Friday, February 12, 2010

Where did this Albatross Come From?

It has been a long week.

I know I had a snow day on Wednesday, and have Monday off (hooray for noteworthy presidents), but it has still been a long week.

How is this possible? Let me fill you in.

In the midst of the school year there are five seasons:
-We are entertained by school (Sept/Oct/Nov)
-We are excited about Christmas (Dec)
-We are still running off the adrenaline of Christmas (Jan)
-We can sense the end of the school year, and thus are motivated to finish (Mar-Jun)

February becomes this zone of the school year where we are “painted ships on a painted sea”*, or in other words, unproductive people stranded with no sign of future productivity.

*Pardon the reference to “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” but I was reading it today with my class.

I’m not sure what albatross I killed* to deserve such a fate, but the fate is pretty clear: be miserable, trapped on a ship with miserable people.

Thankfully, not every day in February feels this miserable. After all, yesterday was a snow day, and Monday we have off. Tomorrow is “day-of-sugar”, also known as Valentine’s Day (observed), and will be full of hyper students who at least have an excuse for their chattiness and hyper behavior. The nine days after this streak of interest--unless interrupted by another snow storm--may bring me to the end of my rope.


Cut out red construction paper hearts in an attempt to channel some elementary-school-happiness, and count down the days until the next season of the year begins(10 school days!), when fresh motivation will grace us all with the inspiration to carry on.

Anyone else in a February funk?


  1. Hey there!

    No, we don't have a snow day today but I'm home sick - I caught a stomach virus that decided to erupt on the plane home (thank GOD I had an aisle seat...) and have been fighting fever, body aches, and the inevitable since.

    Which meant that last night, when I could barely see straight, yet alone think straight, I had to come up with a lesson plan for my sub.

    What a pain, eh? I mean, it's hard enough (as you mention above) to engage kids in February; creating a good sub plan is an effort in futility because kids recognize busy work and that's what most sub plans offer. Plus, I don't want to return to school with to a pile of busy work on my desk.

    So last night at 10 pm in the midst of fever dreams, I texted a "game" plan to my best friend (who, fortunately, teaches in the room next to me) and asked her to take care of getting me a sub, etc. (and I mean that literally - they are playing Apples to Apples).

    But then after I hit send, I felt like a bad teacher for 1. getting sick and not going to school after a 6 day break and 2. not coming up with a better plan. So I texted her back and wrote a 3 page text, terribly misspelled due to my inability to see at that point, instructing her how to turn the game playing in to curriculum related game playing.

    So, now the kids are playing the game from the 3 perspectives of William Blake's Theories of Being: Innocence, Experience, and Organized Innocence, to make me feel better.

    My friend texted me back 5 words: STOP worrying. GO TO SLEEP.

    But do teachers ever stop worrying?

    ENJOY your snow day !!! I'm going to chug some more Gatorade, take some more dayquil and try to get rid of this fever.

  2. I hope you enjoyed your snow day and the kids behave for you. I remember the anticipation of the end of the year when I was a kid.