Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Over...So Over!

I've been doing this since before forever and have had ample time to think about the situation.  Let me assure you that I am not speaking rashly or tossing about opinions all willy-nilly.  I have given the matter deep and serious consideration.  I have, in fact, pondered.  That is some serious stuff, pondering.  You have to listen when someone ponders before opining.  It is even fair to say that I cogitated, but it was mostly pondering.  After all that mental exercise, I have come to the following conclusion:

The first day of school is overrated.  Seriously.

I have many reasons for stating this, more than any one blog can contain.  However, I will share a few of them just to give you the general idea.

1.  Everyone is all giddy about their new school clothes up until the point where we realize that we are totally overdressed.  It is still roughly a billion degrees outside and we are all stuck in a classroom with kids in new fleece hoodies and gigantic sneakers.

Furthermore, the fashion show doesn't last nearly long enough.  We've seen and assessed all the new outfits by 10:00 and then what is there to do?  Take bets on who has the biggest pit stains after a day of posing in the new duds while the still-summery sun blazes through the windows?

2.  The first day of school never lives up to the commercial hype.  After two months of seeing all those peppy, happy kids bouncing onto shiny buses in order that they might experience The Best Day Ever And One Where Everyone Will Probably Burst Into Song, even I get sucked in.

The first day of school is nothing like in the commercials.  Never.  Schedules are screwed up. A mile long line snakes out of the office because no one knows which bus they are supposed to take home and the secretaries start whimpering before the end of the first period. There aren't enough math books and half the kids were so focused on practicing for that first sing-along that they neglected to bring a pencil.

Kids start to get surly once they realize it isn't like what they were promised by the media.  They aren't suddenly popular and magically gifted with the ability to do calculus.  Worse, they can't even sing!  They are just a bunch of non-musical kids who look like taller versions of the ones in the mirror last year and wearing sweaty, soggy new hoodies.

They soon begin to turn on us and understandably so.  This brings me to my next point, one more from the teacher's perspective.

3. There are both teachers and kids in a school.  The kids outnumber the teachers greatly.  When they decide that things have gone far enough, they have the numbers to back up their opinion.  For example, when Ms. Sheep says it is time for everyone to sit down so she can can read with them they can giggle and throw things at each other for thirty minutes straight because they know that the line of confused bus-riders in the office means that there is no room for miscreants.  The fact they have lost their afternoon free time will register later but this isn't going to help matters during the reading time.

Kids can really suck the fun out of the first day of school if they put their minds to it.  Not always...but sometimes.  And their hoodies smell kind of funky, too.

4.  And then there is the reaction from the home front.  Sure, it's the teaching gig that keeps everyone in crunchy kibble and pays for visits to the Cat Whisperer.  However, much like students who can't think beyond the need to avoid reading at the expense of free time, the kitties do not like it when Mama tells them it is time to go back to work.  They like Mama at home so where she can give belly rubs, open cans and be available when they need to tell her something very, very important.

There is drama involved.  Doors are blocked and medicine spat out in an effort to keep Mama where she belongs.  It is sometimes enough to make Ms. Sheep late on a day when she really, really needs to be at school early.

Alas!  Alack!  And a-woe is me!!

Sometimes, in addition to "overrated," we also have "over-acted" and "overly dramatic."



Lynne said...

I hope this academic year goes more smoothly for you than the last one.

Poor puddy!

Anonymous said...

::echoing Lynne's sentiment -- you DESERVE a better year this year::

When I returned to work today I got another 9/15/11 tax return assigned to me before I even got to my desk. Crap.

trek said...

Was the Cheerful Teaching Assistant cheerful?

KnitKicky said...

You--the teachers--are the unsung heroes. Hang in there and thanks for all you do!

Julia G said...

Aww, VCK - happy first day of school, Ms. Sheep!

My verification word is "woolly" - not only an actual word, but content appropriate!