Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Checking The Calendar

Many school years, (in fact, I'd actually go so far as to say most of them) I find that the months fly by.  It always seems like I go from, "When, O, when will this calendar page moooooove?" to, "Bye, kids! Say hi to your mommies and daddies for me!"  (And, "Why, O, why does that last bus not moooooove???")

This year, however, has been the exception to that rule.  I have felt the passing of every, single creeping minute.  Not that it's been a bad year.  I've had worse.  Much worse.  But, for whatever the reason, it has not been one of those quickly passing sorts of school sessions.

Until, that is, May rolled around.  I don't really remember much of May.  It came.  It went.  Suddenly, it is June.  It doesn't feel like it's time for June...but it is.  I know this because it was very, very hot today and the students were all telling me (in condescending tones as if I had never, ever before experienced the warm temperatures of a second floor classroom in June) that it was highly unreasonable of me to expect them to do anything but lay on the floor and play computer games for seven hours.

Yup.  That's June, all right.

It hit me pretty hard yesterday as I was leisurely going about my morning and happened to say to The Cheerful Teaching Assistant, "Golly, I really need to get the report cards done next week.  That's the last full week of school, after all.  They're gonna want to print those out soon..."

The last full week?  Next week?  I think there are one or two things I need to get done.  There's the usual stuff like report cards and room cleaning.  And making sure that those last few pesky items in the curriculum get taught vigorously and in such a way as to stick in small minds for the summer months.  Then there's the whole matter of my entire classroom being transferred to the Middle School and the need to pack up everything.  

Lastly, I should really make sure that none of the little darlings try to escape on any of the fifty million field trips or that the kid who isn't allowed to go on field trips anymore doesn't stow away on one of the buses.  I need to make sure that everyone's lunch accounts are settled and that they've returned those library books that they swear they've already returned but which I know are probably under any number of couches throughout the town.  I have to make sure that the kids who come up to visit from the various elementary schools to see their new classrooms don't get shaken down for milk money should they stray from their groups.  I've got my hands full...

I've never not finished all that stuff, though.  I've moved from room to room, building to building, district to district any number of times.  I had a little glitch with the report cards last year because no one ever really told me how to use the Power School program so nothing actually showed up on the final grades section.  But I figured out a strategy for that and everyone had a grade when they left.  (I think...)  There is only one more Individualized Education Program form to fill out and that is pretty easily done on the Case-E program we use for that purpose.  I'll get the kids to help me pack and reward them with sugary snacks for all their efforts.  

I've been doing this for a while.  I've got any number of systems in place to make it all happen.

Now I really need to give some thought to what I am going to do with my own little self during the summer months.  I normally have broken out the Index Cards Of Summer Organization by now.  I've neatly and with great consideration listed all the things that I would like to get done between June and August.  I have different cards for different summery genres.  There's a "knitting" card which lists all the fine knitted items which will fly off the needles.  There's a "making a better Sheep" card that outlines the steps I must take to return to school in September all thin, healthy and mentally sharp.  Oh, and we mustn't forget the "household" card.  That one is really rather hopeful in that it seems to indicate that I will be living in sanitary splendor come the first falling of the leaves.  These cards sit on the coffee table throughout the summer and are referenced almost daily.  I am really quite organized in my approach to summer vacation.  I can be heard patting my own self on the back for miles.  

I generally do less than half of what's on those cards.

But it's a good exercise, really.  And, even if I don't do it all, it still gives a little structure to the whole thing and the few tasks that do work out are usually things that needed doing in the worst possible way.  I suppose it is a good thing to write it all down.  I like doing it.  It makes me think about summer vacation.  And renews my faith in my ability to behave like a real, live grown-up who doesn't live like a frat boy.  I even bought extra cards last year so I wouldn't have to get new ones come the summer of '08.  I like to think that this is a very, very good first step towards realizing my dreams of organization through the strategic use of index cards.  Yes, indeedy.  I really need to do those index cards.  It is time.  

Now I just need to find them.  I think they might be buried under that pile of stuff to the right of the couch where I throw everything once school starts...

SA

11 comments:

Donna Lee said...

I am having a hard time with the whole June thing. The "year is half over" thing. I know I must be getting old because time is going faster and faster. Soon, we'll be thinking about holiday knitting and gifts and shopping. And I know it was just last week that we finished up this year's shopping!

Even if you never finish a single thing on the Index Cards of Organization, it feels good to write it all down and look at it.

Ronni said...

Today the small one mentioned that in a mere 10 days (counting today) she would be done with school until next fall. I'm pretty sure the only reason I didn't have a little stroke when she said it is because I hadn't had enough coffee to process sound yet. And by the time I had had enough coffee I was too tired to care. I think we better do index cards too.

kmkat said...

My mother, a first-grade teacher, used to refer to her students as the little darlings, too. Do you guys learn that in college?

I did not read that you have an index card for spinning. You need one, you know. Especially since your prize package finally (finally!) hit the post office today. Not that there is necessarily any yummy-licious fiber in it, you understand. Really, just in case...

catsmum said...

it can NOT POSSIBLY be a year since you last wrote about the summer organising cards - it... just... can't.
and can it really be 203 days till christmas ? - just sayin'

sophanne said...

I beg to differ with donna lee in that the year is half over- that's in the grownup world. I the real world THE YEAR IS OVER. The new one starts in September.

Index cards- I'll have to try that- shouldn't be a problem since one year I came to believe that index cards could solve every single organizational problem in my life and I spent a large portion of my school allocation on them.

Mia said...

Oh but Sheepie, isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to look forward to that couple of months off to do what you want! Regardless of how many things you check off on the list.. it'll be a wonderful break! Enjoy every minute of it.. throw those damn cards away *grin*

trek said...

Five full days of school plus kindergarten graduation - that includes today since Neatnik is just right now beginning her school day as I type.

We have some plans for summer but probably still need to make some lists.

Cursing Mama said...

My parental tasks sound very similar to your teacher tasks; make sure the lunch account is settled, make sure the library books are turned in, make sure all that missing homework gets done and turned in, send paper bags to school for desk & locker clean out, bribe teacher with gifts to ensure passage into the next grade level.....But, I've no Index Cards of Organization and frankly, now I'm worried.

Yarnhog said...

As a mom, I wonder if "Index Cards of Chaos" would help? 'Cause hubby and I both work at home, and heaven knows, there isn't going to be anything resembling organization around here until fall.

Army_Wifey08 said...

I hate to tell you this, but the sheepy children out here are already out of school. got out on the 29th of may.

mehitabel said...

I have a Yellow Legal Pad of Organization, which currently has an entire week's worth of tasks on it, some of which are getting crossed off. However, there is only one word on tomorrow's list: BINS! Yes, tomorrow we open the Bins of Doom and my belongings come back inside.
Pray for me.