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Students write notes to Amber Chandler on her chalkboard.

Student notes to Amber Chandler on her chalkboard.

The Humour of the Situation

June 10, 2024

The Humour of the Situation

Amber Chandler shares her funny ha-ha and funny ironic moments of teaching in the months of May and June.


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My students, my family and my friends will tell you that if I’m ever funny, it is typically by accident. However, I do have a sense of humor, and as a forever Barenaked Ladies fan, I can, indeed, enjoy “The Humour of the Situation.” (I didn’t spell this wrong, the “u” is there, because, you know, Canada). As we are all seeking inspo for the end of the year, or for some of you, the summer, I think we can agree there are some universally funny ha-ha and funny ironic parts of teaching that we all can appreciate. Here are my top five moments from the 547-day month of May: 

Four-day weeks are the longest

Four-day weeks are the longest. Prove me wrong. Our negotiations team recognized that the stretch between spring break and the end of the year seemed impossibly long. We scored the victory of adding the Friday before Labor Day as a day off, creating two four-day weeks in a row. What could go wrong? While I will never doubt the wisdom of our negotiations team (of which I am a member), I don’t think we realized that four-day weeks are the longest, leading to the 547-day month we just experienced in May. As a bonus, you may have guessed, we had the hottest days too! If you find yourself in this situation next year, remember to check out “What to Teach This Month: May” by Megan Ortmeyer.

Everyone has the exact same idea 

Movie day? Turns out you are the third teacher who had that idea today. Popsicles? Someone passed them out at lunch. Extra recess? The playground is packed. Open House, a Color Run, a Boy Scouts Cookout, a Chorus Concert, and a Benchmark Assessment on a Tuesday? Who knew we’d all be thinking the same exact thing right about now? Celebrations, closure activities, moving up ceremonies, and final assessments all make perfect sense, but you have to laugh a little at how ridiculous it can seem when you say it out loud. I’ll never forget when my daughter was in sixth grade; she came breathlessly into my room (my kiddos went to my school) to tell me she had a Drama Club pizza party, a church hide-and-seek night, and two tests the next day. She was all of 11 years old, and her schedule rivaled mine! (If you are interested in some of the wisdom I gleaned from my kiddos last year, “A Parent and Teacher Reflection: Some Glows and Grows” sums it up!)

My daughter as an overwhelmed sixth-grader
My daughter as an overwhelmed sixth-grader

Just a little treat

Note the iced coffee? Well, I thought it was just my family and me who needed “a little treat” to survive the end of the year. First, we did payday Fridays coffee. Then, we really could use a midweek pick-me-up. Finally, we realized that Mondays were made for coffee. Turns out, I’ve learned that our coffee habit is rivaled by some of my colleagues’ chocolate fixes, “fun” drinks, and for one of my friends, just a little appetizer at least once a week. The truth is, the end of the school year is crazy because of the schedule, the plans we make to celebrate our students, and the fact that we are finishing a marathon. You’re supposed to carb load for that, right? Check out this video that explains there is actually a trend of “little treat culture” and that there is (some) science behind it!

Speaking of food, let’s talk lunch

Thank the Lord that I no longer pack my kiddos’ lunches. I know, some of you love that sort of thing, but I was always suspicious that expensive snacks were traded, the healthy parts went in the trash, and overall it was a giant stressor. Don’t judge. Anyway, my daughter is in college, and my son buys some items that appear to be mainly snacks in the cafeteria. Packing lunches was the worst for me. I will say though, I was a queen when I did it, including a note every single day for years. With that burden gone, and a fridge in my classroom (shhh … ), I advanced to some epic lunches for myself. I checked all the boxes: healthy, “fun,” affordable, and would not smell up the entire wing if microwaved. That’s me from September until around early May. Somewhere after state testing, maybe during benchmark testing, but definitely before final exams, my lunch game collapses. Seven grapes; a packet of “Sweet and Spicy” tuna that has been on the top of said refrigerator for, let’s just say, a while; a granola bar, and the coffee I didn’t finish during fourth period. By fall, I’ll want to get a bento box and make my own sushi, but for the moment, I’m living dangerously. These Nutrition Lesson Plans would have come in handy last month!

lunch box

I love the routine

So, here’s the thing. The end of the year is nuts. Sept. 1 is my Happy New Year. I love teaching, and I love the routine that develops, and I couldn’t imagine a life without the ebbs and flows (floods?) of teaching. The “teacher life” is a good life, and even though everyone is complaining right about now, don’t you just love how it all comes full circle? Don’t you just love how, after a few weeks of peeing when you want and finishing sentences in adult conversations, you start to think about your new notebooks, the potential Flair markers and, yes, the feeling you get when you see all the expectant faces? Yeah, me too. If summer gets you in the planning mood too, consider contributing to Share My Lesson! Read about my journey here.

Hopefully, my adventures in what it’s like being a teacher in June have entertained you a little and made you laugh at least once, and provided the inspo we all need right now: We’ve got this. 

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Looking for summer PD hours, ideas for back to school, or just ways to relax? Visit Share My Lesson's Summer of Learning page for upcoming summer webinars, teaching resources, blogs, self-care ideas and more.

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Amber Chandler
  Amber Chandler is a National Board Certified middle school ELA teacher in Hamburg, New York with a Master’s Degree in Literature, as well as a School Building Leader certification. She is the 2018 Association for Middle Level Educators’ “Educator of the Year.”  Amber has enjoyed a wide variety of... See More

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