Emotions run high, stress levels are skyrocketing–the sights, smells and feels of June are almost indescribable for those who aren’t a part of the education system. It’s impossible to qualify or summarize how thousands of students and hundreds of teachers and staff are feeling on any given day. From excitement or frustration to joy and despair (and everything in between) both students and staff are literally riding a rollercoaster for weeks on end leading up to that final bell.
There is so much that contributes to making June the worst month of the year for many. Some of our students are ramping up for their final goodbyes, and not just at the Grade 12 level. Students are leaving buildings and moving upwards all over districts, from elementary school to middle or secondary, or middle to secondary. Our Grade 5s/7s/8s are moving onward and it’s scary. Our 12s are leaving, and its exciting for some but overwhelming for others. On the other side of things, some students are learning (or realizing) that they aren’t moving up due to a lack of learning outcomes demonstrated and that’s hard too. Our staff is being inundated with pleases, and last chances and piles of extra work so they can try, one last time to help push someone through–even though they’ve been trying all year to help that happen. We are expected to plan and execute celebrations, award assemblies, graduations, BBQs, final field trips.
It. is. beyond. exhausting.
So, take a breath. Take twenty of them. It is so hard not to break down, to give up. But you know you can do it. You do it every year. You smile, you give condolences. You cheer, your say “don’t give up.” If you are new to teaching, like so many are this year–know that you are so important during this transition for kids, be it grade to grade or building to building. I know that puts tremendous pressure on you–but balance is going to be key. Don’t take do summer school, unless necessary. Don’t feel pressure to attend every concert, every game, every fun fair for their entirety. CHOOSE YOURSELF as often as you can, whenever you can. Close your door at lunch, and take a breath.
This too shall pass, and the freshness of September with eager kids, and smiling staff will once again arrive. And, whatever you do–don’t skip your morning coffee for nobody, no how.