It’s May! Everyone loves May, right? It’s springtime!
The weather is getting better, the flowers are in bloom, the grass is turning green, and the world is full of new life and new excitement! But, for schoolteachers May isn’t fresh, new, and full of life. For schoolteachers, May is the end of a long race.
It’s like those last three or four miles of a marathon. They’re tired, they’re struggling, and they’re just hoping they can make it to the finish line. For most teachers, the month of May starts with standardized testing.
All teachers love standardized tests. (that’s sarcasm, y’all.) Teachers spend hours, days, weeks, and sometimes even months getting their students ready for standardized tests. (I haven’t taken a standardized test for a while. Are they still multiple guess, separate answer sheet, fill the circle in completely with no stray marks type of tests? I hope they’ve gotten better, but I’m not holding my breath.) (It’s those “all of the above” and “none of the above” questions that really drive me bonkers.)
Once the standardized tests are finished, both students and teachers know that the school year is, for all intents and purposes, over. (or is that “for all intensive porpoises?”)
It’s hard for the students to have any motivation to do any more school work, and most teachers find it difficult to keep students engaged when those students lack motivation.
That’s why May is jam-packed with keep-the-kids-busy activities. There are class parties. There are class field trips. There are school assemblies. There are school concerts. There are school plays.
There are school jaunts to the amusement park. There are in-class movies. (I would venture to bet that school classes see more movies in May than in all the other months of the year combined.)
Do I blame the teachers? Heck no! I’m just a parent, and I’m worn out and ready for the school year to be over. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people who must wrangle hundreds of stir-crazy students with spring fever. So, just like with runners at the end of a marathon, if you see a teacher in May, give them some encouragement. Cheer them on. Buy them a soda. (preferably one with caffeine.) Thank them. Tell them they’re doing great. Do everything you can to help them get across that finish line.
Because they need all the help they can get. (Capell is a Serve Daily contributor.)