7 More Weeks

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The hallway is quiet. The teacher unlocks her classroom door and thinks to herself…

7 more weeks. I can do this. I can! There is so much left to get to. I’m going to have to make every minute count. No days “off”. I’m going to have to use every second to make sure those kids are ready for the next grade. I don’t want them going on with holes in their understanding, with gaps in their comprehension. Wow…I’ve got so much to do in only 7 weeks, and some of that will be interrupted by faculty meetings, PD, testing, and end-of-year paperwork. Can I really do this and do it right? I can do this. Okay. 7 more weeks…

Down the hall, another teacher sits at her desk and gazes around her classroom. She thinks to herself…

7 more weeks. 30 years of being an educator, and now it all comes down to 7 more weeks. This room has held my career within its walls. It’s seen the tears, the frustration, the laughter, the wonder, and the joy that comes with teaching and learning. It’s held open the window of knowledge for so many children. Bobby–wow–I thought he’d never start reading, and then, boom! One day, the light came on and he was reading everything he could get his hands on! And then, I taught his boy, and Jenny’s boy, too. I wonder if those kids remember me? I wonder if they know how much I loved teaching them? How they helped me, REALLY helped me,  through those three years that I had cancer? I’m tired. I’m ready for new adventures in retirement, but–goodness–I will miss this room. These kids. I will miss standing at my door and getting hugs and good morning smiles each day. I’ve done it for 30 years, and now I have 7 more weeks…

Next door, another teacher turns on her computers and fumes to herself…

7 more weeks. If I can just get through the next 7 weeks, I will be free of this place, at least for the summer. Free of the pressure. Free of the frustration of giving, giving, giving and seeing nothing gained. I wonder if Sally had her medicine before she got on the bus this morning? Because there is no way I can fight through 7 more weeks with her all day long. I need some help. I’m so burnt-out. Let’s see…I’ve “covered” all of my standards, so I’m going to coast through these next weeks and make them go as fast as I can…

Across the hall, a teacher hums to herself as she posts the day’s assignment…

7 more weeks. I’m going to miss these kiddos. All of them. Yes…all of them! I hope I’ve done what they need every day. I hope I’ve shown them how much I love them! I hope that Ben ate dinner last night, or he’s going to be starving this morning. I’ll need to make sure he eats breakfast either way. I hope that Missie got some shoes that fit her since she is growing so much. Shoot! I should have gotten her some while we were on break…why didn’t I remember that? Well, I still have 7 weeks to take care of these kids. I can do a lot in 7 weeks…

And on the bus, a child solemnly stares out the window and thinks…

7 more weeks. That’s all I get. Only 7 more weeks to call that teacher mine. I only get 7 more weeks to see her smiling at me, to tell her about my days at home, to smell her perfume. I only get 7 more weeks to get some good food for lunch and breakfast, for her to give me a snack. I’m glad she doesn’t fuss at me for not having a snack. I only get 7 more weeks to listen to her read stories. I like her voice. It’s never too loud or too mean. I only get to listen to her for 7 more weeks. I wish we could come to school every day, even on the weekends. Even in the summer. And I wish she could be my teacher all the time. But that’s not how it works. I get 7 more weeks. That’s not very long…

There’s a lot of ways to look at 7 more weeks. How can we make it count?

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15 Responses to 7 More Weeks

  1. jensutton@avr2.org says:

    These are so VERY accurate! You are so right, we do have students who are wishing for school to keep going. I look at a few of them every day. This brought tears to my eyes because it is almost over and I never want to kiddo to feel sad.

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    Great perspective. Once more I say you are an awesome teacher when you put your students first. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone lived that way?

  3. It’s always interesting to see how we all deal with the same amount of time we’re given. Each perspective is eye opening in their own ways.

  4. Tadie says:

    Kevin is going to be the kid he absolutely adores you. I am so glad he has you again next year..

  5. Maria says:

    You always inspire with your words! Thank you for the much needed perspective on these next 7 weeks!

  6. Melissa Franks says:

    Perspective…beautifully written!

  7. This has been the most challenging year of teaching that I have ever experienced. The students came as babies (Literally! Babies!) It was my job to teach them to play without knocking each other down over a toy car, throwing a block in someone’s face for getting in their way, screaming at me when someone touches them “He hit me!” (It was just a simple touch!) It was my job to help them understand that the toys belong to every one of us, and that their favorite red helicopter would be there tomorrow. It was my job to help them self-regulate when they were frustrated, angry, sad, scared. It was my job to help them develop good listening skills. These kids were mean to each other. I thought I’d never hear myself laugh. It was extremely difficult. I was mostly sad because I thought I’d never fall in love with them. And now…
    I have 7 more weeks to watch them collaborate to build a city in the block center. 7 more weeks to watch them decide to play restaurant in dramatic play and assign roles and use their writing and reading skills to create a menu and take orders to serve their customers. 7 more weeks to see them help each other with a problem or clean up a mess. 7 more weeks to enjoy their laughter and watch them self-regulate and apologize and forgive. And sadly, only 7 more weeks to be in love with these little people. They have taught me so much!

  8. Kelly Smith says:

    I am the founder of Apple Wishes for teachers. It is a pay it forward activity where we honor any teacher regardless of years of experience or degree. When one teacher receives an Apple Wishes gift bag, then they in turn “tag” another teacher for a job well done. I have delivered these Apple Wishes gift bags all across our capital city here in Lincoln, Nebraska. The gift bags have also reached Wisconsin, Texas and even stretched west across the state of Nebraska. Check out my Apple Wishes for teachers Facebook page. I post pictures and videos of the “tagging” teachers. I also put quotes and inspirational sayings. It’s been a true blessing for me personally and professionally!

    Kelly Smith

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