It is a rainy, grey, German day. Nothing about it says “Spring into the New Year!” It is just dark and ominous. Most of the day has looked like the verge of night. Maybe it is because I’m at school when I’m supposed to be on holiday. Maybe it is because I am sinking under the weight of all this grading. Maybe it is because I dread the report writing lurking two weeks in the distance.
I know you think that this International School teacher’s life is glamorous. She travels all over Europe with her students for FREE! She gets all that time off. She lives in Germany with the best health care system in the world. She teaches at a private school where every child is perfect and the school administration supports her in all of her professional endeavors.
Yes, my life IS great. And I do enjoy the free time I am afforded to be with my family to enjoy our surroundings. I am not complaining, but it is just one of THOSE seasons for a teacher. We sit resting on our bench before we summit the year. We know that once we reach the peak we are bound to get tumbled up in the downward rush of the second semester avalanche.
We push hard all the way to Christmas vacation knowing that relaxation is just around the corner. Then reality hits: grades looming, work to catch up on, planning. Cold and Flu viruses hit because our bodies can finally let down and let go. Christmas vacation becomes part recuperation and part avoidance of the things we were trying to take a vacation from.
Tis the season and it is the hardest of the teacher seasons. We love our time off and at the same time we are tortured by what is laying on our desks back at work. We enjoy our parties and our travels, but know that ultimately we will have to forgo a travel here and a party there to get all the work done by January 20th.
In two weeks, when grades are done, I will be singing the praises of my job once again. Who am I kidding? On Monday I will be singing the praises of my job again. Once I am in front of the kids the stress fades and life returns to business as usual. It is the waiting, the free time on our hands that drives us teachers over the edge. And on that note, I need to get back to work. I have a few more stacks of papers to go.
And wouldn’t you know it, as I grade my 80th poem of the day, the sun is now shining and glistening off the dead winter ground. The clouds have parted and it is as if the earth is once again allowed to take a deep breath. I will take a deep breath, too.
What is your most difficult season as a teacher or professional?