We teachers are odd creatures. This becomes clear during the graduation ceremonies that litter this month’s calendars like dust bunnies on unswept stairwells. The kids scream with delight and get can’t get away from school fast enough, while teachers go home to lick their wounds.
Teachers live by an artificial clock. In June we refer to doing things at the start of “next year” when that’s really only eight weeks away. We choose to spend our professional lives working with a demographic that would rather be anywhere else than with us on most days. We force a smile when teased about working “only” 10 months a year even as we spend countless hours at night and on weekends to plan and evaluate our lessons. My father-in-law once brought a sock puppet on a car trip because he knew the rest of us would be talking about teaching nonstop (he wanted something to talk to). Eventually, we wonder where the time has gone when former students talk, impossibly, about their own kids.