Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

WISHFUL THINKING

on 16/08/2015

If we are lucky, summer vacation arrives just as we are at the end of our ropes. After all the worry, creative mess, paperwork, all the could-haves and should-haves, it’s time to relax. Quite a challenge for a workaholic teacher to really let go, but you muddle through somehow, knowing your body and mind need refuelling.

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Everyone always says teachers are lucky, with the entire summer to devote only to themselves, and to completely forget about  work. But for most teachers around the world, it’s the same – you simply can’t let go of everything. True, you don’t miss the endless paperwork or the sleepless nights. But all your students, their parents and your colleagues, are an intricate part of you, much like your friends and family. As you travel, take up hobbies, do all those delayed odd jobs around the house, read or listen to music, every now and then, something or someone reminds you of a student or a colleague, makes you smile imagining their reactions, or inspires you into saying ‘I have to tell my students about this.’

And then, suddenly, your vacation finishes and you find yourself itching. You still haven’t fulfilled so many private plans, yet your mind is already settling into its teacher’s mode, subconsciously making plans about the new school year. All those resolutions, all those going-tos and not-going-tos … they wash over your desire to extend the vacation like an ocean wave deleting a message in the sand.

And you start wishing.

You wish for your job to be less stressful that year, more effective and appreciated. You wish your school has been redecorated, your classrooms are abundant in teaching materials, and all the lesson planning can somehow be printed out by a telepathic mindprinter. You hope your colleagues are rested and happy, and your principal more supportive than ever.

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As for your students, you wish for them all to be kind, respectful and inquisitive to the point of a challenge. You keep your fingers crossed that their family situations have improved. You even look forward to the new students you will meet, the potential artists, scientists and humanists. You hope their parents have managed to blow off some stress, found a new hobby or rewarding job, and maybe even had time to talk to each other, so you won’t have to face sadness in their children’s eyes.

You look at yourself in the mirror and make some promises. You will keep an open mind and  you won’t bring work home. You promise things will not get to you. You will go through with your ideas, regardless of those who might not share your enthusiasm. You will sleep well, laugh, sing and devote time to yourself! And you mean it, too. Every syllable.

The new school year is already knocking on your door. Are you silly to hope? Is it just daydreaming? Honestly, I hope it’s contagious. I hope we all make our wishful thinking count. Children are worth it.

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