Those Darn Count Downs

I recently read a blog post by a music teacher who pointed out that some of our count-downs in education are sending the wrong message to students and community. It had never occurred to me that my shared excitement for an upcoming break (or weekend, I’ll admit) might communicate to my students that there are a bunch of places I would rather be than school.

If I’m honest, there are days where that IS the truth–that I’d rather be somewhere else (this morning my usual reading with coffee was very brief and full of yawns because I couldn’t get out of bed. A day or morning at home to soak in and enjoy it would have been enjoyed more than the rush to leave that followed). I love what I do, I love my students and want them to know that I have chosen to be here.

This year, for the first time in my teaching career (I’m coming up on 7 years. 7. What?) I am wishing summer was another month off instead of about 2 weeks riddled with interruptions. Between a late program and a student teacher (who was awesome!) I haven’t gotten everything on my list checked off for teaching students (concept-wise). I’m throwing stuff at them in a way I know is not going to serve them in the long run. Maybe I should pull the plug on the new stuff and reiterate the old stuff well in my last class or two. That might not be a bad idea, actually.

One thing I do appreciate about count-downs is the anticipation they build into something upcoming. Maybe I should count down to the next school year. It’s like the opposite of a traditional teacher count down. Hmm…93 days until teachers report back to school! 100 days until students report back to school!

I’m going to set some goals for the summer work-related and otherwise. And 100 days from now maybe I’ll have some cool things to report!


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