Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why Teachers Should Not Have Spring Break

The best Viking warriors were called berserkers. Maybe it was the stress of battle, maybe those brightly colored mushrooms they found in the cold, dark forest. Whatever it was, those berserker warriors became killing machines. They didn't carry shields, they didn't wear armor (or clothes, actually), they just stormed into battle and began to slaughter people. And strangely, afterward, they didn't remember any of it.
Sometimes, I think I've got a bit of a Viking warrior complex. But just sometimes.
From September to June, I teach high school English and history. On a typical school day after I get home, I jog, make dinner, grade papers, do dishes and a bit of laundry, and then keep grading until bedtime. Also, I somehow squeeze in time to make cards and sew a little and stop in here at my blog. Also, shopping, of course, and baking. And snuggling with kiddos and husband.
(I am not making myself out to be a superhero, not even close. I'm just creating a point of comparison.)
If that weren't impressive (and insane?) enough, a few years ago, I got my MFA while teaching full time and growing a baby--and then taking care of said offspring.
In both cases, when I look back on my days and weeks and consider that my hours are routinely 60 minutes long and my days are 24 of those hours, I have no idea how I was so productive.
Because every inclination of my body leans toward laziness.
Case in point:
You would think that a girl like the one described above would do something breathtakingly industrious on her spring break. She would probably design (and sew) her summer wardrobe, while also making birthday cards for all the family birthdays in May and June (there are twenty, in case you're wondering) (she's thinking she'll make all the rest of the year's cards during summer vacation). She would also perfect bread making and finish writing the novel she started last summer. Not too much for this girl to tackle in the ten days she has free of school work.
That's what anyone would think.
But here is the strange thing (and it's not just limited to this particular girl; she has talked to at least ONE other teacher in a highly scientific, controlled chat over the phone): when she (okay, it's me--I'll stop using third person now. Too annoying) has so many days in a row with NOTHING URGENT TO DO, she reverts from near-superhero-hood to her natural state: lazy.
This is what I did today: (well actually, I went grocery shopping this morning. Does that count for something?) I drank some coffee, thought about going for a jog, gave the lizard some food, took a nap, and read nearly an entire book. Oh, and I also checked my email. That's it.
It's a plague, I'm telling you, a plague. Two teachers have already succumbed to its mind-numbing lethargy, and I fear if I (I mean, we) don't get back to school soon, it can only get worse. Much worse.


Ilona said...

enjoy a moment of laziness...or a couple days of it...

my2fish said...

or you could be a super-mom, and volunteer to watch 2 extra boys (in addition to your own 4) while your hubby is out of town!

Elizabeth said...

First of all as a fellow teacher I can't believe you would even suggest not having a break! Maybe it's different in high school - though I doubt it! My argument is this - you NEED that bout of laziness. I was just thinking today (during some of the free time that I was enjoying - free time I don't normally have) that it is insane all the things that we do during the time we are in school. I think if you didn't have a break you would go crazy at that pace. Do not feel guilty for recharging your batteries - you certainly deserve it! Ok, lecture over. If you have another visit from the guilts, just give me a call on my cell tomorrow while I'm getting my pedicure and manicure, I'll set you straight!