Not Counting

Teachers, join me each Tuesday,  and share a slice of your life with other teachers.

Teachers, join me each Tuesday, and share a slice of your life with other teachers.

I do NOT count the days. You may wonder why, thinking, “Everybody counts the days: students, teachers, principals, custodians…”I don’t judge you for counting. I get counting. I’ve counted in the past. Really if counting is what works for you–go ahead. For me, though, counting is not the way to close the year.

There are many reasons why you won’t see a big number on the board, a countdown clock on my computer, or a paper chain of days left anywhere in my classroom.

Here are but a few:

  1. The number implies I am done and counting down. Well, we’re not done yet. We still have things to do, things to learn, and assessments to grade. We still have field day, awards night, yearbook day, and other memories to create.
  2. I need to focus on the now. Otherwise, I will drift away to a place where there is sand between my toes, the warm sun shining down, a cold drink in my hand, and the ocean waves crashing on the shore.
  3. Yesterday is gone–tomorrow is the future. Today is the now. I need to grab that. Carpe diem.
  4. Counting gives me one more task to keep up with, and I never remember to change the number, remove the link of the paper chain, or otherwise keep up.
  5. I never know what to count (weekends, 1/2 days, the present day). This is too much for me.
  6. Counting implies when the number gets to 0, I am done. Well, I’m never done. I’ve got curriculum planning, tech meetings, data stuff, and a WP teaching gig.
  7. My husband and children have less days in their countdown, and I’m too old to walk around grumbling, “That’s not fair!”
  8. Counting down is like telling my students, “I can’t wait to get rid of you.”
  9. Counting implies survive–I want to thrive.
  10. My students need me to be present.

Are you a counter?

If you count, why do you count? If you don’t count, why don’t you count?


4 thoughts on “Not Counting

  1. Many good reasons not to do a count down. Someone in the office asked me today, “How many days left?” and I just guessed. Definitely do not have time to check up on details like that.
    I like the quiet protest in this fine list of reasons.


  2. I’ve always resisted counting but I never really thought about why. All your reasons are the same ones I would say too but I think the one I feel the most in my gut is #8 and I don’t want to get rid of my students. I want to work as though I’m responsible for every one of their tomorrows. The minute I think about not being in a students tomorrow, it’s too easy to let myself off the hook because the work is sooooo challenging.


  3. I don’t count either. Truthfully, I don’t even know the exact date of the last day of school. I love what I do and don’t want the year to be over. Yesterday, someone posted something about counting the number of days left to change lives. If I’m going to count, I want to count that.


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