Labor Day? For teachers' kids, 'just another New Year's Eve'

Labor Day? For teachers' kids, 'just another New Year's Eve'

Happy Labor Day! It’s a strange time for me — well, it’s a strange year, but Labor Day is a strange day any year. I know it was set up to honor workers and to celebrate the contributions of “organized” labor, i.e., unions.

But growing up as I did, with my dad teaching every year and my mom substituting when we were younger, then going back to school when we were in high school and starting to teach child development, Labor Day was different at our house. It was more like New Year’s Eve than Dec. 31 was.

Oh, we’d have fun on Dec. 31, complete with staying up until midnight when we could or staying up to hear Big Ben’s chimes on the radio at 6 p.m. if we couldn’t manage midnight.

But Labor Day was the day before everything started again.  There might be a picnic, but there were serious things to plan out. Dad was going back to work the next day, and it was easy to pick up the idea that I was, too.

And just like Jan. 1 is meant to be, the day after Labor Day was full of meeting new people, sometimes in new buildings as well as new rooms, and trying to catch up to old friends.

I guess it’s no wonder that if it weren’t for my diary, Dec. 31 would feel completely artificial.

Happy new year!

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook. 



Filed under: Expressions


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  • If I may reminisce, being a teacher too, I always had mixed feelings about Labor Day. I was eager to get back in the groove, but had what i might call the butterflies nonetheless. But I recall what Laurence Olivier once said that anxiety before a performance---which teaching to a great extent is---is a good thing and provides the energy necessary for success. Thanks for the post.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Yes, you're very welcome to reminisce here... it's prime time for it to me. Butterflies are a good metaphor, and the energy is a good memory. We never spent a lot of time celebrating Labor Day at our house -- it was a day to save up that energy and get ready.

  • The thing I can't figure out is while it may be New Years Eve in the city, somehow it came to the suburbs on August 11. Maybe too many Pulaski Days.

    On the other hand, the teachers in Chicago are telling the media, again, that they only intend to put in 2 weeks.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, I was reminiscing about when we started school in the suburb where I grew up. I can't vouch for when the city started, even last century. But thanks for your attention.

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