Ah, Spring Break. Never have two words in the English language been so happily received as they were by this teacher after a fourteen week stint of school.
Friday was our last day of school. The last bell was at 3:50 and I don’t know if it was wishful thinking, but it seemed like the buses left quicker than usual. By 4:05, my classroom was ready, my computer was off, and my bag was packed. This is the earliest I have ever been ready to leave school! I’m sure you’ve seen the numerous, hilarious memes going round the internet showing pictures of teachers leaving for Spring Break. They usual consist of people running. Well I can tell you that is not entirely true. Yes, I left quickly. But after fourteen weeks with no break, I did not have the energy to run!
You might think I had an enjoyable night out on Friday to celebrate my week of freedom. Nope. Pjs on, Netflix on, almond butter eaten out of the jar. Don’t judge me, I’m a tired teacher.
Saturday came around and finally it was time for a real break. By 11:30 I was on the road headed for the beach. Now, I know that everyone, whatever their job might be, enjoys their holidays. But I absolutely believe that teachers enjoy their holidays in a somewhat unique way.
We shop for gifts. We go into the stores thinking of that birthday present we need for mum or a new top to wear to that retirement party, but end up leaving with bags full of Blackbeard books, colored pencils and a new plush mascot ‘for the classroom’. Mum ends up with a gift card because you don’t have any shopping time left to get anything else.
We take photographs. We snap shots of sunsets (we’re not up early enough to see the sunrise) and perfect flowers in bloom. And of weirdly shaped trees because they’ll make a great writing prompt for fiction writing next quarter.
We buy a new book and pack it in our beach bag. We read the whole thing in a day. This is not because the book is just that good, it’s a necessity: because when school time resumes we won’t have time to finish the thing off anyway.
We walk the streets of pretty little towns, looking at ‘For Sale’ signs and planning our new career, where we give up teaching, move to the coast and start a quaint little Bed and Breakfast or Coffee Shop. We plan the relocation, imagine walking along the sun-kissed streets every evening, dream of how we’ll never be fat because we’ll have time to jog each morning and evening and hit the gym every other day before we open the shop up for customers. And then we wake up the next day and remember that we’re a teacher and will never have enough money for anything other than chocolate and ice cream, which might make us fat but after a day at school that’s a small price to pay for a few moments of cocoa-induced bliss.
We don’t think for a few days. Seriously, I can’t even remember my age (wishful thinking again), what day it is (I haven’t had to remember the Specials Schedule for a few days), or what time it is (there’s no bells to remind me, what’s up with that?). I do, however, know the temperature forecast for today and the next three days and the tide times.
We relax. We sleep (nine hours a night: wow). We forget about school.
Until Tuesday, and then we start on that lesson planning that needs to get done.
It was nice while it lasted…