There’s a rhythm to teaching I thoroughly enjoy. We sprint into June and the days pass quickly as we cram final bits of information into adolescent heads, review for exams and prep for award ceremonies. Just a week ago, the corridors were papered with posters. Classrooms filled with colorful student work are now barren, useless thumbtacks still sticking from plasterboard walls scarred where paint ripped away. Every day when the final bell rings, end-of-year announcements echo down empty hallways, interrupted by the screech of packing tape dispensers sealing cardboard boxes. I emotionally steel myself to wish adieu to the students I’ve come to love, some I’ve taught for three years, and secretly relish the prospect of saying farewell to others. What other profession gets to wind down annually for a two-month hiatus and then rev back up come August for a do over. We teachers get to do it all again with a whole new crop of eager-eyed youth ready for summer-refreshed teachers to ignite the spark of learning. My summers give me time to write, spend weeks with my children and reflect on what I’ll do better next year. When back-to-school rolls around, I’ll be ready for my do over, but for now, I can’t wait to return to my writing.
The Annual Do Over