One week until the 2019-2020 school year begins…

Some teachers may count the final days of summer with tones of impending doom—as if they’re being sentenced to a ten-month stint in Sing Sing. As the mercury stretches to escape from the tops of thermometers throughout Northern California’s valley and fall can be sensed around the bend, I find myself refreshed and ready to tackle, for the most part, the unimaginable task ahead.

If you run across a teacher griping about returning to report to the duty of their classroom, advise them to quit immediately. These are the same teachers I have met who never appear happy in the present and constantly force the future: looking forward to Friday, the next day or week off, the next summer vacation. No matter which staff I’ve been a part of, there is always one—upwards of a handful, depending upon the staff’s size—who will ask you on Monday morning, “How many more days until Friday?” While passing in the hallway after lunch, they’ll inform you, “Only two more hours till we’re free!” On the second day of school, they’ll comment with a sigh, “179 more days to go…” 

I try and avoid these encounters like the plague. Am I over-the-top ecstatic to ditch summer vacation—where every day feels like a Saturday—and be forced into a highly routinized bathroom and feeding schedule? Of course not. I am, however, always eager to return and surf the never-ending set of waves that roll in over the course of each and every school year. 

Regardless of how many copies I’ve run, the curriculum and classroom I’ve organized, or the amount of supplies I’ve gathered, there is not enough planning my type-A personality can do—whether it’s one week or one month before the first day—to fully prepare for the students’ needs when they cross the room’s threshold—but being well-prepared definitely assists me from swinging at air whenever I’m thrown a daily curveball.

The moment I become obsessed with watching the hands on a clock run in circles, it’ll be my time to retire.