No matter where you go, schools have a lot in common.
Each one has bulletin boards covered with faded construction paper, a colored pencil or crayon laying in the hallway, copiers that are jammed, horseplay in the restrooms, and at least one staff member who can tell you the exact days, hours, minutes and seconds until the end of the school year.
Generally, they start the official countdown right after Christmas.
This holds true, unless the staff member is having a bad year. Then they start at Halloween.
Really bad year, Labor Day.
The best part is that you never have to ask them about the countdown. They tell you as they walk by in the hallway.
I checked off the days on a school calendar that was taped inside my grade book.
Do teachers still have grade books? And if so, why? But, I digress. Again.
Checking off the days gave me a sense of accomplishment. At the time, I thought keeping track made the year go by faster.
It was even more special when I forgot to do this for a few days. Then I got to put X’s through 3 or 4 days at once.
Weekends were an added bonus.
I felt like I had just won a prize. The more X’s the better.
But the X’s always had to be in the same color. In retrospect, I have come to realize that I might have some control issues… or a disorder.
Hard to tell. But in my youth, chewing on paint chips was probably not the best plan.
Checking off the days probably made the end of school go slower.
Now that I work (and remember everyone’s definition of work is different, so don’t judge) 12 months a year, I never worry about the end of school.
It doesn’t even cross my mind. Maybe that is because I am so focused on the job at hand.
I am locked in. Totally immersed in the job. Giving it 110%.
Or more likely my memory is getting so fuzzy that I just forget to do it (i.e.: paint chips)
Just as soon as this school year ends, it will be time to start the next one.
At this stage of my career, I am not a counter. My life is passing fast enough… kind of like the huge bowl of chip dip intended for a staff luncheon that is gone by 9:30 in the lounge. (I can’t make this stuff up.)
No need in wishing my life away.
Plus, if I really need to know how many days are left, I can just walk down the hall.
At my school, or your school. Or any school.