Sunday, May 01, 2011

Suck it up, PDawg. May is just hard.

Teaching puts me in a loop. The longer I do this, the more clearly I see that Ecclesiastes 3 is right. To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven. (Now that I have you singing the song by the Byrds, moving on...) My mood is incredibly dependent on the season. I feel like as long as I teach, I'll be living out some version of the same "year" about 28 more times. *sigh*

May is always bad. Angsty. Impatient. Agitated. Fed up. About three or four years in the last decade I was convinced that if there was a way to remove whatever conflict was igniting tempers that year, or to solve whatever agitation was floating around, everything would have been fine. I realize now that no matter what the year, May is going to be all kinds of challenging. You see, it's not about whatever thing we're all bothered about. It's not. There just has to be a thing, that's May.

It makes sense, really. February and March are a time of earnest work to the point of fatigue and collapse. April is a glimmer of hope that summer will come soon and will fulfill everyone's hearts' desires. But May is complicated and weary. May is the place where I realize that conflict will not settle, there will never be enough time to prepare everyone for the AP test, people will never learn to just get along.

I'm as guilty as everyone else of letting May get to me. Through April I tell myself I will not count down the days I have left, I will not get mad and curse the entire world this year. May comes with agitation that chafes like the sweaty band of a sports bra at mile 10.

Someone said to me the other day that teaching would be an impossible job without that time off for summer. (And no, we're not going to get into a debate about how I have salary for 10 months of work spread out over 12 months.) Her point was that one just cannot continue at breakneck speed--and I would add: with that kind of personal care for all the little souls in her class--without some kind of pause. Something has to give, or it will be me that breaks.

I'm at the point where I can feel the weight of all the effort it took to get through this year. I need to get off the treadmill. I need to sit quietly and breathe. I need summer to come fast--I know once it does I can let my hair down and flip the off switch on the Mrs. P Show.

The best I can hope for is to get through May without pissing anyone off, saying anything I'll regret, burning any bridges. If I can get my kids to the AP test in one piece and convince them they're ready, if I can focus on finishing with the same strength I started--that will be enough.

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