I survived my first Christmas as a teacher, and I have seen my first office Christmas party, during which one of my co-workers summed up the teaching profession succinctly and insightfully: “It’s like a drug. You know it’s not good for you, but you just need a little more.”
Today was one of the days that gives you a giddy little high, that sense that “Hey, maybe teaching actually IS fun.” This is a deceptive feeling, not because teaching is not fun, but because there was absolutely no teaching of any variety occurring anywhere on our campus today. We played all day. It was a half day, during which we had mass, a 7th grade vs. 8th grade basketball game, and our Christmas parties, and that was it, except for the manic scurrying about of middle schoolers bringing gifts to their friends and preferred teachers.
Speaking of which, my students seem to be of the general opinion that I need to gain some weight. I have never received so much candy and baked paraphernalia in my life. The combined count between candy canes alone, other varieties and packages of candy, and stuff born of an oven was thirteen, far and away the leader over the second-most received gift, winter-themed ceramics (a mug, a bell, an apple-shaped candle holder, and a few hollow penguin and snowman shaped things that I assume are meant to hold something), which totaled up at six. Also, I will need neither to look at nor purchase any bath products until next Christmas, which is about when the four sets of shower gels, lotions, and scented satchels I got today will run out (I’m guessing I’ll get another year’s supply next Christmas). Besides thinking I’m too thin, my kids must also think I’m smelly. Or ashy.
I also got two pairs of slippers, one pair of gloves (all of a fuzziness that would shame Jim Henson), two candles, two ornaments, one hand-made big-plastic-bead bracelet, a stuffed moose, and two packets of Swiss Miss with marshmallows. Santa better bring his A-game, because the bar has been set to Olympian heights. See:
As corny as I know this will sound, I loved every cheesy little trinket I got, because every one of them was delivered with a smile, most with a hug, and a couple with comments implying these children were glad to have me around. It would make me look good if I said this was really where the warm-fuzzy came from, rather than the hours of eating, playing, and rocking out to Fall Out Boy with my homeroom kids. That would suggest that I have some depth, or that my priorities are all in the right place, or something noble-ish like that.
But we all know better. Besides, how could I not be excited when I got one of these for Christmas: