P. S. Aloe Vera Is On Your Nightstand

Dear Lacey,

Hi. This is Mrs. S. You wrote to me a couple of months ago, and I thought I should only return the favor.  You see, my dark circles are slowly disappearing and I SUDDENLY HAVE TIME.

Let me fill you in the on the past couple of months. I reviewed my heart out. I celebrated when my kiddos remembered what I had taught. I grimaced when they didn’t. I remembered they were six and seven years old and just sang Let It Go to myself let them serenade me in Let It Go.

(Even when I didn’t ask for it).

(This was 100% of the time).

(The repetition never bothered me anyway).

I “decorated” my classroom walls with paper so they didn’t see a word that might (!) be on the test. I got my groove on with some awesome colleagues and clapped along like a room without a roof. I pepped the kids to the best of my choreographed dancing ability.

(I am still trying to figure out what an “8 count” is and that may explain my lack of rhythm in certain parts of said dance).

I laughed at the notion that there’s no prayer in schools (I am sure God was hearing silent prayers from many teachers that included the words “strength,” “stamina,” “patience,” and “common sense for our future legislators.”).

I remembered on the second day of testing to wear more comfortable shoes.

I survived and thrived.

(We’ll see about the thriving part later in summer).

And then I celebrated with my kids the next day  and joined in the chorus of, “LEEETTT IIITTTTTT GOOOOO!” at the top of our lungs.

Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.

Then, there was May. All. of. May.  However, it was fun time of field trips, Field Day, and singing along to the piano rendition of My Heart Will Go On at the Talent Show. Actually, that may have just been me, considering my class wouldn’t be born until TEN YEARS AFTER THAT MOVIE CAME TO THEATERS. I’m just going to leave that be before I am in the fetal position with my Senior Yearbook.

My class practiced writing by trying to persuade me that our classroom should be on the beach.

(I didn’t take much persuading).

We did some crafts (!!), used Sharpies to practice Math one day (most! exciting! day! ever!), worked on our writing, used our math tools, read for practice and for fun, and practiced writing neatly because their second grade teacher would only let them write neatly.

And then I found out… I will be their second grade teacher.

They won’t be able to tell me they have never heard of an adjective.

Pressure’s on, kids (and me since they all came back saying they’ll have me — super glad, truly- they are a wonderful class)!

All of this to say, you are taking over, Lacey. My alarm clock is off. Well, you actually have an inservice on your first day of Summer, but that’s okay, you can wear a t-shirt and shorts (and not dress pants, hallelujah).

Funny Seasonal Ecard: 'The summer is going by so slow,' said no teacher ever.

Here is what I want you to do.

Correction. Here is what I NEED you to do.

Ready for it?

Relax.

Relax. Relax. Relax.

Despite what everyone-who-is-not-involved-in-education says, you do not have three months off. You have about 6 weeks, once you take away inservice days and planning.

Now, don’t get me wrong. That is a huge, huge perk of your job. But I’m going to tell you something you don’t hear very often:

You deserve it.

You’ve earned it.

Your friends are not in the education field. They don’t know. They don’t see it.

They don’t see the hugs you give to the child who didn’t eat breakfast that morning, so you dig in your drawer for some crackers.
They don’t see the hours you pour over data trying to figure out why your students didn’t make the gains they should’ve.
They don’t see the moments of joy when they make they gains they shouldn’t have.
They don’t see you teaching first-graders possessive nouns (that alone earns the summer break).
They don’t see you working on carefully-worded emails to a child’s parents letting them know how their child is struggling, but you know that child is their whole world. So you hit backspace, rewrite, retype, and try to follow the “Golden Rule” you preached to your children on the playground hours before.

You and your colleagues and students have earned this time off. So here’s a few ideas to fill your time:
Read a book that doesn’t include an educational acronym.
Eat a lunch that doesn’t have to be scarfed down in 20 minutes while grading papers.
Enjoy the outdoors without having to solve who stole who’s basketball.
See friends who sadly go on the backburner because you are just dog-tired at the end of school day (and that’s not at 2:30).
Cook dinner that doesn’t involve the microwave (well, at least the majority of the meal, let’s not overreach here) because you actually have the energy.

This time off will slip by, but I know you. You are going to get your new classroom set up and pin all kinds of awesome things for the new school year to try. Some you will do, and some you’ll look at on August 1st and say, “Oh, that was cute that I thought I’d have the time for that.”

But that’s okay, do those things too. Because before you get bogged down with everything else, you are reminded why you love teaching children.  You love preparing for them, planning for them, and dreaming for them. Do those too, but don’t overdo it.

Enjoy June and July. Because we all know the month of August will be here too soon.

And it’s only approximately 342 days long.

Isn’t that how long “ALL YOUR TIME OFF” is, anyways?

Take care of yourself for me.

– Mrs. S