A Little To Do List
by John Pearson
Down here in Texas, teachers are beginning to sweat a little bit. No, it's not because of the 108° temperature, it's due to the realization that there are only three weeks left until school starts again! What happened to the summer? What happened to all that free time? My house still needs cleaning, there are unread books on the table, and I never did make it out to Cici's Pizza to check on the kids.
I did get to enjoy my two vacation trips -- to Florida and to California -- and I even managed to squeeze in my continuing education classes! At least that's something I won't have to do over Thanksgiving break.
There still seems to be so much to do so, and three weeks seems like so little time. Teachers and students alike are probably running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
What to do? Where to begin? Don't worry, help is here. As a professional service, I've put together a little list that touches on the most important tasks and things that must be accomplished.
- Start to recalibrate your sleep cycle -- If you're like me, you've spent the past couple of months going to bed at 3 a.m. and getting up at noon. That's just not going to fly during the school year. Use the next few weeks to gradually ease back into those early hours. Get up at 10 next week, get up at 8 the following week. Soon you'll be ready (or at least more prepared) for that painful 5:30 alarm bell.
- Sharpen some pencils -- Would you rather sharpen 20 pencils a day for the next three weeks, or 420 pencils the day before school starts? Put on the Rocky theme song, and think of it as the teacher equivalent of drinking raw eggs and punching slabs of beef.
- Get your Fantasy Football squad in order -- If you play fantasy football, you'll want to do all of your research and have your draft before you get bogged down in school activities. Choose wisely, and avoid those players likely to come down with torn hamstrings, high ankle sprains, and that most horrid of sports injuries -- lacerated buttocks.
- Hit all of the bargain sales at local retailers -- If you work for a district where all school supplies are provided every year, good for you, go away. For the rest of us who have to plunk down our own money for much of our inventory, now is the time to catch these items cheap. Keep an eye out for teacher discounts at Office Max, Office Depot, and Office Office Office.
- Visit a doctor -- Having your days free helps with scheduling appointments, but also, many school districts have benefits calendars that roll over on September 1. Schedule any necessary visits now, before your deductibles reset. I'm thinking about squeezing in stops to a plastic surgeon, an OB/GYN, and a veterinarian just to take advantage of my co-pay!
As you can see, if you follow this list, you'll be a happy camper come the first day of school. Now if I can just remember to set my alarm for 10:59 tomorrow...
John Pearson is a third-grade math and science teacher in Dallas, Texas. He has degrees in mechanical engineering from Duke University and Texas A&M, so most consider his math abilities adequate enough to teach nine-year olds. He is also the author of Learn Me Good (Lulu, 2006), a funny, fictionalized account of his first year in education. Read more at www.learnmegood.com