hate the first two weeks of school. Schedules are messed up. I once had 42 students in a single class. This is not a lecture hall or auditorium, it is a small classroom designed for 25 or so. It took 2 weeks to get fixed. We have to teach them how to use lockers. Yes, 12 year olds confronted with a combination lock on a locker for the first time and 4 minutes between classes often have meltdowns.
Tomorrow will be filled with the joyous duty of sitting on my backside for 7 hours while every personnel policy is read to me, while the procedures are reviewed (I've been there 8 years folks, I know 'em), and while everyone tries to get pumped up about the new year.Then, come Wednesday, I won't be able to sit down again for a month.
I love my job, I love my job, I love my job...just not until September.