Chuck's column: Like it?It’s one of my prouder creative moments as of late. I hadn’t landed on this when I wrote the first installment last week, but it came to me prior to the workshop week we are currently experiencing. The tricky part, however, is timing.
By: Chuck Brooks, Rosemount Town Pages
It’s one of my prouder creative moments as of late. I hadn’t landed on this when I wrote the first installment last week, but it came to me prior to the workshop week we are currently experiencing. The tricky part, however, is timing. As I write this, I’m on the fourth day of our workshop week. When you read this, however, it’s already day four of the first week of school. Definitely one of my challenges in writing this weekly.
Starting school for the 31st year of my career is a tad exhausting, I’m discovering. However, it was exhausting last year. And the year before. So, really, why should this year be any different, and we know that next year, I’ll be tired again getting used to the routine. The alarm clock, perhaps, is the greatest adjustment I have to make. I forgot how dark it is in the morning. Life’s tough, eh?
In early August, we welcomed parents and the class of 2016 one Monday evening. The night was freshman orientation. My role in that evening ends after the gathering in the gym. This might be the first year no parent came to tell me they were once in my classroom and now they had a son or daughter attending RHS. For this, ladies and gentlemen, my ego is very grateful. Frankly, I am not going gently into that good night.
Two nights ago, we had open house. On this evening, parents, and in some cases their sons or daughters, joined us in a shortened, simulated evening of a normal day of classes. Parents reported to their son or daughter’s homeroom to begin with. That was a 15-minute visit. Then, parents had five minutes, one minute short of what the normal class day allows, to get from their homeroom class to their first hour. Each class thereafter lasted 10 brief minutes. Teachers simply shared with the parents what their class was going to involve during the first trimester. We barely started to explain our class to the parents and the bell would ring to shovel the parents on to their next class. And so on and so on. The final 30 minutes of the night allowed moms and dads to visit teachers on a more personal level with any questions or possible concerns they might have for the pending year.
And now, we’re on the fourth and final day of workshop week. People often wonder what we do here during this week. We sit in meetings; we work in our rooms; we sit in more meetings; we continue to prep for day one of the onslaught; more meetings; more prep. On Friday, we breathe a bit from the comforts of our homes, but I know many teachers who return to their classrooms to continue to do what it’s going to take to be ready for the day after Labor Day.
And so, as you read this, a new school year will have begun. We will have put in four days in the classroom. Students will be on the fast track to their social havens. Adults will be drinking coffee at a more furious pace. Everyone will be wondering what happened to the summer. Perhaps, if you’re reading this between 1:50 and 2:20 on the first Friday of September, you might think of us as we’ll be outside in the stadium, the entire school mind you, celebrating the return of the school year with the welcome back pep fest. And all will be right with the world.
Two weeks from now, we’ll already be at the end of Homecoming week. It’s going to be a fast trip in these early weeks. I hope you can keep pace.
Heck…. I hope I can keep pace.
And it begins.
Chuck Brooks is an English teacher at Rosemount High School. His column will appear every week in the Town Pages.