My Biological Teacher Clock is A’Tickin’
And before you get all excited, no, in my book a biological teacher clock does not equal anything baby related…I’m just saying it’s kind of the same thing, right?
Okay, let me explain my thinking. You see, you spend the beginning of the summer just relaxing (read: laying face down on the couch watching whatever comes on the television after The Today Show because you lack the energy to even lift the remote). Or at least I do…and if you’re honest with yourself, I think you do too. This is a very necessary step in one’s Recovery From The Previous Year. For me, it feels a bit like my early twenties (I’m going with this whole biological clock analogy thing…please, try to keep up…you know how I love to beat any sort of analogy/metaphor/image to death by NOW) when I knew that some sort of future awaited me in education, but it seemed all really far away…you know, in the world of Bills and Responsibility which I was fortunate enough to avoid until after college.
Then, as summer chugs along, you get to the point where you realize you should probably DO SOMETHING with your time off and presto! Out come the To Do Lists. How I love me a good To Do List filled with grand plans of organizational genius! I think I might be blushing just thinking about it! Anyhow, you realize you should do something and start frantically making plans for all your Big Projects. You list all sorts of things that you Should Have Gotten Done During The School Year but whatever, we all know those sorts of promises are almost impossible to keep. It’s like my mid to late twenties – I went and got a masters degree, started teaching, went back to school for my doctorate…I mean, if that’s not similar to frantically listing things like “Clean curtains” and “Make doctor’s appts”, I don’t know what is. I was like a crazy person on a mission to educate the shit out of myself and anyone I came in contact with.
Finally, it’s the end of the summer. You notice that it starts getting darker a bit earlier. Every major office supply store has commercials with joyful parents shopping for Back To School. Most of your Summer To Do List is complete, and you rationalized that the rest of the list can go screw itself because it’s the end of the summer and you need to ENJOY YOURSELF. But, in the midst of all this enjoyment (read: cocktails, back to school shopping and sleeping late), you feel like something is missing. Perhaps it’s the cool heft of a stapler in your hand, or the multi colored beauty that is a planner filled with big ideas and our beloved post it notes or maybe it’s the sound of all your friends laughing at your latest read aloud. (Was that last one too shmaltzy? It felt a little too “awwwww” for me, but I threw it out there anyway. Admit it – you miss the kiddos!) If you admit that you’ve had this feeling, than you know what I mean when I say your Biological Teacher Clock is ticking.
So know we’re BACK! And even though we all love to bitch and moan about going back and oh, my alarm clock and I hate commuting, and is it always this much work…we also love getting back to it because we are ready. And we are addicted to school. And maybe office supplies, but that could just be me. Whatever, we are stapled, papered, labeled, planned and back-up planned. We have mapped out bathroom policies, homework routines and read alouds. We have a vision of the first few weeks, a plan for the rest of the fall, a goal for where we are going. We have a PURPOSE! (insert fist pumping and high-fiving here)
In honor of the FIRST DAY BACK for many of us and in the name of BEING PREPARED (Because I learned pretty quickly to have a back up plan for the back up plan and so many tricks in my tool belt that it was ridiculous…not one moment was to go unplanned or unattended! Although really, what’s with the tool belt metaphor? Like that would ever match my fabulous back to school outfit…), I have a fun story from my first year when I was, well, not prepared. (I know, can you even imagine? Me? Not prepared….insanity! But it happened…once.)
I should have known it wasn’t going to go well after spending several hours crying over pencils – how to handle the pencils, organize the pencils, sharpen the pencils, deal with the millions of pencils I envisioned strewn all over the floor nameless and homeless…the horror! However, I had fooled myself into a lull of preparedness by mapping out literally every second of the first day. Every. Single. Second. And then some of the seconds in between those seconds. And I did it. I made it through the first day of school. I was mere seconds from dismissing my class of new friends when I realized, here was a second I hadn’t prepared for. After my HOURS and DAYS and WEEKS of preparation, after all of my nudity filled anxiety dreams, I had never thought about the following scenario – where the HELL was I supposed to take them at the end of the day? Seriously, how do I GET RID of them?!?!? I mean, the day went well and all but it’s over. O.V.E.R. Over and I need to lay down for a bit, but they’re totally still here and I don’t know what to do with them.
Me: (popping head out into hallway) (looking around) (looking around) (Where IS everyone?)
Super Colleague To Be: (popping head out into hallway) (looking around) (looking around) (We make eye contact.)
Me: Uh, what are we supposed to do with them?
Her: Uh, I don’t know. It’s my first year too, remember? I thought YOU would know.
Me: Crap. (Okay, I didn’t really say “crap”…I know better, but it’s funnier.)
Her: Crap. (She didn’t really say it either.)
Me: What do we do?
Her: I don’t know. Line them up? Walk them downstairs?
Me: Maybe we should wait and see what the other teachers do and copy them?
Her: Good idea! Why didn’t we ask about this before?
So we faked it. We faked it until we saw a more experienced teacher lead her class down stairs. And then we promptly copied her.
Hope everyone was prepared today, because like it or not WE’RE BACK!