If you work in the world of education you dread the month of March. It is the longest, darkest, hardest month. Every year. Any one in education knows this. The month of January, however, can be equally has challenging, but it is not typically as expected as March. If we can learn to expect the challenges, and embrace January, we can learn to thrive in it instead of surviving it.
It has taken me 5 years to figure out that each and every January is pure and utter chaos. I’m not sure what it is. We think students are all hyped up for the holidays. We returned refreshed and rejuvenated, and then it starts.
I can’t put my finger on what happens. Last year I thought it was the weather. This year, however, it has been beautiful. It’s not just the students though. It’s all of us. Life seems to kick me in the ass each January. It’s probably kicking the students asses too, and we just can’t see past out own stuff to see it.
It’s probably a combination of things. There is something to be said about the post holiday let down. For me it’s about dealing with all of the stuff I put off until after break. Sometimes it can be really hard balancing real life and work life. Before the holidays I think real life tends to infringe on work life. There is only so much time in the day and as many times that work infringes on real life, the opposite is true as well.
So I put things off until I can refocus my brain, thinking January will provide peace, time and energy. Unfortunately, that never seems to be the case. When January comes along, the honeymoon is over. Students are sick of each other. Staff is sick of the same issues same issues day in and day out. And the days are dark….really dark. And cold.
It’s hard, and it sneaks up on all of us. We are used to the Christmas highs and lows, but January is supposed to be about starting anew. Well I’m just going to say it…it’s a farce. January sucks and we all know it. So let’s rename it.
Maybe Darkvember? Or Colduary? How about Countingthedaystospringuary? Okay maybe that’s too much. But in all reality, I think we need to pay attention to the misery that can happen, and embrace January for what it is, and look forward to brighter days.
February is also dark and cold, but it holds some promise. The days are getting longer, and I start seeing daylight when I get out of practice. This February has been an anomaly and the weather has been beautiful, which is helpful. In the education world, it often means a break, which is very much welcomed and needed. It also means it’s almost March, which means it’s almost spring!
So here’s to renaming and embracing January. In other words, recognizing it for what it is and looking forward to February and beyond. Thank you for existing February, if only because you are closer to March.