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Top Ten Days That Strike Fear into the Hearts of Teachers

A humorous look at the school days that are just a bit harder than the others.

You know the days I'm talking about.  They are special days that we look forward to, but we also carry just a little bit of dread in the recesses of our souls.  Typically these days are associated with holidays or special celebrations, but there are a few others that get our teacher hearts fluttering just as much.

Here they are in no particular order. You can decide for yourselves the order of these days on a scale from "Indoor Recess" to "The 9th Ring of Teacher Hell"

1.  First Day of School

Yes, we all look forward to this day.  We spend hours and hours prepping and decorating and planning and can't wait to meet our new batch of lovies.  But if we really admit it, we spend the whole night before sleepless with worry and nervous anticipation.
We want to make sure everyone feels safe and welcome and that everyone gets on the right bus at the end of the day.  We'll go over the day's plan and worry that the welcome activity will flop. We dread the chaos of organizing supplies.
What if they don't like me?  What if I have ALL the behavior challenges?  What if I fart in front of them?  (ok - maybe everybody doesn't worry about that.  I might be alone in that one.)

2.  Halloween

The kids are usually wound up tighter than an eight day clock on Halloween, itching to get home and snag some treats (which they will try to smuggle in to school tomorrow.)  And if your school has a dress up day or a Halloween Parade - well, bless your hearts.  
Although, sometimes the schools that try to ignore Halloween and carry on as usual like the holiday doesn't even exist, are worse off than the school with the full on Halloween Parade Day.  It's like trying to contain a swarm of bees in a bag full of holes.
You might just want to put "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on repeat and call it a day.

3.  The Day After Halloween

The sad and honest truth about this day is that most of your class ate way too much crap last night, stayed up way too late, and probably had snickers and lollipops for breakfast.  This will likely be a very long day.
If you're lucky, they'll bring the good stuff to school and you can stock your treat drawer for planning meetings with confiscated chocolate.

4.  The Day Before a Break

It doesn't matter what the break - Winter break, Spring break, or the day before a three day weekend. They will be fired up and ready to step all over your very last nerve.  All. Day. Long.
This is not the day to forget your coffee or wear high heels or park towards the back of the parking lot.  You're heading onto the Pre-Break Battlefield and you must be prepared.  Extra coffee, plenty of chocolate, jeans and sneakers, over plan, and if all else fails - give everybody a lollipop. It keeps them quiet for like 5 straight minutes.

5.  The Day After a Break

Again - it doesn't matter what the break - Winter break, Spring break, or the day after 4 straight snow days. They will have forgotten everything you have ever taught them.
This is not the day to forget your coffee or wear high heels or expect to get a dang thing done.  You're heading onto the Post-Break Battlefield and you must be prepared.  Extra coffee, plenty of chocolate, jeans and sneakers, reteach procedures, and if all else fails - give everybody a lollipop. It keeps them quiet for like 5 straight minutes.

6. Valentine's Day

This one.  This one might be the Cream of the Chaotic Crop.  Parties, treats, crafts, parents, candy, excitement, valentine exchanges.  If the general atmosphere of frenzied party anticipation doesn't get to you, the passing out of valentines will likely take you down. Drown out the chaos with all that chocolate that your little lovies deposited on your desk this morning.  :)
And for a little fun on the side, keep a running tally of how many times you hear "When does the party start?" then drink that many glasses of wine when you get home.  You'll probably need it anyway.
Important Note:  If Valentine's Day falls on a Friday - you should substitute the wine with tequila.
Another Important Note: If Valentine's Day falls on a Friday AND there's a full moon, just go ahead and call for that sub.

7.  100th Day of School

Here's another one we look forward to - it is tons of fun, ridiculously messy, and requires hours of planning.
We sew 100 buttons on sweaters and make 100th day banners and prep 100th day crafts and organize 100 piece peanut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free snacks! You will be busier than a one armed paper hanger, your room will be a disaster at the end of the day, and the kids will remember it forever.
But if you do it right, you will experience an unparalleled level of exhaustion at the end of this one. You kind of want this one on a Friday.  You will seriously need the recovery time.
*See wine instructions for Valentine's Day.*

8.  Teacher Work Week Full Day PD

Oh, for the love of scented markers and laminating film, I NEED TO WORK IN MY ROOM!
I don't have enough chairs for all my students, mice got into my cabinet over the summer, my bulletin boards are uncovered, and I need to LABEL STUFF!
But I am sitting here listening to a presenter reading word for word from the 127 slide PPT. Aaarrgghh!
At this point, it is completely acceptable to hide in the bathroom and search Pinterest on your phone.

9.  Formal Observation Day

This day guarantees that all your lovies will show up and be in rare form.  Murphy's Law of Teaching also guarantees an increased risk of a vomiting student, bathroom accident, behavior meltdown, failed technology, some kid burping during the lesson, and the principal having to cancel and reschedule for the day before Spring Break.
Depending on how things go, Valentine's Day wine rules may apply.

10.  Last Day of School

We countdown to this one starting probably around Valentine's Day, New Year's Day if it's a rough year.
The anticipation is palpable. The kids will be practically electric.  The mess and chaos will be unprecedented.
As you will wave goodbye to your sweet little lovies, your heart will break into a million pieces, you will forget all the crazy and the chaos and agree to do it all over again next year.
After a nice, loooonnnng summer.


  1. #6 Valentine - LOVE it! You're right about the full moon sub needed and the Valentine Wine Rule!

  2. Hah! These are all so true... I just had one of these observation days. Sigh.

  3. Lol! I loved reading these Nikki!

  4. You NAILED it!! And after 26 years in kinder and 1st, I'm here to tell you, it never gets easier!

  5. Perfect! And I have one more that is like nails on a chalkboard for me...PICTURE DAY!!!!! AAUUGGHH!
    One Giggle At A Time

  6. Great list!
    I teach high school. I would add Homecoming Week, pre-Prom day, and the last 10 days for Seniors.

  7. Saint Patrick's Day and April Fool's Day.

    1. Those were the two I would have added also.

  8. Field trip day, God I hate field trip day. There's standardized testing day too

  9. This is the best list I've read in a very long time. Everyone who has taught more than 1 year and lived through it, absolutely "feels" each of these days like they're coming tomorrow! With your permission, I'll share this on my blog, I know it'll be a fan favorite!

  10. Oh, and I think we forgot the last two days before school gets out and grades are turned in with the students keeping you on your toes.