About a year ago around this time, my teaching partner gave me a gift for Jeremy (it was beer), to say thank you for being awesome, but also to say sorry about the fact, that at this time of year, teacher’s are kind of… well…
I have a lot of ideas of what words I could use to finish that sentence, but none of them are very polite, and my grandmother reads my blog and I don’t want to say those words in front of her. So you can just imagine me saying any kind of crass and offensive word to describe a rude, impatient, tired, cranky and self-involved person, and insert it into the above sentence.
I don’t have a teaching partner this year, but if I had the same one as last year, Jer would have a keg by now. June last year sucked. I went into May confident that I was going to get a job, and then I didn’t, and that sucked. Then I got a job, but it was very part-time, and only until December, and it wasn’t at the school I wanted to be at, and that sucked. Then my job got bumped up, and that was awesome, but I was still cranky. I was writing 60 report cards and I wasn’t sleeping, and I was going to have to say goodbye to all of my students and all of my colleagues and I didn’t like it. I was a bad partner at home.
Last year PALES in comparison to this year. Last year was a DREAM compared to this year. I wonder if I should go buy Jer that keg myself… but I don’t have a job for September, and the paychecks that were supposed to get me through the summer, get me to music festivals and buy me new sandals and support my yarn addiction have been drastically reduced, and now I may not even get my last one. Maybe I should just go grab that oyster-encrusted rain barrel that’s been at the beach for a couple of weeks and figure out how to get it home and then fill it with home brew and put a spigot on it. That’s kinda like a keg, right?
If it was only about the paycheck, this year would still be worse than last year. Significantly. Thing is, the paycheck is so not even the most important thing. It’s those goodbyes. It’s that closure. It’s the fact that I told my students on Wednesday that Thursday wouldn’t be our last day because at least we were going to have Monday, and then on Thursday morning I had to retract that statement and tell them that I had NO IDEA when their last day of school for this year would be. I’m hopeful that we’re going back… you had better believe I’m hopeful – I think it’s part of the job description of a teacher. How else could we meet a new classroom of students every September, knowing what’s expected of them by June? Every year it seems daunting… “I need to teach these kids to MULTIPLY?! They can barely subtract!” but we remain hopeful, and every June, they make us proud.
(This is where I would talk about all of the reasons Junes aren’t hopeful, and why teachers are starting to lose hope, and how to fix that, and reasonable class-sizes, and reasonable class-composition, and reasonable funding for public education if I was going to make this blog post about the teacher’s strike and why what we’re asking for is… reasonable. But this blog post is about beer for Jeremy, remember?)
That’s why this June sucks. Because this June, we don’t get to celebrate all of that. We don’t get to show them off to each other and to themselves and to their parents. We don’t get to congratulate them in front of their peers or on their report cards. We didn’t even really get to say goodbye.
I sure hope I didn’t miss saying goodbye.But about that keg of beer…