June 3, 2016
Dear Seward Families:
I doubt Teacher Appreciation Week was placed late in the school year by accident. These are the times that try academicians’ souls: as the school year is not a sprint but a marathon, and we are now entering the final mile. Teachers and others involved in academics can usually use a little cheering on at this point!
For those unfamiliar with academic life, doubly so for those who may think teachers have it easy (and that a summer vacation is a outlandish perk), let me attest that while the academic calendar is very different from most job calendars, it is not easier. Academic work follows a predictable pattern of crescendo throughout each term, broken up by term breaks longer than almost anyone else gets to enjoy (but that a good many teachers can not afford to savor, having to work through the summer and sometimes even the winter breaks). Those breaks are a very necessary respite and reset that make it possible to survive the grueling pace of each term...particularly near the end, when grading, testing, planning, and running out of time on scholastic expectations collude to offer up a perfect storm of stress.
If folks at Seward are still looking calm, cool, and collected in the final days of a term, make no mistake—they are like a proverbial duck on the water, cool above the surface but paddling wildly beneath it. You are probably feeling a twinge of this as a parent, too—this is a busy time for us all, but none more so than teachers. So if someone at school looks more than a little haggard one of these mornings—like they have run most of a marathon—please be understanding. I would argue that they have.