You know what’s not overrated?
Fall Break. Two-week long Fall Breaks, that is.
Wasn’t it Patrick Henry who said, “GIVE ME TWO WEEKS OR GIVE ME DEATH!”
(Ok, maybe not to that extent. But, it’s alarmingly close to accurate).
(And – no joke – my iTunes shuffle put on “Life’s Railway to Heaven” as I typed this. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?)
(And, yes, I totally had to use the Google to find who said that quote).
(Truth be told, my guess was Mel Gibson).
I have learned fast and furiously that first grade is not for the faint of heart. At a recent inservice, a lady I am somewhat-acquaintances with asked me which grade I teach. I told her it was my first year of teaching first grade, after teaching second grade the previous three. She then replies, “Oh, well that’s not much of a difference!”
And then I thought this:
(Keep in mind, she is a high school teacher, whom I’m sure works very hard, but also gets ninety minutes of planning. I digress).
Now let me say that while it’s LEAPS AND BOUNDS different (at least at the beginning of the year), I am beginning to get into the groove and certainly am already seeing a few rewards. And I seriously LOVE my kiddos. They’ve been the motivation for me to get out of bed a lot of these past few, hectic weeks. Second grade is always going to be special to me (you know what they say about first loves), and I could very well find myself teaching second again, but first is sweet in its own way. The kiddos laugh a little louder at their silly teacher, forgive a little quicker, and find the smallest things a little more exciting.
For example, my class usually goes to my centers two times per week. I do other small group/partner activities more than twice a week, but centers are usually twice because I value my sanity.
So far, every time I say, “We are going to go into our centers now,” the reaction is like when Oprah gave away those cars.
YES, YOU GET TO GO TO LISTENING! YOU CAN GO TO SCIENCE LITERACY! YES, YOU MAY GO TO WRITING!!!!
Seriously. There is clapping, squeals, and the all familiar chorus of “YESSSSSSSSSSSSS.”
It’s intense, with all the LEARNING TO READ FLUENTLY AND WHATNOT, but rewarding.
We are all ready for a break, though. Parents, students, administrators, staff, and yes… teachers. We are working longer hours than ever with the least amount of respect from legislators and “stakeholders” (I am so sick of that word, I could go see the Nurse for a mint about it) than ever.
So beginning Friday afternoon, I am leaving it until October 21st. It will all be there when we’re back. I’ll spend the first week catching up on some things around the house and errands around town, and then the second week will be spent laying in the sun, looking for seashells, and relaxing. And then the Sunday evening will be a night of mourning.
I hope we all, kiddos included, take advantage of these two weeks to recharge our batteries and not think about CCSS, CRA, PARCC, TCAP, TVAAS, TDOE, SCORE, or The Acronym I’m Forgetting (TAIF for short).
So, enjoy it educator friends and sweet kiddos!
But since I am a First Grade Teacher, I’ve learned to especially say,
(But by all means, do it on a beach or past your school-day bedtime).
Happy Fall, Y’all.