Keep on Keeping on

It is 2:30 am in the morning and I just finished leaving comments on the grades of all my students.

Sunday I went to Wal-Mart and bought underwear and socks – we’re out and I don’t have time to wash. Saturday it was paper plates when we ran out of dishes.  Last Thursday I sunburned the back of my left knee at Field Day and so it hurts to bend it.  On Friday I slipped on a hotdog in the lunchroom and hurt my right knee — can’t straighten it.  Today when I went to the office to get some Alleve, I had to bring 2 pills each back for 3 other teachers!

The last weeks of school is something that few people really understand.  When I was in business I often thought that teachers had it easy.  To those business people (including my former self) – I ask them to imagine if budgeting, taxes, capital budgets, montly operations review, and quarterly reports were all due in the same 7 days.  Ending school is like nothing you experience in business.

Your friends think you don’t love them any more, your family thinks you’ve forgotten how to cook, and wash and clean.  Your dog wonders if you’ll ever come out to play again and the cat wonders why you won’t sit long enough for them to go to sleep in your lap.  Netflix wonders if you’ll ever mail that movie back and you wonder if you’ll get your sanity back when it all stops.

It is times like these I pull out my Grandma’s favorite quote:

“Sometimes you’ve gotta let the rough end drag.”

And that is now.  Got lots of rough ends and boy, am I dragging.

But you know what, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I love these students – I love the teachers I teach with and know that the work is important.  You know what, I even love you — all you readers out there who are just part of this bigger picture of being driven to be excellent in what we do – equipping and teaching a future generation to live in ways that exceed what we’ve done.  You’re why I stayed up to write this – because I feel like someone out there is going through this same thing right now and needs to stop feeling guilty about having to climb Mt. Laundry to get to the bathroom.

My husband now understands and doesn’t ever say a word.  If I get upset he just says,

“It’s May, it will pass. Just keep on keeping on, you’ll make it.”

He’s a wise man.  And so, before I go to sleep, I just had to write this post to encourage you.  I saw someone on twitter the other day saying that they were frustrated that so few teachers are blogging right now. 

Get over it!

We’re not blogging right now because we’re grading, conferencing, banqueting, slideshowing, graduating, field daying, sunburning, gifting, partying, limping, cleaning, moving, straightening, packing, unpacking, cleaning out, cataloging, stacking, and just about any other -ing you could think of.  (Leave off the complain-ing though, please – there’s enough of that without adding to it!)

To me, this is the single worst thing about considering the elimination of summer — it will literally take me until late June (just in time for NECC) to even get my brain back.  At some point in June, I’ll look at myself in the mirror and know who I am again.

Some of you go till June, others finish soon like I do and still others are in the middle of the year in the southern hemisphere.  Either way — know that these busy times will pass and we must throw ourselves into doing our best – leaving comments, saying goodbye well, speaking the words that the students need to hear and modeling the kind of behavior we want kids to emulate when they’re in our shoes.

Teaching is a calling and not for those who want some sort of easy lifestyle.  Those who think they can leave at 3 pm and get there at 8 and be successful teachers are completely off base.  It is a 24/7 kind of job and some times of year it is more than a human being can handle. 

Good luck.  You’ll make it.

And now, I’ll get up from my husband’s recliner – turn off that annoying show where people are gambling and losing money they pretend they can afford to lose, make sure I don’t bend my left knee and don’t straighten my right and head to a sweet but very short nightime nap.  We’ll start again in the morning at 5:30 am!

Oh, and those of you who might want to see the students present on our most recent project, we’ll stream to the Ning in the morning.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Amy Strecker May 19, 2009 - 4:03 pm

Hang in there, Vicki! May is a doozie! I hope you have some great summer plans in store. Your students are lucky to have you.

Teaching Sagittarian May 19, 2009 - 11:52 pm

My rough ends are REALLY dragging too – thanks for inspiring me to keep on keeping on! I’ve written your husband’s quote on a piece of paper and put it up on my wall above my desk. You’re right – he’s a very wise man!
Here’s to the passing of rough ends into some smooth beginnings when the new school starts again!!

marble polishing doral September 29, 2010 - 1:09 pm

Thanks for this. I hope you have some great summer plans in store. Thanks.

Mold Removal Coral Springs October 28, 2010 - 11:59 am

Thanks for this.Really great site.

Marble Cleaning November 11, 2010 - 10:53 am

“It’s May, it will pass. Just keep on keeping on, you’ll make it.” Great article!

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