February Sucks!

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

I hate February. I’m a teacher. Every year, for the last 23 years, I get to February and it seems like The Never Ending Story. It seems like we aren’t going to survive this month.

The name itself sucks. Looking at the image above, it’s like one of the dumbest words in our language. FEB ROO ERY? FEB U ERY? Silent R in the middle of a word? Dumb.

I hate February. Part of it is the weather. Even if you love winter, it’s been happening since November. It’s time for a change. The gray, the cold, the snow, and the ice are no longer cute like during Pumpkin Spice Season. Everybody thinks they want flannels and fires in October; by February, we are over that shit.

I hate February. In a school schedule, the second semester started in January and while that may provide a false sense of excitement, by February teachers and students alike are locked into the doldrums of school. Student behaviors have been established. Teacher behaviors have been established.

It seems like forever until the end of the semester and the school can start feeling like a prison during February. Curriculum moves slow. One lesson grows to another lesson which turns into a Unit, and then another Unit, and then another with no end in sight.

Some teachers will argue that February doesn’t suck as much as April and May. They don’t like that there are no extra days off school and it is so close to the end of the year.

Those teachers are wrong. I say no way. April and May are awesome. It’s track and baseball season. Students are outside, in the sun, running around. I no longer need a big jacket to go to and from school. People are smiling, the birds are singing, the sun is shining.

February is the bottom of the pit. (Visual created by the author)

I hate February. I mentor young teachers and one of the visuals I use to teach them about the stress of first and second-year teaching is The Learning Pit. The Learning Pit visual has gained a lot of popularity from Carolyn Dweck and her research on Growth Mindset.

I love the learning pit and see a lot of relevance in life. I also believe that February is the bottom of the pit. Teachers are stressed this time of year. And all we can do is lock in the hubs and find a way to reach and stretch and climb out of the pit.

Teachers have to rely on some tricks and friends to dig out of this month and succeed. Common friendly greetings seem to be a lot more forced in the hallways. The Vice-Principals are jumping all over the school dealing with drugs, bullying, and other high school behaviors. And the month just seems to drone on and on and on.

I hate February. I don’t care that it is a short month! Can you imagine how shitty it would be if it was 31 days long? March is far superior; my birthday is in March. Spring Break is in March. St. Patrick’s Day is in March. The weather starts getting better, the days are getting longer, and the sun seems to shine a lot more.

Speaking of holidays, I hate February. Valentine’s Day. Seriously. Terrible design, terrible delivery, 1/10, would not recommend. Flowers. Candy. Wasted money. Guys are in a no-win situation — if you believe her and don’t do anything for Valentine’s Day, did you really do the right thing? Or was this a romantic test and you were still supposed to get something, even though you agreed not to? These types of questions can kill a mortal man. And don’t get me started on Valentine’s jewelry. Now, we have to do jewelry at Christmas, birthdays, and Valentine’s?!

Let’s juxtapose Valentine’s Day with St. Patrick’s Day. Wear some green. Pinch someone who doesn’t. See some friends. Drink some green beer and Irish whiskey. Eat bangers and mash. Look at the difference one simple month can make!

And Spring Break — one of the most glorious decisions by early school leaders ever. Just because we’ve been in school a long time, and we still have a ways to go, let’s just take a week off and chill. Take some you time this month. March is awesome!

I hate February. Lots of sicknesses, lots of indoors, lots of deaths. It seems like a lot of horrible things in life happen in February. Just today, I received an email from our school asking us to help get the Suicide Prevention Hotline phone number into our students’ phones. Fucking February sucks when we have to be sharing suicide prevention numbers with students.

I freaking hate February but each day moves me closer to March. The days get longer, the weather gets better, the holidays get better, the school year gets better, and our attitude gets better.

We just have to keep clawing against the wall and climbing out of February — even if it feels a lot like the well in Buffalo Bill’s house.

Thanks for reading and please check out my personal blog.

Written by: NathanWhite