There have been so many blog posts and even viral videos going around lately about how parents are- well, just done with the school year. My favorite was a re-share from a blog post in 2013 entitled “Worst End of School Mom Ever” by Jen Hatmaker. “Moms, remember how you packed innovative and nutritional lunches and laid clothes out the night before and labeled shelves for each child’s work and school correspondence and completed homework in a timely manner? I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. I haven’t checked homework folders in three weeks, because, well, I just can’t.” Here is the link to the blog. You should read it. It is witty, and brilliant and good for a great belly laugh.
In fact, the school year reminds me a lot of parenting during Halloween… Your first
child’s first Halloween is almost magical. What will they be? Do you choose something funny? Or what about cute? Chances are you settled on one or the other, spending a small fortune on the perfect costume…
then years go by, possibly another kid, and it turns into raiding their closet. “Here honey- you are grunge. Go with it.”
Same goes for us parents. When we get to head back out on the streets and trick or treat- we decide dressing up is a must! The same process occurs- funny, cute… what should it be. A golden standard is always a great choice. But after a couple years- we get “What? I put a hat on…”
Here are my 5 things teachers wish happened at the end of the school year….
- Focus– Just for a second. By this time of the year (middle of May), spring is in the air, and school is the last thing on students minds. From preschool to prep school there is a surge in hormones, causing everyone’s energy to skyrocket. More conflict pops up, because emotions are highly sensitive. All of this internal turmoil makes it hard to handle instruction in any form. Whether it is reading, science, lunch or recess, teachers fight an uphill battle in the spring finishing out the years curriculum.
- Inspiration– By April and May it is easy to get burned out, and focus on the end of school rather than making each day awesome. It is so hard to find that intrinsic motivation that was so easy to come by in October… Groups and Pinterest become my best friends this time of year.
- Follow through– Jen Hatmaker is right on. Homework folders don’t get checked. But don’t worry! We Teachers understand. To be honest- I am a parent and haven’t signed my son’s homework log in weeks either… Having that teacher parent team helps immensely with student productivity. When that falters, it makes everyone’s job exponentially harder. Teachers have to send out reminders, parents have to motivate their children and students have to catch up.
- There was a progress report and conference fairy– Hey, I said “wished”, right? Conference sign up management and compiling end of the year reports is time consuming and exhausting… “Wherefore art thou fairy? I am not above bribes…..”
- You could keep them just a little bit longer– Who are we kidding? Your students may drive you crazy, or be a contributor to that massage you so desperately need… but they are your kids… and you adore them. For all of the stress and craziness and chaos we teachers deal with on a daily basis, there is nothing better than seeing the look on one of your students faces when they finally get a concept they have been struggling with or their hug just to say good morning. This is why we do this job.
So let’s make each day count as we head into those final weeks of school. It will be demanding- It will be hard, but we got this. Let’s raise our glass in solidarity- teachers and parents alike – we will make it! And before we know it, teachers will be planning their next year, and parents will be labeling shelves, and the circle of school life will be complete!