• Kristen Miller

End of the School Year Insanity


I began my career as an engineer. I would go to work everyday around 8/8:30, sit in a quiet desk with my computer and have focused, uninterrupted time to just...work. I judged teachers. I used to smugly think to myself, "Pfff, how hard can it be? Teachers get summers off, winter break, Thanksgiving break, spring break. They've got it EASY." And then I became a teacher and can honestly say that teachers have the hardest job on the planet. The thing that non-teachers (non-educators really, since I'm experiencing the same "going crazy" feeling as a Vice Principal as well) don't realize is that the breaks educators get are literally SANITY breaks. I was talking to my husband (who is also a teacher) this morning about this concept, and he showed me this clip from Zoolander where Will Ferrell yells, "DOESN'T ANYONE NOTICE THIS? I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!" I think that ANYONE that works directly with kids during the school year can attest to this feeling of literally going crazy during the months of April and May.

When you have your own classroom, you work directly with roughly 36 kids (for elementary teachers) and roughly 150 kids (for secondary teachers) every. single. day. As a teacher, you end up acting as a subject matter expert, disciplinarian, mentor, coach, counselor, friend, and parent to your students for 7 hours every day. You have to say things like, "Tommy stop talking," so many times that by the end of the year you genuinely feel like if you have to say it one more time, you might explode. There's this graph that one of the first teachers I worked with showed me that exhibits the morale and emotional state of teachers throughout the school year. I mostly agree, but think there should be another sharp dip toward the end; the only thing I'm reflecting on in April/May is the I need a break. STAT.

When I had my own classroom, I used to put a "countdown to summer" on my whiteboard right around the six-week mark (aka 30 school days left)...as a way of checking my own sanity. We're almost there fellow educators...hang in there! Summer is coming and will be here before we know it!

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