In Northern California, the week of “President’s Day” is met with a week off. It’s affectionately called “ski week” but not everyone skis. Many head to Disneyland as well; February and October are apparently ideal times to go.
With that in mind, you’d think that yesterday at 3:00 the school site would be an abandoned ghost town. Crickets would be chirping, tumbleweeds would be rolling though the place, and a dark ominous wind would be whipping up the papers. With that in mind, I scooped up my photocopying and headed to the work room.
ONLY TO FIND ANOTHER SEVEN TEACHERS WITH THE SAME IDEA! 🙂 (Mind you, those were only the ones in the work room. I’m guessing there were more hiding in their rooms. Janie, our school secretary, kept coming in to see when she could shut down the equipment and leave. At one point intoning, “YOU HAVE UNTIL 4:30!” Yes, we would have stayed to 7:00.)
We had all assumed that our colleagues would be burned out and ready to head home so we could get some work done. It’s funny because you’d think we’d know each other well enough by now to know that we don’t stop working because a bell rings. We don’t head home because the “holiday week” started. In fact, most of us were talking about when we’d be back next week to “clean, organize, cut things out, etc.” and get ready for the kids’ arrival on 2/27. Julie and I discussed when so we could meet up and hang out.
What I know for sure about teachers is that we love our jobs. We love our students — yes, maybe not ALL of them — but we do love “our kids.” We love our colleagues and our community. We want to present rooms that are clean, neat, pleasing, and organized. We want lessons that are logical, organized, challenging, and thoughtful. We will create the materials we need, or use what was given if we’re being told “fidelity”. We will haunt Pinterest to find new ideas and posters, hoping that’s the one thing that makes the difference in student learning. We are hard-working, loyal, dedicated, driven, and a bit demented.
What I know for sure is that we will work well beyond the bells, using our own time and materials, to make education work. While we are not always successful (because we truly cannot force ANY person’s child to learn), it’s not for a lack of trying. We work hard, and, in case you weren’t aware, often on our own dime. We don’t get flex time, vacation, or overtime so everything we do beyond the bells is purely for the benefit of our school, community, colleagues, and students.
In case you hadn’t figured it out already, we love education.