Monday, August 12, 2013

Last Week of Freedom?

Writing is my secret identity.  By day I'm a mild-mannered English teacher at a large metropolitan school. Actually, it's large suburban school, but that doesn't fit the Superman phrasing, and anyone who knows me at all knows I love anything Superman.  School starts for teachers a week from today and for students a week from Thursday.  That means this is, according to many of my teacher friends, our last week of freedom.  I guess that's true for me in some ways, but not so much in others.

It is the last week I get to sleep as late as I want on weekdays.  The odd thing is, I'm a morning person and don't sleep late much anyway, so that's kind of lost on me.  What I will miss are the leisurely mornings lingering over a third (or fourth) cup of coffee while doing my morning devotions, reading the news online, checking my Facebook and Twitter pages, answering emails, reading a good book, and writing a  good book. At least I hope it's good .  I guess I could still do all that if I want to get up at 5:00am, but even I'm not that much of a morning person. So I guess it's back to slamming coffee while doing my devotions and then getting ready for school, where I'll try to answer urgent emails before first period and continue to slam coffee until lunch time, when I'll give my kidneys a break and start slamming water.  It's a good thing my room's across the hall from the boys' potty.

I guess the main thing I'll miss is being able to have almost unlimited time to read for pleasure and to write. I'll still do both of those things, but I'll have to work around reading what I've assigned my kids to read and also what I've had them write.  That's one of the elements that nearly all English teachers have to contend with, especially AP English teachers.  We have them read and write a lot, which means we read a lot.  But I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it.

One thing I'm looking forward to is seeing my teacher friends.  I've been in touch with some over Facebook and such, but nothing can replace face-to-face human contact.  Sadly, some dear old friends are no longer with us.  No, they didn't die--they retired.  But many didn't and who knows, maybe the people who replace them will soon be dear old friends.

On the most positive of all notes is that I get to meet a new bunch of students with whom I'll most assuredly fall in love with, adopt as my sons and daughters for nine months, and tearfully bid goodbye to in May.  I know I'll be crushed on that last day, but only because I've had such a good time with them the previous weeks and months.  I'll laugh with them, cry with them, talk with them, eat with them, celebrate with them, mourn with them, and just enjoy being with them.  I'll go their games and plays and concerts and tournaments and recitals and be amazed at how talented and dedicated they are  So it's worth a few tears.  Okay, several tears.  I'm a crybaby.  I own it.

So yeah, it's a loss of some personal time, but it's bigger gain of personal fulfillment.  I'll take that trade anytime.  I'm a teacher.  I love my job.    

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