When I was a classroom teacher, this time of year engendered a mix of emotions. I was always sad to see the end of lazy vacation days and dreaded the seemingly endless hours of meetings, but all of this was a small price to pay for the chance to start over. New school years feel fresh and shiny---new kids, new instructional opportunities, new clothes, supplies, and so forth. It takes a lot of energy to get a school year up and running again. Every ounce is worth the effort.
I have to admit that I miss that with my current job. There are some cyclical aspects to the year, but the work is very much linear. Projects begin and end. There are no mulligans.
But as I plug along with things, I have a little fantasy that I use as a mental escape. I've been thinking about being a science teacher in a small town. The kind of town where all of K-12 education fits in one building and there is only one science position. A place where you get to know families as their children grow in the system. Life is slow and time is savored.
Yes, I know the reality would be different. A small town means that everyone is in everyone else's business. Multiple preps would be grating and small schools require more hats to wear among the staff. Small districts don't pass many levies---facilities would likely be old and in poor shape. Opportunities to go to conferences or engage in PD would be nil.
But I try not to focus on those aspects when I take little vacations in my head. Instead, I think of morning walks along the tree-lined blocks...Saturday breakfast at the local diner...watching afternoon basketball games and hanging crepe for prom. Life isn't better or worse in this little G-Rated fantasy, just full of new experiences.