Memorable Back-To-School Moments…

The back-to-school departments of our local stores have been ransacked.  It’s quiet and peaceful to shop around town once again.  These things signal only one thing–school is back in session! 

In honor of this time of year, this post will contain some memories forever engrained in my brain…from my fourteen years of being a school employee during back-to-school time.

Pre-planningThose first crazy days of coming back to work after having a leisurely summer!  We used to have five days of pre-planning–and spent at least three of them sitting in meetings!  Due to budget cuts, teachers now get only two or three days of pre-planning.  Which leaves very little time to plan!  The classrooms are in disarray from their summer cleaning, supplies have to be put away, bulletin boards and walls need to decorated, classroom lists made, etc…and the teachers sit in endless meetings!  Which means…we all end up working after hours–for no pay.

Fist day of schoolOh my word!  So many crying children.  Children dropped off,  who don’t have a clue how they are getting home at the end of the day.  The relentless heat of August in the south.  Keeping twenty-plus small children interested, and participating in class.  And explaining rules, rules, and more rules.

School suppliesWhat to do with all of those supplies that parents have packed in their children’s book bags???  Where do you store 20-plus boxes of kleenex?  How about 20-plus boxes of zip lock bags?  Why does little Johnny have 54 pencils and a box of 64 crayons in his book bag?  Liquid glue?  Oh no, liquid glue is a disaster waiting to happen!

The lunchroom…Oh my!  The smell of that lunchroom food…It’s not always a good thing!  The noise level!  You can’t even imagine…  Waiting in line forever while each child punches in their “lunch number” into the computer–when some children haven’t even learned what a number is yet!  It takes so long to go through the line, there’s no time left to eat!  Put those trays up, finished or not!  Wait, little Susie just dropped her entire tray in the floor…No!  Tell me little Johnny isn’t throwing up in his tray!!!  Yes, he did.  Once little Johnny even threw up in the substitute teacher’s lap!  Sometimes little Johnny makes it just outside the lunchroom door before he loses his lunch in the school lobby–on the carpet.

The playgroundIt’s 110 degrees outside in the shade.  Which means every little boy and girl coming back in from the playground will smell exactly like Fido’s butt!  Really, is there anything more smelly than a hot, sweaty child?  I think not!  Try spending the rest of the day closed up in a classroom with twenty-plus smelly children!

Then of course,  somebody eventually ends up getting hurt, despite everyone’s best efforts to keep it from happening.  Little Suzie  quietly sitting on the Eagles Nest, when little Johnny falls on her from above, and breaks her leg!… then Johnny trips while walking in line–on his untied shoelace–and falls, suffering a concussion from the fall.  Yes, it happens.

Sick children…How do you determine who is sick and who is just sick of school?  So many headaches or tummy aches, especially the first few weeks of school.  A fever or throwing up is a certain ticket home–if the nurse can find a parent willing to come and pick the child up.  It’s amazing how many people do not have transportation to pick up their sick children!  Really?

Irate parentsNever mind that little Susie wasn’t paying attention to the lesson because she was playing with her headband.  How dare I take your child’s headband away from her?  Never mind that your child’s report card looked like the dog ate it when she returned it–I didn’t give her a sticker for bringing it back!  How dare I “diss” your child!  Yes, sadly, these are the types of issues which seem important to some parents.

School pictures…Nothing like 50 plus kids, waiting in line to get a photo made.  Trying to comb each head of hair–with a new comb–then throwing all of those combs away in an effort to prevent the spread head lice!  Fixing this one’s belt or that one’s sash, straighten those shirt collars…No recess or snack until after pictures!  Sorry kids, the photographer is running behind.  So much effort goes into those crazy school pictures, even if the end result doesn’t always show it!

Wow, I’m getting tired just remembering!  That’s not all, only the beginning, but I’m going to stop.  All of these things actually happen–year after year–and more!  Things never change.  Only the faces do.  Some years may be better than others, while some years may be worse, but for the most part, they are the same.

Best wishes to anyone who’s experiencing a new school year–as a student,  parent, or a school employee…and kudos to all of the dedicated people who put their hearts and souls into educating and taking care of our children.  There must be a special place in heaven for people like you!

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 8:31 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Enjoyed your post, today.
    Mama Bear

  2. Sad and funny ~ all at the same time!

    My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher. I can hear her saying AMEN to everything you’ve written. Unfortunately, the most emphatically true is the reaction of parents. I totally admire anyone that spends their day dealing with all of this.

  3. This just shows what a remarkable lady you are – that you were able to handle all of this. I wish every teacher had your outlook on things, and your kindness. 😀

  4. Wow! This was some post. Made me tired thinking about it. Remember helping my mother set up her room ( e.g. move all the textbooks from the school’s storage). That was a week of work. Not sure, but I don’t think they were paid for that week. And their pay was miniscule!

  5. Ha! I can relate to a few of those things, thankfully, I work in the office and not the classroom! But boy did you hit some of those things right on the head!

  6. Wow, that certainly wore me out just reading it. 😉 Amen to a special place in heaven for all those who educate this nation’s children!

  7. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time
    and actual effort to produce a great article… but
    what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly
    anything done.

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