Back in 2016, I wrote a really cute post about how hard it was for me to get my one child through the last week of school as a stay-at-home mom to another child. I reread that post this morning as a now-divorced mom of two kids at two different schools with 15 in-person students, five virtual students, a second job, a master’s program, and two needy pets, and I laughed my head off. I present to you the REAL version of “It’s the End of the School Year and Teachers AND Parents Are Too Tired to Care.”
I just peeked at my calendar for the next week and discovered that one or both of my children have an end-of-the-year activity every day after school that week. This is an issue, because there is only one of me, and I have to be at my second job two of those days. No problem, I think to myself. I’ll just call in to my second job and magically clone myself to be at all of these activities at the same time.
Yesterday, my youngest daughter had a family Zoom meeting with her GT teacher to share their capstone project at 8:45 a.m. I optimistically RSVP’d yes, before remembering that I didn’t have a planning period at that time like I normally do because of my school’s early release. Instead, I had one computer with her Zoom (on low volume and muted), and two computers with my own class’s Zoom. I gave her a thumbs-up a few times and tried to shush my 15 in-person students when she presented, but I still felt awful at the end of the day when she asked if I liked it. I had barely heard the presentation!
On Monday, my administration e-mailed teachers a list of tasks to complete before next Monday that includes, but is not limited to, finishing all report cards, inventorying all materials, taking all personal items home, and holding parent conferences for struggling students. This is in addition to continuing to write and implement lesson plans, because instruction doesn’t stop until the very last day. I can’t stay late after school because I have to pick up my own children, so I will try to work on these as quickly as I can while still somehow teaching and monitoring behaviors in my classroom.
I can feel the “over it” in the air. One of my students brought an entire family-sized bag of Goldfish for lunch today. I would have scoffed at that a few months ago, but now I think I may just pack that in my daughter’s lunch tomorrow with an attached note that says “share with your friends.” I notice my students’ outfits become more and more un-matched as we get closer to the end of the year, and I’m not 100% confident that either of my daughters owns matching socks at this point. At home, I have literally given up on trying to make my daughters keep their rooms clean. I just ask them to carve out a little path to their beds and back out to the door in case of fire at night. Sometime over the course of the school year, they developed the hotel approach to towels (throw the wet ones on the floor) and honestly I’m too tired to even care anymore. I just tell them to pick up a wet one and throw it back down again when they’re done. The cat ate dog food yesterday because I haven’t had time to go to H-E-B, and he seems mostly fine. Speaking of the dog, I haven’t taken her for a walk in a whole week, and just like me she has given up on trying.
Friends, we are on the home stretch. I can smell the margaritas brewing and the chlorine wafting off the neighborhood pool. If we all just grab a wet towel off the floor, use it to wipe off our dirty faces, and keep going, it will be summer before we know it.