Back to School
I am not happy about the following statement.
Today is the beginning of the second part of our Extended School Year.
I am not refreshed after my week off. I have not accomplished all that I need to accomplish (even though I did get lots done!). I am not ready for another three weeks of summer session. I am simply going through the motions because I have the promise of two weeks completely off after these three weeks of work.
These transitions used to be better.
We used to have an entire school staff that was on break at the same time. All of us would be gone during this time, but now most of our classroom staff members have to work during these breaks. We no longer have staff cohesion and opportunities to refresh together. Now the teachers get time off, and the classroom aides have to work double shifts because administration cannot find anyone to work direct care. When the teachers come back from time off, the classroom aides are not in good moods. It makes it difficult to have any type of teamwork.
Today I am guaranteed to make some of my co-workers very angry with me and the decisions that I help to make.
At the same time, I am eagerly awaiting the next break. I just can't talk about it in front of most of my co-workers because they don't get the same time.
I am starting this day in frustration mode. This does not bode well for the rest of the Extended School Year. Time to figure out ways to acknowledge this feeling and then move into therapy mode.
I am frustrated. Some of this is due to having to go back to work before I am really ready to do so. Some of this is because I did not get much sleep last night. Some if it is because I really want to do something else with my life at the moment. Some of it is because there is a cicada or a cricket in my utility space and something with lots of legs skittered under the fridge this morning. I kinda have the creeps about that. I am tired, I am jumpy, and I am just plain old not ready for this day.
This is not a new feeling for me - I feel it after every week long break. I would rather not have a week long break, but get to use my time off in a way that would give me time to get completely bored with being at home. I could take two two-week breaks instead of four one-week breaks. My school district doesn't want teachers to make their own schedules though - I tried.
I have not had a summer off since I was in college, so I don't get like my sister, the elementary school teacher, who spends most of her time off at her school, getting things done in her classroom for the year. It takes her about a month before she is back in her classroom, puttering around for a couple of hours every day. She loves being able to get things done without distraction, but also can't seem to avoid putting in all sorts of volunteer hours during her summers off. I think I would like to have the option of taking the summer session off, but I don't think I would be able to do it every year. It won't happen, though, due to the difficulties that we have with contracts every year.
So, I wish that I could have some say in how the calendar falls every year...or, that I had more freedom over when I was able to do music therapy with my students. I do not have those privileges, so off I go into another session of school, a bit frustrated and very tired.
Once I get to work, I will probably enjoy being around my clients, doing music therapy and supporting my intern in her gradual takeover of her caseload assignments. There (hopefully) will be four new teachers to meet - at the very least, there will be four vacancies in the teaching staff and four classrooms that really need leadership who will struggle a bit. Classroom staff will have worked all week and covered evening shifts as well, so they will need to be treated with respect and in a way that honors their job responsibilities. Staff and students alike will probably be glad to be back in class - structure is a good thing for us all.
It is time to go back to school.