#Relatable - 4th Quarter Teacher Thoughts
I think TS Eliot and Ella Fitzgerald (among others) were speaking to teachers when they asserted that spring can really hang you up the most. As the school year comes to a close, here are some fourth-quarter reflections from a tired teacher. Which ones can you relate to the most?
This may read more as a rant, but my hope is that by reading this, you recognize some of these as your own thoughts and you can relate to them, knowing you aren’t alone. Hang in there, teachers! You’ve got this!
Read the directions. You know it’s the end of the school year when your directions on the board, or Google Classroom (or other LMS) just reads: Read the directions. And if you haven’t already, work on crafting a good dead-pan stare for when they ask what they should be doing even though you just explained it.
Yoga Pants. Master the art of the yoga pants that look like dress pants. (Everyday can be self-care day!)
What time does this class get out again? Teachers have the rare and odd experience of our day being split into odd time frames. Classes getting out at 8:37 and 11:27, and with different bell schedules for different days can have us confused by the end of the year which class or block we’re in and whether we’ve taught this or that already.
Completion Grades. You know you’re at the end of the year when you want to give completion grades for everything. Even essays. Stay strong, teachers! Kids still need meaningful feedback, especially if they are going to be required to use it later on.
Spoiler Alert! By fourth quarter, my brain is so fried from simultaneously teaching multiple books to varied classes and levels that I have to make a conscious effort not to spoil novels for my students when I forget which chapter they are on. Oops! What are the spoiler chapters of the books you teach? I’ll start! Chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies!
Do I really have to clean my room? Organizing, cleaning, and packing at the end of the year can be cathartic, the pulling paper off the walls and the purging. Do you have to take down everything so they can “paint” even though they never do, or can you leave things up during the summer? Check out these posters you can use for next year!
Get a time machine. When a parent or student emails asking what the student can do to raise their grade in the final week, resist the urge to tell them to build a time machine. It’s a quick way to blow off steam, but I guarantee it will cause you problems almost immediately. My silent response is to wear socks with pigs with wings on them. That way when a student asks on the last day if they can pass, you can just calmly put your feet up on your desk and let your socks say what you really want to say. (I joke, of course.)
Which of these can you relate to? How do you know when it’s the end of the school year?