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Back to School… Are you frolicking yet?

Anne Silva

You know those awesome commercials with the dad leaping and frolicking to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with school supplies while his kids trudge along behind him? I don’t know if they still play that particular commercial, but I’m sure you can imagine it. Does anyone else both LOVE love love that commercial and HATE hate hate it at the same time?

I have to admit it: I. Love. School. Supplies. I freely acknowledging opening boxes of pencils and crayons right there in the store just to smell them. I buy those ever-elusive three-prong, two-pocket folders in a rainbow of colors every year FOR MYSELF. As though I, too, were going to need a green folder for science class and a red one for math class. I sometimes think that my excitement about the first week of school has less to do with altruistic motives about educating future generations, and is almost entirely to do with using a whole passel of newly-sharpened pencils and brand-new G2 gel pens. (THE BEST, by the way, particularly size 0.5, and I swear they aren’t paying me to say that—although I’d take some freebies if you’re reading this, my dear G2-people!)

But at the same time, I greatly dislike that wonderful, awful commercial. As a teacher, I always felt like that ad inadvertently grouped me in with the pouty kids. As though the school year is a ball-and-chain that I was about to be shackled to; or like my name had been drawn for a free trip on the Titanic. I know that wasn’t the intent, and I know that getting kids back into the school-year routine is immensely positive, both for the kids and for their parents. (Ok, ok, and for the teachers, especially those of us who have summer jobs that we don’t truly enjoy in order to make ends meet. More on that in a later post.) But I’m not naïve enough to think that the new-classroom smell will last, or that my beloved G2s will stay in my possession for more than a week.

So that’s where the truth lies, as usual, right? Somewhere between the gleeful frolicking and the mopey slogging along? That’s where we spend most of the year, right? The first few weeks springing along, most of the year in a determined march, and the last few weeks gasping for air.

So, as we get back into the swing of things for another year, I want you to remember that you have a community of teachers just like yourself here for you no matter what your pace is like. When you are skipping along and you want to enhance your already-fabulous plans with all kids of spiffy new ideas, count on us. (Or even better, share some of your strategies and ideas with us!) And when you are just barely hanging on and you need a little boost to make Just… One… More… Day… go smoothly, we’re here for each other then, too.

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