Counting My Blessings

Dec 20, 2011 | 1 comment

Oysterville Schoolhouse, 2008

     In this morning’s batch of email was this note, written in the wee hours, from my friend Linda who lives in Seattle and teaches in the Shoreline School District:
     I worked until 8:30 tonight, grading. The kids were quite squirrelly today and would NOT listen to directions.
     “Boys and girls, please get out a book and read by yourselves. No other activities allowed.”
     “Ms. Johnson, can I draw?”
     “No, everyone must get a book and read by themselves.” 
     “Ms. Johnson, what are we supposed to do?”
     “Mrs. Johnson, can I do math on the computer?” 
     AAAAARRRRRGGGGG@! At some point in the afternoon, I took a vote – “How many of you would rather come to school than stay home for two weeks of vacation?” About 2/3 of the class raised their hands. What!!??
     What a perfect description of an oh-so-familiar experience!  I laughed right out loud.  Every teacher – actually, every parent – can undoubtedly relate to that little vignette.  Once again, I am thankful that a whole new generation of patient, caring and, hopefully, humor-filled adults are in charge.
     I remember the days when our Ocean Beach School District also remained in session until the ‘eleventh hour’ before holidays.  I was on the negotiating team twenty or so years ago when we finally got that changed.  As I recall the problem, for years and years the men (mostly at secondary level) outnumbered the women (mostly at elementary level) in the District and, when it came to the question of the Christmas break, the vote was always in favor of cutting it short and getting out a week earlier in June.
     We women were pretty sure the men had no idea how difficult it was to teach all day and get your own family Christmas festivities organized.  You know – “women’s work.”  The tide finally changed in the late eighties or early nineties when we women succeeded in raising a bit of consciousness.  Another blessing to think about this holiday season!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    June can have unpleasant weather and I’d much rather have time to get ready for Christmas. Due to a strike this fall, Tacoma was in session yesterday and will be today. Even with a willing and retired husband there are things that need my attention and I was very happy to bid school goodbye at 10:45 last Friday!


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