Always Fall 

The school year doesn’t exactly “end” for most teachers. While it is true that we might not have students directly in front of us, our minds are in our classrooms, planning new teaching methods, and creating or revising activities. The feeling of “I should be…”, when doing anything else,  is as real in July as in January. 

Even now, during the last days of my summer, as I take some time for myself, I feel a twinge because I have a fall prep to-do list. It’s waiting for me, taunting me from the location I’ve stashed it. 

I had (have) a summer class this year for the first time in a couple of years. It was (is) going well. Even with the challenges of an abbreviated semester and the online learning supplement that doesn’t work, the class stayed (is going) on track. I can’t make a firm declaration in the past tense. We still have two class sessions left. 

Even though I taught this summer, it is the end of August that signals back to school. 

I’m looking forward to getting back on my own campus, with my familiar faces, my department, and my friends. The students I’ll see will all be new and most of them eager to begin their collegiate experiences. 

I fight the urge to buy things I don’t need. My desk and all of my school totes are well stocked. Upon last count, I had over one hundred dry erase markers. But when I see them, with their little caps whispering “buy me”, the struggle is all too real. 

I need nothing, just to do the prep work I thought about in theory back in May, June, and July. In reality, it isn’t a ton of work. And I’m a bit nerdy over my own plans. Like a comic that laughs at her own jokes. 

The school year never ends but I anticipate seeing it again. “You sly dog…give me a hug!”

I know I will soon have copious amounts of work, most of it to be done at home, the number in my inbox will soar from five to over fifty,  and I will always feel behind.

In late October through mid-November, I will want a case of dark chocolate. By the second week of December, an i.v. drip please.

Some people I know do not understand this concept. I once received a careless crack about my summer job being my “real life.” 

Teaching isn’t real? 

Writing isn’t real?

Yes, I went into it for fame, fortune, and the infinite free time it affords.

(Page C.T.– they have a patient coming up.)

When you see a teacher over the course of these next weeks, the last of August, please show that person a smile, a nod, or just that knowing look. Our real lives beckon.

We spend our “off” time learning, planning, researching, and practicing the crafts we teach. 

We are always getting ready for class. 

So be nice to us. It’s fall in our homes, and our lives, too.


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