This article was written by Andy McCall. Andy is in his 9th year teaching, and does everything to honor his little girl, Penelope, who passed last year. Check him out on his Blog or on Facebook: Penelope's Path.
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Nobody you know says November is their favorite month. Thanksgiving is its only redeeming quality and even that is only one day (well stretch it to two if you include leftovers). You had the joys of clinging onto the last few minutes of summer, the excitement of upcoming fall, and even Halloween festivities kept you going. Now this. Brown, dark, and spending your days trying to find pants that fit now. It is the equivalent of a pop quiz in math class. You don’t hate it, but you aren’t exactly thrilled that it is there either. As a teacher, you can be as creative as you want and come up with all these fun November activities, but then you have to plan past November 4th and you are scrambling to find something to keep the cats herded in their pen. So here are eleven reasons why the 11th month is really just like another faculty meeting.
1. The Sugar High is Over.
All that anticipation for Halloween, the fun lessons, the themed days, and the bite size moments of happiness are now over. The coma has come back over their eyes and you are left with the glaze, not the doughnuts. Everyone that was so happy for ghosts and ghouls are now just ghastly sick and zombie-ing their way through your lessons.
2. No Breaks, No Glory.
Four straight weeks of school. No fun fall breaks. No half day to look forward to. Pure unadulterated math, science, and snotty noses. It isn’t until the end of the month that we get a couple days off and even that isn’t very exciting because the main course is fun, but all those extra sides just aren’t worth it.
I mean have you really looked at one of those things. Well don’t look it in the eye. It resembles that kid you had your 1st year that just about ended your tenure before it began. Halloween has fun and scary mascots, December even has Santa. November has turkeys. Sure your 2nd graders can color some neon tailfeathers and light up the hallway, but we all know there’s nothing more depressing than a bunch of mismatched turkeys hanging in the hallway ready to send their selves to File 13 in order to make ways for Santa and his reindeer.
4. Pilgrims are Kind of Boring.
You just can’t make pilgrims that fun. They were pretty boring other than teaching your kids about the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Glorify the story of reaching new lands all you want, but that one kid is going to raise the question about taking over Indian Lands and then you have a whole new Pandora’s Box to deal with. At least Santa and Cupid have some sort of outfit. A black construction paper hat and belt made out of glue and push pins is about the best you are going to get.
5. The Color.
Brown. Nothing but brown and mud. Oh yes the colors of fall are amazing for that short little while, but it’s like Mother Nature says, “Oh look, it’s November, everything you can see turns to mud and Brown. All the shades of the mystery stains on students' homework will cover the lands!” Nobody wants to go outside and stare at the brown. You look to that one beautiful yellow tree still hanging on, but you know that soon it will be gone like the rest and turned into more brown leaf piles, as big as the piles of essays sitting in front of you.
6. The Weather.
Speaking of Mother Nature, it's like she loses her mind in November. It’s too cold to take the little ones outside. It's way too windy to do that nature walk you wanted to in science class. Oh look, some sunshine! Oh wait, there it goes back behind those black clouds. It looks like the apocalypse is upon us when the leaves are all gone and you're walking through the parking lot at 6pm just hoping it doesn’t start raining again.
7. Time Change.
You were just getting used to your school schedule and finally not having to screech into the parking lot on two wheels to make it before the bell. Well, November says I’m going to screw up the 3 hours of sleep you were getting and even make you late to lunch and special classes for the first week. Just when you had your life almost right, the world turns off the lights before you even leave school, and you know nothing is going to get accomplished after school, now.
8. Pumpkin Overload.
You enjoyed that very first Pumpkin Spice Latte at your desk, but now it's getting ridiculous. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin gum, pumpkin scented pencils, pumpkin pie shaped erasers. It was worth the wait for that pumpkin creamer you used to mask the stale, workroom coffee Janet made, but if you get one more pumpkin spiced thing and it isn’t a beer you might lose it.
9. Weight Gain.
Bring on the stretchy pants and sweaters. You tried your best to start the year off right, packing your lunch and drinking plenty of water, but November is so depressing we start eating more and more. Thanksgiving is like a bunch of football players at the training table and you're finishing off the night with mouthfuls of whipped cream, telling your silent dog not to judge you.
10. Class is getting real.
The projects are over and it's time to get down to business. Final exams are lurking in the near future. The kids who haven’t struck a lick are realizing they don’t want to take this class over. There are still kids trying to get morning work done at 2:30pm. You've kicked the transmission into overdrive, but you forget that you are driving a Barbie bike that still has one training wheel. You know the parent calls are coming, so you're teaching like a mad man to ward them off.
11. The in-laws.
All this year you've made the excuse that you're busy grading papers or doing lesson plans and you just can’t make it to dinner with your mother-in-law. That time is up. You're going to have to put on real clothes and fake smile when all you really want to do is put on sweatpants and fall asleep to Netflix. Thanksgiving break is coming and you can’t hide behind science projects. You have to interact with the people who think your job is all about crafts and singing songs every day. The end is here, and Christmas Break is too far away.