Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Teachers let the monkeys out!

Remember, back in elementary school, running through the hallways on the last day of school, waving your arms around, shrieking "School's out, school's out, teachers let the monkeys out?"
Just so you know, we teachers do that exact celebratory singsong dance after the kids leave on the last day. Nirvana, that's what it is, once the last student walks down the hall. Into File 13 go the last-minute assignments ("Yes, you're getting a grade for this worksheet, and a big one at that!). Happy dances abound. Even the old-fart educators have bounces in their steps.
The lockers are cleaned out, the classrooms are boxed up, the bulletin boards are dismantled.
And we teachers have two glorious months off. Not three, which is what most people think. Same kind of thinking to being pregnant for nine months when really it's 40 weeks.
In case you're reading this, thinking Spoiled Teachers, Always Complaining About Low Salaries and Look They Don't Even Teach the Whole Year, just let me say that my salary is so low even the school custodian outearns me. Seriously.
And of course there are "mandatory" courses to take in June and July.
But I am not complaining. No way.
There are lazy hours to spend out on the porch talking to the kids. Museum trips coming, picnics at outdoor festivals (Kansas City has a yearly Shakespearean Theatre in the Park soiree ... delectable!), a gazillion movies to rent, a neighborhood swimming pool to visit, sunscreen and iced tea in hand. Even though I don't swim it's relaxing to sit poolside with an Anne Tyler or Elizabeth Berg something. Each summer I vow to read Some Sort of Classic; inevitably I end up with a women's fiction, recently published.
And this life, this "I'm home all day life," this is the life I love the most. It's my comfort zone. Domesticity brings me joy. I love doing laundry. Really. Ironing is meditative. Preparing a dinner for the family makes me happy. Vacuuming soothes my soul.
Ah, sweet, sweet summer. Bless your heart!


Stacy said...

LOL I drive a school bus part-time and believe me, I am doing the happy dance myself. By the time I'm taking the kiddos home on the last day I'm about ready to keep driving rather than stop....just open the doors on the way past their stops and tell 'em "tuck and roll!"

Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way.

Bee said...

One of the best things about teaching is the deliciousness of the end . . . and inevitably, the excitement of the beginning. (Although the end is better!)

I love domesticity, too. After hemming and hawing about applying for a teaching job this spring, I decided that my inner self really wanted to stay home.