There's a bug around my school. Last Monday, everyone I spoke seemed to be hit by it. Me, I'd woken up around 1:30 AM and that was it. I came to work feeling like a pile of mud. The odd thing was I was not alone. I spent time with one of my colleagues who has young children, one of whom got frightened around the same time I woke up. This ended her sleep, and she pretty much trodded through the day hoping for the best.
Later I met one of the deans on patrol, and since I felt I might pass out if I were to sit down, I accompanied her on her appointed rounds. She too had woken up in the middle of the night, and while she did not appear to be nearly as delirious as I was feeling, at one point she said, "You know, I'm not sure whether or not you're really here."
Now I understand teachers worrying about every little thing, and in fact there are some very big things this year, like junk science ratings, Common Core, and turning over huge portions of the school year to needless and ridiculous testing. But there's nothing we can do about those things in the short-term, and we won't stop them in the wee hours of a Monday morning.
It can be traumatic for some people to return to work after a few days off, but that's not my issue. I actually like going to work. In fact, the job is the only thing I still really like about the job. It's reading the news that makes me want to jump out a window, though I'm grateful to usually be on the first floor when I do so. It's kind of cold for jumping out windows this time of year, so I'm not altogether tempted anyway.
I'm not suffering through any personal crisis right now, and I don't dread going to work. What is it, then, about Sunday nights that steals sleep from the working teacher? Is it having to get up early in the morning? Maybe. I've never been crazy about that. When I was younger, my dad promised me I'd get used to getting up early, and I'm still waiting for that to happen. In fact, after thirty years of not getting used to it, I'm starting to wonder whether or not he was actually used to it.
What is it about Monday that robs sleep from teachers with generally clean consciences?
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.