I teach in a year round school. This used to be pretty common place in Utah, but it is slowly being phased out in most districts. In my growing district however, it is on the rise. Hey, people love to move to this end of the Salt Lake valley. For those that don’t know what this entails, I will explain. You are brimming with immense anticipation to learn all about my job, I know.
In schools where the student population exceeds the capacity limit for the school, they divide the schools into tracks. There are 4: A, B, C and D. How this works, is we all have a shortened summer, and have some larger breaks throughout the school year. Basically, you teach for 9 weeks and then have 3 weeks off. There is wiggle room for this, for example this last fall, I have 4 weeks off in October, but I will only have 2 weeks off in Spring. There are also times that I teach for 11 weeks at a time instead of 9, but it all works out to be equal for all teachers and students.
Anywhoooo…. I love having the breaks. They are so good for my mental health. I love being able to take time during the year to recoup and relax. I spend the time getting caught up on errands and house issues. I get my house deep cleaned, organized and projects completed. I get doctor, dentist, orthodontist times scheduled. I catch up with friends that have a different work schedule than mine. I also spend this time working on things that make me happy and soothe my soul.
There are also down sides to the whole track system as well. In teaching, the week we go on track and the week that we go off track are always nightmarish. It really is a lot like the first week of the year and the last week of the year spun over and over and. They have a hard time settling back into routine. They are exhausted from having late nights and sleeping in. The last week is a doozie, because they know they are going on trips, vacations or get to sleep in and have zero desire to concentrate.
Another down side to the tracks are the room situations. There simply aren’t enough rooms in the school for every teacher (which makes sense since there are too many students for the school.) So, ever time I go off track, I have to pack up my ENTIRE room and move it to a storage room. Every book, paper, file, supply, poster, etc goes into a storage room. Every cupboard needs to be cleaned out. The only thing that stays in the classroom are the student’s desks, the teacher desks and the group tables. Everything else has to get packed up and put away. This means that I don’t have access to it when I am off track and I have to find room for it in a tiny storage room which is also used by the other teachers that go off track the same time that I do it. I HATE IT! It takes so much time and energy and quite honestly drives me crazy.
It takes hours to take down a classroom and hours to put it back together. What a nightmare.
Tomorrow I am tracking off from my least favorite teaching time of the entire year. We come back on track after October for 3 weeks then have Thanksgiving, 3 more weeks then Christmas break, theeeeen…. 2 weeks on track before going off track completely for three weeks. It is super choppy.
That was a huge long preface for the whole purpose of this post.
I AM SO EXCITED TO GO OFF TRACK
This year is different. The last couple of years, I have had my older kids home with me during our off track time. This year, with the older kids in junior high, our off track time, it is just the Toad and I. I miss having the older kids, but it is nice to spend the time with Toad. ALthough he gets bored about two days in!
I am so looking forward to being able to spend time just being laid back. Netflix, games, puzzles, crafts and I am THRILLED to try to get back into my crafts and getting my Etsy store up and going again. I can’t wait to revamp my closet and FINALLY getting my shoes sorted out and organized. I have a list of projects a mile long. I am sure that I will only get one or two done, but I have my fingers crossed. Either way, this is the most needed time of the year for me. I a little R and R and time with my Toad.