Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Wildfires

For teachers, March is the longest month. There are no holidays and no workdays, our energy is drained, and spring break is beckoning, pulling our attention from where we currently are to where we want to be - on a beach, somewhere, with an ice cold adult beverage and not a single test prep passage in sight. March is the month of doldrums, the month of strained nerves, the parched month of having given every last bit of thought to struggling students who no longer seem to respond and instead seem to taunt us with their ability to remain exactly where they were back in January. March is the month we question our effectiveness as teachers, and dream about retirement.

In this parched landscape, it's easy for a small spark of a careless comment to end up as a conflagration. We're all on edge, our patience has worn thin, and we're all out of ideas. One moment of frustration can mean words are spoken that cannot be undone. In these circumstances, it's really best to withold all judgment until after the spring break rains. What's getting on your nerves right now may look a lot less significant once you're tanned and slathered in oil on the beach.

Remember - only you can prevent wildfires.

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