Thanksgiving break is finally upon us, folks. You’ve made it through the first marking period or so, fall parent/teacher conferences, and that pointless inservice where they attempted to convince you that finding time for yourself is important to your mental health — right before they subjected you to weeks of grueling paperwork and staff meetings and data analysis, the intent of which was to come up with a plan to help a fraction of that underachieving population totaling 6 out of 1400 students, 3 of whom didn’t pass their standardized tests, single-handedly resulting in the state labeling your normally well-functioning district a failing one.
Pat yourselves on the backs. You deserve it.
In the spirit of relaxation, here are 19 things teachers everywhere should do during Thanksgiving break:
1. Read something you don’t have to. Put those damn essays and math tests down, for God’s sake, and pick up a Jenny McCarthy pregnancy book or smut publication (but I repeat myself).
2. Swear whenever you damn well please. Hey, it’s your turn to make a sailor blush. Lord knows you’ve been listening to these kids do it for months.
3. Watch something completely mind numbing on TV. I hear Real Housewives of Anywhere will make you dumber within two minutes of tuning in.
4. Sleep in until after the sun comes up. There’s no need to be up and at ’em two hours before dawn until next week.
5. Stay up waaaaaay past your bedtime. I know it’s been awhile, but you can do it. Red Bull can help. And fun. Fun can help, too.
6. Pour a little vodka in that orange juice. Drink it while you eat a breakfast consisting of something healthier than gas station donut holes and sludgy coffee. Why? BECAUSE YOU CAN.
7. Let your hair down. No, I mean it. Let that shit hang untamed. Better yet? Don’t even wash it after Tuesday.
8. Do everything in sweatpants. Go grocery shopping, hang out at Panera, take care of your banking. Nobody else seems to have a problem doing it.
9. Show a movie that isn’t tied to the curriculum. You can even pretend your living room is your classroom and your family your students, if that adds to your sense of delinquency. You know you want to, you little rebel, you.
10. Pee when you have to. You can even pee when you don’t really have to. YOU CAN PEE WHENEVER YOU WANT, FRIENDS.
11. Make the fighting children and apathetic teenagers and requests for help using the potty somebody else’s problem. You’ve gotta have a cousin or something who thinks teachers don’t do anything but sit on their asses and make students read out of the textbook all day, right? I say it’s high time s/he learns a little bit about what it is you do all day.
12. Talk about your opinions on politics and religion to anyone who will listen. Tie them to the dining room chair if you have to. None of them has the power to file a grievance claiming you attempted to indoctrinate their children, even if this time you actually did.
13. Drink wine. And then beer. And then some more wine and beer. But most importantly? DO IT FOR FUN. Not because you need to decompress after telling Billy for the eleventy billionth time that you’re sorry, but he still has to wear pants in 10th grade English class; the rules haven’t changed since last Thursday.
14. Start a blog. Or go for a bike ride. Or take up skeet shooting, crocheting, marathoning, scrapbooking, sticking your nose in everyone else’s business. You know, all those things you don’t have time for during the school year.
15. Call up the owners and employees of local businesses and government agencies and tell them everything they’re doing wrong. Insist they call you back the instant they get your message. Make unreasonable requests and demand they do things like defy gravity and split atoms by next Wednesday — complete with a fireworks display in your front yard marking the completion of their work. Guarantee they won’t call you with outrageous requests regarding education until at least next year.
16. Feel free to let your face reflect your mood. Feeling grouchy? Be a grouch! Feeling sleepy? Be a slug! No need to pretend you don’t wanna cut the next person who leaves a condescending message on your school voicemail or writes you a 3 page note blaming natural disasters and the breakdown of American education on the legalization of gay marriage. Let the world see those stabby eyes!
17. Hang up the sensible blazer in favor of a low-cut blouse, skinny jeans, and some mankillin’ heels (or a studly suit and some ladykillin’ kicks for you men out there). Head out for a night on the town, and leave the stress and looming lesson plans at home.
18. Take a nap. You know what? TAKE TWO NAPS. Oh, hell, nap an entire day away if you want. Naps are nice.