I’m not sure I’m capable of explaining the last days before winter break to people who aren’t teachers. I’m already four days into vacation and I still feel like I could sleep for weeks… how is that possible? My kids aren’t even that bad this year.
It’s something about the constant vigilance required in those last days. Something snaps in children’s brains and they suddenly can’t help but do crazy things. During indoor recess, a couple kids emptied the pencil sharpener shavings onto a piece of paper, packed them tightly, rolled them up, and then brought them to me screaming about illegal narcotics. Two boys picked up a girl by her arms and legs and ran with her down the hallway. A girl slapped a boy in his arm so hard it left a red mark. A boy grabbed a girl’s shoe while she was sitting at her desk and tried to rip it off her foot. Another kid walked around throwing people’s binders on the floor. Two cell phones went off in class at the same time. On multiple occasions, I had more than three students in the back of my room who had been kicked out by other teachers. I sent out kids to other rooms too, which I barely do at all this year… mostly because they got so annoying I just couldn’t take them anymore. I broke up a fight after school by myself and got flipped off by a little kid as he ran away. I gave out more detentions this week than I had in the entire rest of the year so far.
Basically I lived the last week either doling out consequences or waiting on edge. It was inevitable that something would go wrong as soon as my guard went down for a split second, and since the kids knew freedom was close, they didn’t even care so much if they got caught. Exhausting doesn’t even begin to describe it. Forgive me if I stay in bed until next summer.