... Twelve Moods A-Changing
Working for the Chicago schools, dealing with Chicago kids, you are likely to go through certain moods swings. I know it happens to me every year, as sure as the seasons change, as sure as every gain on the ACT is followed by two years of declines, as sure as every promise to come on time is followed by three tardies.
Mood: Giddy Anticipation.
Questions: Will this be the year I finally have good classes? ... the year I'll make a difference?
How long it lasts: Until the end of the first full day of classes
Questions: When will my program be set so I can set up my grade book? When will we be able to get textbooks? How the heck does this new attendance system work? What was wrong with the old one?
How long it lasts: Six to eight months
Questions: Don't you kids want to kick butt on the ACT? Aren't you ready to show the world what you're made of?
How long it lasts: Until the first practice ACT, where you see half your students asleep after 15 minutes
Questions: When are you guys going to start doing some work? Second quarter? Good grief. When am I going to start taking my life seriously?
How long it lasts: Until the day after report card pick-up
Questions: What do I want for Christmas? How about some effort? Or can you at least pretend you're interested?
How long it lasts: Until winter break
Questions: Won't that kid be surprised when I call home to show how serious I am this year?
How long it lasts: Until the sixth disconnected number in seven tries
Questions: What did I do in my past lives to deserve this fate? Where did I go wrong?
How long it lasts: Until the next lifetime
Questions: How will I prepare these kids for the Prairie State? Why won't they take this stuff seriously? The test is next month, isn't it?
How long it lasts: Until the day of the test
Questions: Is the school year over yet? How many days left? Should I start a countdown calendar?
How long it lasts: Until you decide you can't be bothered to find a calendar
Questions: Should I quit? Will I be missed? Should I just tell everyone that I am out of here?
How long it lasts: Until you realize that summer break starts next month
Questions: Those are the ACT results? That's not a misprint? What the--?
How long it lasts: Until the alcohol kicks in
Questions: Why isn't there air conditioning in this building? Why did I agree to teach summer school? What's wrong with me? Am I that desperate?
How long it lasts: Until the next regular school year begins