Back to School Sale

I have been dreadfully absent on my blog for the last two months. However, I am a teacher at heart, and I was making the best out of my two(ish) month holiday from work (it’s not actually three, mind you!). I traveled from one US border to the other, passed through both border patrols, and met some great people in between. When I wasn’t traveling, I was probably thinking about work and the new school year (so, subtract another week from the “teachers get three months off” timeline) and registering for graduate school, which will start at the end of August.

I will certainly be writing about my West Texas road trip with my old college roommate and my family road trip to upstate NY, Montreal, and Quebec City. They are very worthwhile experiences to share. I had some great fun along the way too, not the least of which was sitting in as many Adirondack chairs as I could – including an enormous one in Montreal, just off the Mont Royal metro stop.

Five more days remain until I return to China for my second year of international teaching and for my seventh teach of teaching overall. All summer I’ve been catching up with friends and past coworkers, and I’ve found that saying “oh, I teach in China” starts a great deal of conversation with people I don’t know. It’s been an interesting study in opening dialogue.

It’s nearly August now, which makes parents happy and teachers stock up on their favorite wine, extra coffee, and red pens. Personally, I’m a fan of all different colors of ink, as red is rather boring. I’ve packed up my suitcase with my favorite brand of pens, a really good stapler, and some classroom decorations that I couldn’t bring over last year. It’s that sort of thing that all teachers do, since we’re extremely partial to certain brands and supplies. We can be creatures of habit sometimes.

One of the best parts is that the year ahead is the Great Unknown. I don’t know my students, what a new principal will bring to our MS, or how the subject material will be received. I don’t know what I’ll drive them crazy with this year – last year’s popular theme was the royal baby. The video of me inscribing the royal family tree from Queen Elizabeth through all greatgrandchildren, complete with stick figures and all names, in under two minutes, is still being shown amongst my former students. They challenged me to do it, and I won. Still not sure what I won, but I was a winner. Now that little Prince George is here, I suppose I need a new topic.

When I asked my former 7th graders what the new class should know about me as a teacher, they said the following:

– Loves coffee. Give k-cups/Starbucks for an A, other major brands for a B, and minor brands for a C. (Note: I do not actually accept bribes. I just accept the coffee as it comes.)
– Loves England. We think she might be British. Secretly.
– Knows A LOT about the Royal Family. Ask her a question and avoid homework because she’ll explain forever.
– Loves duct tape. She has lots of colors and styles. Will put some on your mouth if you don’t stop talking. Ask for the mustache tape so you look cool.
– Can tell you a lot about history. Really weird things in history. But cool things too.
– Grammar drill sergeant. Be prepared for grammar bootcamp.
– Is like a book site. She knows exactly what you should read next.
– She’s crazy. She can switch accents and make funny faces and tell good stories. Some are fake, but they’re funny.

I suppose they have me spot on. I am all of the above. I still love coffee, England, duct tape, history and books. Oh, and I can cut a mean red (or purple) pen on any writing assignment when grammar is at stake. I probably know more about the RF now because of BBC America’s day long programming. I will admit to having checked online every day I was in Canada for royal baby news. Such is life. We all have our interests. I own up to it. No plans for therapy yet, however. The professionals say it’s not THAT big of a problem, what with how crazy the whole world went on July 22nd.

So, as we gear up for the next year, it’s exciting as to wonder what’s going to come next. I know I won’t be bored. I know I can’t walk in every day expecting the same as the day before. Teaching is an adventure.

And I want to be Indiana Jones.

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