School starts up again next week and most teachers are moaning and groaning and dreading the things they will face when they return. I feel kind of weird not sharing these emotions. I know I can walk whenever I want and, if I wake up on September 7 and decide I've had enough, I can hand in my papers that day. Being on FU time gives me a whole new perspective on teaching, one not shared by too many.
I know I should walk. Financially I would be better off retired. Besides, I hate getting up in the morning and I am already dreading the 5:30 alarm, leaving the house before sunrise and the days of the winter. (I do have my automatic starter to help me deal with the cold.) I'm not looking forward to roaming from room to room, dealing with the over crowding and fighting with my supervisor. I hate having to teach to the test and I hate teaching kids who have no interest and no need to learn what I am showing them. I know the copy machine will keep breaking down and we will run out of chalk. My back will ache from carrying heavy bags from room to room.
In spite of all of this, I am not ready to go. I get a rush just walking out of the house with a book bag thrown over my shoulder and when I walk through the main door and head to the clock room to move my time card, I feel good. I look forward to the adrenaline rush I get when the kids I know from last year, even the ones I could not pass, greet me in the hall and worry because I am not their teacher this year. I can't describe the feeling I get when I walk into a room of non English speaking ninth graders and hear, "You are Ms POd, everyone know Ms POd." I enjoy helping kids, even the ones that are the biggest pains. I love being in the classroom, having a captive audience that laughs at my jokes and takes what I teach as the gospel. In short, I do what I do for me.
I will miss my summer freedom, all my trips and city excursions. I will miss the time I get to spend on my photos. But, life is a trade off. We can't do everything we want. I am grateful for my health and my vacations that give me the time to both work and play. I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful man who enjoys our time together but has no qualms about me pursuing the interests that do not interest him. I know he is thrilled that school is starting. He's looking forward to getting back to his restful retirement. And, he is dreading mine.
(More pictures here. I just broke down and paid for more storage so I can post them on this blog soon.)