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School starts today...

Classroom, Summer, Education

This is my classroom, circa 2019. If you're going by the astrological calendar, Summer lasts from June 21 until September 23. If you go by the holiday or most community pool schedules, it lasts from Memorial Day until Labor Day. However, if you go by school schedules, it is much, much shorter and varies widely.

It is mostly somewhere in the ballpark of June to early to mid-August or roughly two to two and a half months. Metereolgoists divide seasons into three months. Psychologically, however, summer even seems to last shorter than that for teachers as it goes from the day school lets out to just after the Fourth of July when those pesky Back to School ads streak across social media, television and pop up in stores. If you're measuring summer from when a teacher gets out until Back to School ads come, that equates to about a month.

Then you have all those Summer haters. You know who you are, pumpkin spice latte people. "Bring on the Fall!" they scream. However, while September and the beginning of October may offer lovely breezes and beautiful colors, may I remind you of November's wicked winds and drab skies? When was the last time you remember liking the weather in November? Or early December? Some of you might, but I sure don't.

I digress. I turn my attention back to the length of summer. A lot of people say that teachers are lucky to have summers off. I will not refute that fact, but I will also say that unless you are a teacher, you only see a small part of what we do. I started planning for the school year somewhere right after the Fourth of July ended, right around that time Back to School ads began airing. Oh, and I had an AP Literature professional development for a week after school.

I spent countless hours typing away and staring at a computer screen this summer, planning, researching, and reading material to ensure this coming school year could be the best. Yet most people think all we do is whittle the days away. That isn't to say I didn't enjoy my summer. I spent a lot of time with my wonderful family, took lovely short-distance vacations, spent ample time on the golf course, and read amazing books. Yet, working in the summer is almost necessary for even the most seasoned teachers. I'll be entering my ninth year teaching English, and I still plan every year.

So while the weather says Summer, but the school year says Fall, I try my best to hold on to those memories while bracing myself for change. To everything, turn, turn, turn, I guess. Perhaps we could make Winter speed up. But that never seems to be the case in Chicagoland.

Yes, the first day of school. It brings a day of promise and excitement but, most of all, change. And while it is hard to return, I still love what I do. Yet, I encourage everyone to hold on to the freedom and independence that Summer brings. Don't let go of the easy-breezy days inside you as the doldrums of cold weather and grey skies take over. While Summer may be on its way out, we can always keep it in our hearts all year long.

To search for Kevin Patrick Kenealy's latest thriller, peruse either Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park, Barbara's Bookstore in Orland Square Mall, Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove, or The Book Dragon in Stockton-on-Tees, England. You can also buy direct from my website here:

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