Wednesday, June 17, 2015

180 Days

One - hundred - eighty days, the length of one school year, the number most teachers would consider little more than laughable.  You see, the school year may be shorter than the calendar year, and a teacher's contracted work days may not total that of the average private sector employee, but this number, oh is it misleading.

For about as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher -- just as my brother, my first student, who received less than passing grades (yes, I graded his work), behavior demerits, and a script for what to say and do any time we played school.  Aside from a few brief moments in time when I thought otherwise -- I aspired to be veterinarian until I learned that my job would entail more than loving on happy, healthy pets; I also wanted to live at the airport (yeah, I thought that was a job); and I once wanted to work at a cash register (the kind with the plastic covered buttons like I saw at my McDonald's birthday party) -- I knew teaching was for me, and I spent a lot of time, energy, and money making that dream become a reality... yet, it seems that the ambitions educators carry with them don't always hold a lot of weight in the 'real world'.  And maybe that has something to do with the fact that 180 seems like a small number...

But don't be fooled. When I take those 180 days (and the 160+ kiddos I see per day), add the number of hours of before and after school meetings, the evening work, the weekend work, and the lost sleep that comes from worrying about kids, plans, district and state policies, and the like.... that number balloons. I'm certain that hard working teachers put in more than their share of time, blood, sweat, and tears, and when mid June rolls around, a break is needed.  

With that in mind, bring on summer -- when I only spend a few hours a day doing school work and get those extra hours to feel and be human.  

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