real life

"That time of the year has come around, the time that all teachers dread..."

That time of the year has come around, the time that all teachers dread – Report Writing Season. Social lives are put on hold, career choice is questioned and procrastination reaches epic levels. This is the time of year lots of people know about or have heard about, but don’t understand until they live with a teacher. My family are well aware that it’s Report Writing Season before I even mention reports. I go through some very clear signs that reports are on their way…

Overly happy and confident that this year will be THE year that I hand my reports in early with no errors and glowing praise from my Principal at the awesomeness of my reports.

Irritation. This comes on with very little warning and is the most obvious of all the stages. This is actually the moment I realise it’s Report Writing Season – my mood. This is paired with the realisation that reports are actually quite a bit of work and I may have underestimated my ability to achieve so highly with all going on in my life. I’m busy and if you ask me to do something I will probably tell you just how busy I am. It’s best not to crunch, chew, drink or walk too loudly near me at this stage.

  • Start reports.
  • Calm again. I’m on it. They’re really not that bad. All those people who know nothing about teaching but give me lots of information about teaching may have been right, what IS the big deal?
  • Reports are disgusting. Irritation revisits.Followed by anger and anxiety. Lavender essential oil and salt lamp don’t appear to be helping (note to DoTerra- bring out a “Reports” oil). Study door is closed to all children and husband who have no idea where clothes/food/water is without my guidance. Family go to the beach to escape crazed mother on what are no doubt the best weather and beach visiting days of the year. Every time.
  • Realise that reports need to be done and usually, over one crazed writing session that begins at 11pm, majority of reports are completed. Anxiety eases but irritation remains. Tired.
  • Confidence returns, “I think I can, I think I can…” The home stretch. Crying starts when I realise it’s not the home stretch at all. Depending on the class, crying may be replaced with binge eating.
  • Spend hours facebooking/blogging/searching for new career. Fill out Aldi check out forms online (dream job- sit, scan, repeat). Procrastination can take many forms- cleaning out cupboards, reorganising the tupperware lids and containers or finally filling out the baby book for the four year old third child. If Claire took a more dedicated approach to her report writing rather than allowing herself to be distracted or waste time procrastinating, she would achieve results of which she is very capable…
  • Numbness. This is the stage where they just get done. Auto-pilot. Done.
  • Emerge from study. Return to life (fold mountain of washing)
Image: iStock.

I have no time to go into why they take so long and consume our lives for a few weeks every year. If you don’t get it I don’t really care (I’m currently in Step 2 with a touch of Step 3). I will absolutely not enter into debates about how teachers have it easy blah blah. Teaching is more than the stuff you saw your teachers do however many years ago.

It’s also all the stuff you don’t see. The report you read about your child takes many hours and is completed after gathering data, double checking assessments and looking for evidence of achievement. Teachers want you to know exactly where your child is performing in the classroom and we like to get it right.

Best of luck to all of my teaching friends heading into the fog of Report Writing Season. May it be kind to you. On that note I need to get back to it, after all it is Report Writing Season and I have a cutlery drawer to sort.

This post originally appeared on The Balanced Vessel. You can read the original post here.