If The Carol Burnett Show has taught us anything, it’s that having a sense of humor is much more than a laughing matter. Sometimes laughter is the driving force behind what helps us maintain even a shred of sanity during some of the most challenging situations we might face. Although most teachers employ their ability to find humor in everyday situations, this skill is definitely a necessary survival tactic during the last week of the school year.
What could be so stressful? Aren’t you looking forward to your paid summer vacation? Over the past 18 years, I often encounter these inquisitive wonderings from curious, yet confused friends and family members who have never walked in the shoes of a teacher. Insert the perfect adage here:
“From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand.
From the inside looking out, it’s hard to explain.”
I am confident that my colleagues would agree that words could never accurately convey the events, experiences, and roller coast of emotions that teachers must endure leading up to the close of a school year; more specifically, the last week of the school year!
Here’s to all of the ROCK STAR TEACHERS out there closing up another successful year! Whether you are a teacher wrapping up your current school year or you are already out and enjoying your summer vacation (Ummm, why are you reading this blog post? Lucky duck!), I hope that you can at least relate to one of the twelve scenes that Carol Burnett and her memorable characters were able to capture over the years. Please feel free to share this with fellow colleagues, friends and/or family members. Enjoy!
1. A scene from the faculty parking lot to the school entrance every morning on the last week of school.
2. Someone comes into the Teachers’ Lounge looking for you to come to your last week of morning duty.
3. You just read an email from your principal that reminds you that showing movies during the last week is not acceptable unless the proposed movies are (a) rated ‘G’; (b) documented in your lesson plans; (c) aligned with state standards; and, (d) approved by an administrator.
4. Administrators enter your classroom for a “surprise” farewell visit with the students just as you are about to start the movie. Allegedly.
5. You decide to use movie hour by trying to pack your classroom; however, 10 minutes into the movie you have several “friends” approach you because they are bored, yet get very excited when you ask for their help inventorying all of the puzzles and board games.
6. During the last few days, you “choose” to enjoy a healthy lunch with your kiddos.
7. After you and your class enjoyed an extended outdoor recess session, you return the classroom just before saying a little prayer or positive affirmation to help get you through the reminder of the day…and movie hour #2.
8. You sulk and mope as you walk into the building from the parking lot because you made it to the LAST DAY of the school year! Nothing could possibly ruin this day…well, maybe a wi-fi outage or if the DVD player and/or projector inadvertently stopped functioning.
9. During movie hour #6 you finished packing the last box and decided to take some time to prepare for your commencement speech at the End of Year Awards Ceremony taking place in the next 10 minutes.
10. On your way back to the classroom after the Awards Ceremony, you stop by the rooms of colleagues that are not returning next year to send them off with your sincerest “best wishes”…and to claim your interest in any classroom furniture, accessories or technology that you would like to have next year.
11. The final bell has rung. At dismissal, you graciously thank all of the parents for a memorable year. You give those final hugs while holding back the tears until the last student has been dismissed. Meanwhile, you anxiously await the principal to announce the “All Clear!” signaling the start of summer vacation for the faculty and staff.
12. Unfortunately, the nurse will not sign-off on your End of Year Inventory Checklist because you did not return the personalized plastic baggie, that you received 8 months ago, with any unused bandages or extra Clinic Hall Passes.