We get into the final two weeks of school and we’re hard at work to put another year under wraps. In the classrooms, children are staring at their phones as the ‘best as teachers remember’ G-rated movies play on a screen. Others stare into space, drooling, or draw on paper. Testing is over … almost. There are always the last few make-ups if a chronic absentee actually makes an appearance. Discipline issues are up, bored children and all that, and down, parents told to keep their kids home to avoid another referral and punishment.

Administration issues their usual directive to maintain bell-to-bell instruction through the last day even as they collect textbooks and computers from the students and deny teacher requests to exceed the monthly copy limit so they can have something to put in front of the students. Bell-to-bell instruction? With what! teachers cry.

The superintendent has forbidden classroom parties although many teachers will ignore the ban or find a way around it. Administrators complain of empty pizza boxes and drained two-liter soda bottles even as they can’t catch anyone in the act. Teachers wink and talk of celebrations that are taking place instead of parties.

Admin vanish while they admonish staff about maintaining order. Directives banning all hall passes ensue. But what if a child really has to go? Really, really, the distress etched on their face and they might even be doing the pee-pee dance as one colleague once put it … no hall passes.

GOT watches the children flip him off with their eyes because they dare not do it with their fingers as they walk out of the room to use the restroom. He dutifully calls the office to report. Later, the principal tells him, “Well, the child really had to go.”

It’s the last daze of school and absurdity reigns.

Bulletin boards are torn down, lockers are emptied, and students are drafted into moving furniture, removing the trash, and helping with the collection of school property.

Teachers throw shade as they pretend that they are still entering grades while they determine and post final grades for the year. A few are still testing because after students have taken national tests like NAEP, international tests like PISA, state standardized tests, district end-of-course tests which will determine the teacher’s data score and yearly evaluation, after all that, some teachers believe they must still give their own finals or they won’t know what the students really learned in their class.

Children wander the halls and visit friends in other classrooms. Some seek to make their mark on the year as they strive for a Darwin award and the most creative infraction of the year that was written up for discipline. Others try to carry out the perfect prank not realizing that we now have cameras everywhere recording everything except the bathrooms.

Yearbooks appear and kids write the same vapid fare-thee-well comments that have been around since yearbooks were first published. Teachers sign as requested. Some things will never go online.

Teachers hand out summer assignments that are due on the first day back. Others (like GOT) argue that the students need a break. Give them 10 weeks to relax. Their brains are still at work under the surface assimilating all that to which they’ve been exposed for a year.

They need the break. They need time to be kids, to hang out at the pool, to go to camp, to visit family and attend reunions, to take trips, and for the older ones, if they’re lucky, to have a hot, sizzling summer romance.

The last daze of school. Soon, they will end, the final bell will ring, someone will play Alice Cooper on the PA system as teachers wave goodbye to the last rollout of the buses, and suddenly … there’s silence.

Teachers assemble for the ending banquet hoping it will be more than catered pizza. As the speechifying ends, they throw their keys into the collection bin, jostle one another to get out the door first, and burn rubber out of the parking lot.

The last daze of school are over. Happy Summer!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s