Teaching isn't just something you turn on when you walk into the classroom. It's like serving a meal. The food doesn't appear instantly. You have to plan and shop and cook and clean up and decide what to do with the left-overs.
The other day, I caught the head of my teachers union on the news being grilled by the ever-obnoxious news show host.
"You get such long vacations!"
He tried to explain how much work teaching is and how physically and emotionally draining. He should have told the woman that here in Israel we teachers are the most underpaid academics. We're well-educated, must constantly take courses to keep up with all the hyper-active curriculum changes, and even working what's officially a "full-time job" must supplement it with more, since the salary isn't enough to survive on.
I've done a few things to prepare, and there's just under a week to go before I meet my students for our first day of classes. So I wrote her a very sorry-sounding excuse:
"I had a busy day and did nothing to prepare for work. But I did cook for Shabbat and take an unexpected guest to the Tel for a tour and went to a wedding later at the Tel and went to the pool and went shopping and..." (Not quite in that order)
Will my students dare make such excuses when not completing their homework?