One of the things that happens where I work is that, after we come back from summer, we’re a bit rusty but refreshed. The first couple days your legs are sore from standing all day and you begin to seriously reconsider your footwear choices but by the end of the week you are back in the groove. The second week is when it all begins to fall apart.
The second week is when you begin to remember how boring the groove actually is and, well, so do the students. When you come back from summer they’ve 1) forgotten your name 2) forgotten your tricks and 3) forgotten your rules. A lot of energy is spent getting them back into the groove and once they get there they 1) remember your name 2) remember your tricks and 3) remember your weak spots.
Last week I spent a lot of energy getting 8th graders to complete their speech contest speeches. This involved giving them the opportunity to come in at lunch and let me check the script and then me dragging them to detention to write them whilst I paced around glaring and rolling my eyes at everything they did (basically I became a teenager for an hour or so).
This week, even though Monday was a national holiday, it’s already been a long week. The higher level students have begun to push pressure points. My “new” student (he was “somewhere in North America, eh?”–not a real place–last year) doesn’t yet know that I make a sport out of giving returnees low scores. (Just ask the guy who requested a meeting to discuss his 9 (81-90%) and why he didn’t get a 10 (91-100%).
Next week, the real problems will start when the first big projects come due. We’ll hear some interesting excuses: I was absent the day this was assigned and am therefore exempt. I don’t like giving speeches. I hate English! I hate you! (And that’s just from other teachers.)
Luckily, we’re entering Awesome, which means the weather will be getting cool and dry. In fact, it’s already beginning to cool down, which is awesome.