Have you noticed that the older you get, the faster by time seems to fly? I have. Blink, and you've missed it. Oy. I can't believe we're at the end of another school year already! Hard to tell who is more excited though; the students or the faculty (I'm thinking faculty, definitely ;o) To anyone outside the school system - and I've been right there with you - I'm sure you're thinking something along the lines of "Sure must be nice to have your summers off!" All I can tell you is that time is soooo earned. Until I started working in a school I had no idea how much a school year would take out of you mentally and emotionally. Summer vacations and school breaks are critical times for the adults to get a desperately needed recharge before returning to the front lines. Because our children have so much more to deal with than we did back in the day, a teacher's job has become exponentially more challenging.
Even for those of us who function more peripherally, (I interpret for a deaf student), the typical school day is incredibly draining emotionally. Add to that the mountains of paperwork now required of teachers (sadly, our society is becoming increasingly litigious), the struggle to manage classes that are far too large and often unruly (what ever happened to well-mannered kids?), and a steady decline in support from both administration and the majority of parents it's no wonder the burnout rate is so high. According to Forbes (this article), the teacher burnout rate in 2011 was 46% within the first five years; even higher than it is for doctors. Who'd a thunk it? I'm sure it's gone up since then, too. Without these much-needed breaks, I have no doubt this number would be twice that. Having worked in several different systems over the past 18 years I can attest that some schools are definitely better working environments than others, but the stress levels are high everywhere. Personally, after working with a deaf elementary student on a military base, I have to say it would be nice if every person on the planet came with a C.O. (Commanding Officer). At least then you'd have someone to go to when you exhausted all other avenues trying to work with a parent (and you'd better believe they get the job done, too!) Although I have been known to refer to DH as my own C.O., it's from a completely different direction (to wit: "Captain Oblivious", HeHe).
Can you guess what this is? I'll give you a hint: it's not a snake - honest! My picture happy galpal Sarah and I went on a ['nother-other] photo bender a couple of weeks ago, and came across the strangest critter I think I've ever seen outside of a zoo (well, that and the high school hallways ;o) Although he slithered around like a snake, he also had four legs with long toes like a chameleon that he used to walk. Weird, right? Sarah and I sat there making up names for him, and came up with "Ssslizzard". We both went home and looked him up on line to find he is actually called a "Red Headed Skink". Have you ever heard of those? I hadn't. Personally, I was kind of partial to "Ssslizzard" but since nobody asked me I suppose we'll stick with Skink for now.
Since Skinks eat bugs, I'm definitely considering them one of the good guys. *laugh* This one is called a "Five Line Skink" (some neat kid-friendly info here). See how she tucked up her legs along her body to slither along? How weird is that? Skinks are fairly widespread throughout the United States, and are partial to wooded areas with access to sunny spots. Believe it or not, there are more than 1,200 different subspecies of Skinks. Pretty impressive. Sadly, Mom doesn't seem to have much in the way of maternal instincts. She kicks the kids out a few days after they've hatched, telling them they are ready to leave the nest. Then again, when you consider how stressed out our kids can make us (particularly when they hit their teenage years) she might just be onto something...
For those of you who may wish to avert your eyes, I'm going to say a very bad word now: Project. Please excuse me for swearing. The laundry tub in the photo is a long overdue checklist item for our visitor area. This little P-word has been neglected for some time; initially, the weather (too cold), then I broke my arm, and again back to the weather (too wet). Obviously, this statement is easily verified by not only the faded green on the box but also by the disgusting amount of dust and dirt it has accumulated; which means now I get to clean it first (joy). Anyhoo, I've decided to go public with its impending transformation (ha) and twist my own arm, so to speak (translation: Get a move on chickie! ;o) My grand plan is to turn this [formerly] pristine white laundry sink into something rustic. I have some ideas on what I want to do, though I'm not sure if they will work or not. Here's hoping! Looks like next week's post will be all about that.
Wishing you a blessed week and as always, thank you so much for reading this far!