Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The teacher whine


Sociologists say it begins each summer around mid-July, certainly no later than July 25. It starts out as a half-hearted sigh, then a lazy lament.

It first surfaces in the form of a question, though it really isn't. It's usually something like, "Can you believe I have to go back to school a month from today/three weeks from tomorrow/or 504 hours from this very moment?"

You nod as you leave for work, thinking what's wrong with this picutre?

The noise level increases as the first of August arrives. They return to the school for the first time in seven weeks to work on their room. Mourning ensues shortly thereafter this time in the form of a declaration: "I'm not going back again until (fill in the blank). It's depressing"

Last week, the comments become more pointed. They tend to run the gamut of how long until I retire, the it's-not-the-kids-I-don't-like-but-the-rat-race-that-gets-me, the I-love-my-job-but-if-I-had-to-do-it-12-months-a-year-I-couldn't diatribe.

I've long since mastered the sympathetic nod and will even throw out what seems to pass for an understanding comment. Years of practice help.

And last night, of course, the teacher whine percolated to a bubbling cauldron. Oh, yes, today must be the first day of teachers in-service and the official end of the summer. But if you're the spouse of a teacher, you knew that a long time ago.

1 comment:

R. Spacedark said...

Since I assume your wife is a good teacher, I assume she's just messin' witchoo. All the good teachers I know pretend to "whine" but actually look forward to each new year.

Those of you who work all year shouldn't envy our mostly mythical summers off so much. But the chance to re-invent every year, to go to work on the first day of school believing against all accumulated evidence that THIS year will be perfect-- THAT you should envy.