The school year follows a semi-predictable mood-curve for more teachers than me. I was tempted to say "for all teachers" but I really dislike it when people speak for me (all women, all people with bipolar, all short-haired brunettes...) so I won't.
For those teachers who share my experience...
The school year begins with a giddy, nervous sort of zippy energy. For me I am living in a slightly (or full-on) hypomanic state. There is the feeling that everything is unknown. You haven't yet met your students. (I may or may not even know what class I am teaching until the first day of school!)
This energy is not sustainable, of course, and gives way to a kind of sluggishness and despair (a sort of anhedonia in my case) that is thankfully interrupted by teacher meetings and then Thanksgiving in the fall. A chance to regroup and remind yourself that even though not everything in your classes is running as planned, you are still a decent teacher. And a worthwhile human being.
Winter is so full of holes between extended breaks and smaller holidays that it passes relatively quickly. There is a scramble for students to complete their missing homework and make up tests at the end of the semester. There is the scramble to get grades in. The lack of flexibility of scheduling close to the holidays (not unique to teaching) adding stress to family celebrations (if that's your thing).
Spring brings light and allergies (and then too much light and then lack of sleep and then manic tendencies) and the grindingly slow trudge to the end of the school year. There are so many interruptions to regular school day including MANY MANY MANY days of high stakes standardized testing. (So far in this semester my students have missed nearly 10 partial days to various tests I think... and we are looking forward to 2 more days.)
Also there are various celebrations and field trips and school picnics and home visits and final grades and packing up your classroom (especially if your school is expanding and you are probably moving classrooms).
And everyone is just SICK OF BEING AT SCHOOL. The students are ready to be done (so their work ethic is terrible.) The teachers are ready to be done (in no small part thanks to student attitudes and actions). The administrators are ready to be done (because really, look at the apathetic, stress-crazed staff they have to work with). And yet, we must persist.
Summer for me is just a nebulous time waiting for the next school year at this point. But it is at the very lease a relief, a release, a reset... A time to let go of the old year and prepare for the new.
I am kinda new (okay very new) to working full time during the school year and then NOT working in the summer. This will be my first summer doing that for the whole time. Last year I worked summer school for a number of weeks (3? 4?) and then worked as a volunteer for childcare for another week. And then came in to school for another week to work. And then I think I had one week of summer break before I needed to return for teacher workshops.
Grateful Crap: I love my job
meds 200 mg lamotrigine, certraline, (forogt to take my albuterol and fluticasone)
did not get enough sleep
Quaker, teacher, parent,