We had a middle grades teacher meeting after school today to discuss report cards and possible retention candidates. The meeting went from 3:45 until 5pm. I'd been at school since 6:30, and though the meeting was important and productive I looked up around 4:48 and saw how weary everyone looked and just started laughing. Mr. E, the math teacher from Cameroon (via Texas public schools) had red-rimmed eyes and a haggard look far beyond his early 30s. Miss F, the other math teacher from Scotland via UAE and Vancouver and Oklahoma, fresh out of college and catching all hell from the kids on a daily basis, looked wan and pale. Ms. GT from Jamaica, a science teacher, had large circles under eyes and her shoulders were stooped under the burden. Ms. P from New Zealand was the only one amongst us who looked energized and un-perturbed by the work load. She not only handles her daily business, she was planning a huge project for the summer via City school headquarters and Young Audiences, and she made us exquisite cookies for the meeting.
I leaned over to Ms. S, a special educator I worked with previously at Booker T. "Look how tired everyone is. I'm glad we don't look tired." We laughed, and Mr. D the other science teacher said "today we are for the first time closer to Spring Break than we are to Xmas break."
"Watching the calendar much?" I teased, having just that afternoon counted off the number of weeks left until April 15th.