Monday, May 03, 2010

First Contact

Our school is, as of today, fully enmeshed in yearly testing designed to assess progress.  It is horrible and awful and stressful and icky.  Kids were frustrated and taking it out on the computers trying to administer their tests.  When the computers didn't give them the reactions they desired, they turned to the hapless staff who don't want to be doing this any more than they do.

My email was full to bursting with the second round of Blame Everyone For Everything Lest You Own It Yourself messages.  All those meetings held the week before vacation were fraught with complicated changes that require solid communication and all of them directly affect my classroom. You'd think that, by now, the players would have established exactly who is to be held responsible for the lack of that communication.  Based on the tone of the emails, this has yet to happen. No one knows who was supposed to do what or tell everyone else what to do.  I'm staying out of it.  Frankly, I have my hands full trying to manage the actual children impacted by these decisions made at the meetings to which I was not invited and where I might have made some helpful observations.  On the plus side, everyone feels very sorry for me right now and I'm being given a wide berth except when they want to gift me with things.

Things I will take without hesitation.  I earned those things.

And the weather?  To say I was overdressed for today would be an understatement.  80 degrees and humidity that required one make swimming motions in order to get from one side of the room to another.  Crazy hot and no one was prepared for it.  We were all still in Early Spring mode and garbed accordingly.  With the testing and the testy emails, it was all quite the pretty package.

And yet I couldn't help but feel kind of good about it.  I don't particularly care for heat.  And I positively loathe humidity.  LOATHE it!  For all that, I still had a pleasant little upturn to my lips for most of the day.  Even as I sweat through my long sleeved polo shirt, I smiled a little bit.

Because it felt like the end of the school year.  Like it's really going to come to an end at some point.  Some point soon, even.  All the meetings where people make big decisions that require me to run around like a crazy person...they will be in the past.  The snarky emails where people try to cover for having made me run around like a crazy person and blame everyone else...they'll get deleted once the school year ends and they tidy up the servers.  The tests will have been tallied and the results filed.  There will be nothing more we can do to boost scores.  It will all come to a crashing halt.

It was First Contact.  The day that reminds me of the virtues to be found in Hanging In There.  I will, one day soon, drive home and not have to go back for a while.  This year will be naught but a few snaps in the 2010 middle school yearbook.  I can take a little heat if it means the school year is winding down.  This has not been the greatest of educational experiences, but it has an expiration date and that makes it a little more lovely in mine eyes.

Although I find it kind of disconcerting to think about how I finally started knitting again.  Just in time for the summer heat to roll in...

SA

10 comments:

Kath said...

Yeah, I dunno what it is about the mercury rising that brings on the sudden urge to knit thick cables with heavy wool. Knowing darn well that even if I don't drown in my own sweat I might accidentally felt my own WIP! One year during a heat wave I even decided to get a jump start on the holiday knitting by making a felted hat for someone. That I had to felt by hand. In the kitchen sink. You can imagine how lovely that was! :/

Yarnhog said...

I realized to my horror while driving my son to school this morning that I have only a month before they are home for the summer. I will try to remember that it is all a matter of perspective, and to be happy for you.

Julia G said...

Today I was informed by a reliable source (my offspring) that there are only 36 more school days left this year, five of which are half days. Our tentative last day is June 23rd, barring unforeseen weather events, which I think is close to your schedule. So hang in there!

Lynne said...

I'm with you on humidity - I can cope with the heat but humidity? Blah!

It's seems funny reading about your "first contact" with the end of the academic year when we are about halfway through the first semester!Personally, I only returned to work after five months leave yesterday! My year stretches out before me; but I'm facing adults (mostly females with torture and trauma backgrounds) who speak little English!

Best of all, though: the weather never affects our schedule - we begin and end on the appointed days, come rain, hail or shine! (we don't have snow)

Karen said...

I always want to cast on a wool sweater at this time of the year. I don't know why. Normally I'll do it too just to scratch the itch.
This week is teacher appreciation week at my son's school. I hope they're appreciating you at your school too.

Elaine said...

I can no more imagine doing your job than I can imagine flying to England on my sewing machine. You are a Goddess.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, I recognize that feeling. This week, whenever anyone asks how someone's doing, the answer is invariably, "Last week of classes..." with this particular longing in the eyes. So close...

trek said...

It is, in fact, the beginning of the end. The light at the end of the tunnel is now lit and we are focused on it with the fixation of moths.

Three exams and I am finished.

Except for the grading, of course, but I do not have to interface with stressed out students during the grading phase.

knitseashore said...

Do they make summer-weight Blumfies to get you through the next few weeks?

Have you ever read the Miss Read books? Miss Read was a (fictional) teacher in an English village school, and some of your posts remind me of the episodes of her and her students. Of course, being fiction set in the early to mid 20thc, she didn't get the disheartening emails that are filling your inbox. But maybe the books would cheer you up?

twinsetellen said...

I always feel a little jealous this time of year, when teachers are exultant in the approach of the last day.

Then I remember that they have to earn that last day with 9 months of really hard, not always thanked and often actively interfered with work, and I happily go back to my 12 month grind.