May is just tooling along, just like March and April did. What is with these spring months? They just keep moving along like we are in a hurry. Today is another beautiful day, and it is going to be tomorrow if I blink. I would so like the days to slow down so I can enjoy them a bit more.
These are the days I was looking forward to savoring as a retired teacher. I no longer have to keep tabs on where each student is, what assessment I still have to give someone, do I have a good piece of writing from each person, and have I written all scores in the 20 places they need to be recorded (even though they told us having the "system" would make it easier - somehow it just added places to put information without cutting any of the others out).
I want to bask in the sunshine of these days of not having to sort and pack up a thousand books to store over the summer - along with every other little scridge of paper, every block, every pencil, crayon, calendar piece, and oh, so many other little pieces of vital equipment you will need for teaching the next year. No more do I need to make sure everything is stored on shelves or the moving storage cabinets or in boxes stacked on top of tables or desks. This time of year was building up to the grand finale and your stuff is in the way for washing the floors over the summer.
The primary grades are killers for packing at the end of the year. First of all, there is just so much stuff...so many little pieces, manipulatives, hundreds and hundreds of books, pieces of paper, crayons, pencils, stickers, erasers, art scraps, number lines, markers... And surprisingly, the students aren't much help. I would just try to be civil when a teacher of older kids would say, "Get your kids to help!" Believe me, I've tried. And tried numerous ways. No help. At all. No help.
Oh, yeah, on surface level it looks like they've done what you asked. There are piles of books. But as to sorting the books according to the level tag on the back - well, sometimes they couldn't find that big yellow dot with the 13 in it, so used numbers that were somewhere else on the back of the book...like an ISBN number. So even if most of the books were done correctly, you still had to go through them again to make sure.
Packing a box is another non-helpful chore. They don't know how to pack things so that you can get more than three items in there, or so that you can actually close the box without bending the top of a book over. So you have to figure in repacking time.
Then there's the "someone else's job looks more fun" problem, so they leave and try "helping" that person - which in first grade is highly irritating to the person being "helped". So that's rarely helpful to me either.
There are always jobs you think they can do, like sorting the old crayons and keeping just the long ones and throwing away the rest. That seems like it will keep them busy a long time, and you can go on to something else yourself. But for some reason, that job is over in two seconds. There were 1000 crayon parts in that crate. How can it take no time? Ah, I see, they've thrown them all away. They want another job now. Of course, sometimes you do get the right person for the job, and they sort crayons methodically by size and color, but run out of time, so they have to put them all back in the crate again to get ready to go home.
So, I don't have to do this any more. My crayons are still in their box. My books haven't been unsorted. I haven't scored anything to record anywhere. I would like to savor my May. Bask in June's glory. But these months are going by too fast. Savoring and basking are never to be mine, are they?