08 June 2007

Graduation Day

Today marks the end of the school year. We hold "commencement" exercises this morning at eleven o'clock. I like that we call it "commencement" since the word means "beginning." After all, it is the END for ME but only (we hope) the BEGINNING for THEM. I've been a public school teacher for twenty-three years not including substitute work and student-teaching. People ask me what the best thing is about my job. Simple. Iunius, Iulius, Augustus. This year I have a 10-week summer. Once you get long holidays you can't abide by short ones. I'm not sure I can do a "real" job where you only get a few weeks off. I know I'm burned out, and I know I'm skeptical about public institutions, but I'm not completely cynical. I'm a good teacher. I do a good job. I'm sick of it, though. I don't want to do it anymore. But I give of myself to the teenagers and try hard to help them and be a positive influence on their lives. But I'm like the toothpaste tube that you keep squeezing because you forgot to buy a new one. There is something left, it just takes more effort to get it. So summer has come at the right time. I'm ready to let it all go. Tonight I'll be knocking back a few pints with the gang and the tension will evaporate from my neck and shoulders and I'll know the work year is done. And I won't have to think about it until the middle of August (it is a travesty that school starts before Labor Day, but that is a rant for another time). By the way, it is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edward Elgar, the composer of Pomp and Circumstance.
a.d. VI Id.Iun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are the kind of teacher that the kids remember and talk about with warmth and smiles. I know -- I've heard them. Have a good summer, Marcus -- you have earned it. NOC