Today is the last day of summer vacation for my friends and colleagues in the district where I used to teach. I know exactly and precisely how they feel.
They feel like today is the longest of days, as each second ticks-ticks-ticks away. They feel like today is the shortest of days, as each hour speeds by.
I’m sure that they are anxious. I can imagine the thoughts that are racing around in their heads. “Did I label all of the cubbies?” “Did I copy the classroom scavenger hunts?” I bet that they are double checking their work bags on and off all day, making sure that the popsicle sticks have been labelled with all of the names. Reorganizing the folders into alphabetical order.
If they are like me, they are also mentally planning what they’ll wear all week, what they will bring for lunch, maybe what easy and quick dinners they can whip up . If they are like me at all, they are also wishing that the next two days, the days of sitting in endless meetings, would fly by so that they could get to the day when the kids arrive.
I am willing to bet that a lot of them are very sad to see the restful days of summer ending. My colleagues with children are thinking about the fact that they will miss their time together. They will look at their sleeping babies just a little bit longer tonight, sighing a bit and thinking forward to the next vacation.
I know that they are all a bit excited, too. They know that every year is a new start. They have new books this year, new materials to use, new lessons to teach. They will have some kids who will be a challenge, and some kids who will be a dream. They are determined to do their best for both.
Today is the last day of summer vacation for my friends and former colleagues. I won’t be with them this time around. For the first time in 21 years, I won’t be there to swap vacation stories, to hug them hello, to hand out the agendas for the staff meeting.
I won’t be there. But I’ll be thinking of them. Wishing them all a Happy New Year!
I’ll miss them.