The Dreaded Stretch.

Those of you in education know exactly what I speak of when I refer to the stretch. That long dogged road between between our day off on Martin Luther King, and the sanity recovering hallowed week of spring break. It is the time of year between August and June when students start to drag their heals, when the whining becomes one long collective cacophony, and we teachers, aside from counting down every single minute left until the bell rings that last Friday, are clinging with bitten-to-the-quick fingernails of our acumen.

It's rough.

You see as teachers, we are a lot like salesmen. My intention is not to sell my profession short, but to make a simple analogy. I, as an educator, have a product - knowledge. My buyers sometimes come to the negotiation table eager to make a purchase, and others (many) are skeptical. It's my job to present this product in such a manner that attracts my buyers. This can take quite a bit of effort, and effort, day in and day out (especially with buyers that can be finicky, unprepared, and downright rude) is exhausting.

It's no wonder that subs are sometimes difficult to come by this time of year; seams like everyone is taking a mental health day.

I know it can be difficult for those not in education to fathom the weariness of the stretch; the general public likes to counter back with banal remarks usually pointing to our summer, winter and spring breaks. And there is no argument there - yes, we have that time off. But let me tell you something about working with teenagers (or any group of kids). For teachers to remain human and to have a healthy life, those breaks are not just a so-called "perk," they are most undoubtedly necessary. That recovery time is monumentally important and serves to help us come back to the classroom recharged and ready to fight the good fight.

Having that time off allows me to decompress, assess what happened during my time in the classroom, make tweaks for the following year and recover my desire to return.

16.5 days left until spring break.

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