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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

How to Talk to Teachers in May

I'm not a fan of countdowns at the end of the school year. I just don't think it's a helpful mindset to be in, and it certainly doesn't help the students when their teachers only seem to care about getting away from them as soon as possible (I wrote an entire blog post about my reasoning that goes into a bit more nuance). But if we stop counting down the days until summer, what will we even say when we greet colleagues in the hallway in May (and, for some of us, June)? What else is there to say besides, "24 more days"? Don't worry, I got you covered :)

1. We got this! *high five*

No really, we do. Sometimes we all need a reminder, in those moments when things feel chaotic or stressful, that we are a team and we have colleagues rooting for us. 

2. Man, they sure do have a lot of energy!

I mean really, I think 90% of the time I think this is actually what teachers mean when they call out the number of school days left as they pass a colleague in the hallway. It can be exhausting herding cats sometimes, no reason not to call it like it is and show solidarity for the struggle!

3. I got you a taco.

Random acts of kindness are always a good idea but surprise food that not only makes you happy but gives you some much-needed extra energy is truly the best.

4. I have a few minutes, do you need anything?

There is a paraprofessional in our building who is the master of this. In between his assigned responsibilities if he finds himself with 10 minutes, he walks the halls and asks the first teacher he sees if they need anything. I really believe he is single-handedly carrying some of us to the finish line this year just by offering support, even if we don't have anything we need at the time. It feels so good to have someone acknowledge all the work you have and offer practical support!

5. What are your plans for summer vacation?

This isn't a hallway greeting as you pass each other running from the copy machine to the bathroom in the 2 minutes of actual "planning" time you got that day, but if you're actually stopping to chat, this is much better than counting down the school days. It turns a negative statement to a positive one that communicates the same sentiment, how fun vacation will be, without taking anything away from enjoying the present either.

How about you? Are you the one who always knows exactly how many days are left and are constantly announcing it to your colleagues, or do you have another way you like to greet other teachers in the hallway? Let's hear it in the comments!

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