Last Day of School Eve

I Have Great Students!!

There is nothing like the feeling a teacher gets the night before the last day of school.  Tomorrow, our last day, is a half-day field day.  I can do without the field day part but the half-day I love.

Teachers can handle anything that last day.  Even though they know the morning will be filled with hectic chaos and sad goodbyes, the sheer knowledge of the following 2 ½ months being filled with nothing but selfish indulgences leaves them ready to face the challenges that will unfold on that last, crazy day of their scholastic year’s schedule.
I first realized there was a euphoric Last Day of School Eve feeling when I wasn’t even teaching.  I was working in the Central Library downtown when a teacher friend of mine called and mentioned that the next day was her last day.  Her excitement, or more like her peace and tranquility, oozed through the phone line.  It was then I realized I needed to get back into teaching.  Full-time jobs with only two weeks of vacation a year are no fun.
Now that I’m a teacher once again, I only have a slight peaceful, easy feeling (I love the Eagles).  I work in a small, private Christian school so I also need a part-time job which turns into full-time during the summer.  But the break from the school year is still great.
Oh my, it sounds like I’m only into teaching for the vacation!  Well, it certainly isn’t for the money.  Believe it or not, it’s actually for the kids.  Really!  I’m not just saying that in case my principal or any of the parents are reading this.  Really!!
Some of my choir gems.
I’m able to see lots of my kids over the summer at church; but there I’m not in charge of them.  That’s the best part: getting to see them but not being responsible for them.  It’s like holding a sweet little baby until it starts to cry, and then giving him back to his mom.  She can deal with the dirty diaper and I can just say, “Ah, he’s so cute.”
By the time September rolls around we teachers experience another kind of excitement: the beginning of a new school year.  But until then, YEA SUMMER!!!
So even though I’ll be working, I still have great expectations for the next 2 plus months.  This single gal just may find herself a DESPERADO and TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT in my LIFE IN THE FAST LANE.  Now, I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY, but maybe ONE OF THESE NIGHTS I may just wind up in the HOTEL CALIFORNIA tryin’ to TAKE IT EASY.  Either way, I’m ALREADY GONE.  Love me them Eagles, I do!!
Question:  What are your summer plans?

Flying Solo

We have a nice young man subbing in the 4th grade class at school this week.  He is among the hundreds of new graduates hoping to find a teaching job in an era of extreme educational layoffs.  But since he is single, he has more options available to him than his fellow married teacher candidates.  He can easily up and move to teach anywhere in the world if he wants to. 

Class at Crossroads English School in Pampady, India

I gave him a folder I’ve been saving full of pamphlets of agencies for teaching abroad.   Our conversation reminded me of the positives a single life can bring.  We are free to take advantage of opportunities that arise and not worry about it affecting our kid’s little league schedule or spouse’s promotion at work.  Adventure is an easily packed suitcase away.   

However, that kind of freedom is a tradeoff for having someone to go on the journey with you.   While being unencumbered let’s you jump at a moment’s notice, it also leaves you jumping alone.  I’ve been jumping alone for quite some time now.   There have been times where I preferred going solo and then there were times where having a partner to catch me when I fell would have been nice.
Not Mr. Right!
Either way, I’d rather jump alone than not jump at all.  You miss out on way too much in life waiting for someone to join you.  Do it.  Don’t live with regrets. 
This young man may go for it.  I mentioned to him that, while teaching abroad, he might even find a likeminded young female teacher he could build a life with.  Since I’m his mother’s age, he’s not an option for me, but 25 years ago it would have been fun to have someone like him to jump with.     

Fellow Teachers

I have visited schools in Africa and India, but the timing never seemed right for me to pursue an overseas music teaching career full-time.  Who knows though, maybe someday I will make it back and teach those lovely children what the little black dots on a sheet of music are called.  In the meantime, I will continue jumping solo and being the most fabulous single gal there ever was!

These pictures are from a 2005 trip to India. 
Question:  Are you the type that, if your circumstances allowed, you would “jump at a moment’s notice” for some great opportunity or adventure? 

Recess Duty

It has been said the three best things about being a school teacher are June, July and August.  Some days I couldn’t agree more.  And since the end of school is less than two months away I am counting the days.
If you are employed in a small private school you sometimes have to do more than just teach.  Two of my week days are spent in the classroom teaching children the joys of music.  The other three are spent keeping them from killing each other on the playground during recess.  Not the best assignment of my career, but if it means having a full-time job I will happily put that whistle around my neck.
The 4th, 5th and 6th graders love to play a game I call the, “Kill the Person on the top of the climbing structure” game.  A few kids stand on the top of the “mountain” where they are pelted with balls of every shape and size by the kids on the ground below.  If I wasn’t in charge I would probably enjoy watching the mayhem and maybe even participate.
Not being a mom, I think I let them get away with things that would make someone with a stronger maternal instinct shudder.  Some women have said to me, “Should you let them do that?”  And I reply with, “Oh, is that not safe?  It looks fun.”  Or if a kid comes up to me crying, saying, “He hit me with the ball,” I have absolutely no sympathy for them.  A more sensitive woman would comfort the child and put a stop to the game.  Not me.  I mean, if the point of the game is to hit people with the ball, and you don’t want to get hit by a ball, THEN DON’T PLAY THAT GAME. 
Teaching isn’t the only profession that deserves three months off, but as far as I know it’s the only one that does.  So I’m sticking with teaching, even if if means recess duty.  Come on Summer…
Question:  What are some of your fun recess memories?