Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Trap Month

October is done. God be praised!

When one looks through my files for any given year, one will find neatly arranged files and nicely typed plans for September. Records of my teaching in October are incomplete and intermittent, reflecting weeks of teaching that improvised and interrupted. The piles on my desk get higher. (I swear I'll sort through that big one that sits at my left elbow Monday.) The end of the marking period, which almost always happens early in November, sees me going through some small mountains of work. Many of those fragments of grading are assignments that students made up late, reflecting their own struggles keeping up with a month where too much is going on.

I've often dreaded February as being the nadir of the school year. In that month bleak weather coincides with six months' worth of issues and instructional demands. That, I think is the busiest month to be a teacher. March, by the way, seems busiest for the students.

I nominate October as the second-busiest for both the students and the teachers, which makes it the trap month of the school year. There is so much going on in that month: instructionally and in the life of the school. The pleasant weather (beautiful normally) masks the stress of October. And then we wake up on November 1 looking for the number of the truck that hit us as well as remembering the task that we forgot to do (which I guess I'll be writing as soon as I finish this post).

Thank God it's November.

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