April really is the cruelest month.
Nature-wise, everything is blooming and beautiful and the weather is mild and delightful, so my complaint is not with the unfulfilled promise of the season seen in more northerly, harsher climates.
No, April is just the cruelest month for teachers and probably for students, too, who have to deal with standardized testing that throws everyone off for at least a few weeks. Then, after the extended hiatus, we're exhorted to jump right back into curriculum and "finish strong."
The students have checked out! They think they're done for the year when we have six weeks left. I have enough experience with this to know that this happens every year, and that this first post-testing week is crucial in re-establishing procedures and expectations for behavior and productivity. If I let anything slide now, by the end of the year my classroom will be a madhouse.
We're all loading up the students with work and assessments, and they're resisting, for now. With any luck, if we keep the pressure on, we'll be back to normal by next week, or the week after... soon May will be here, and the last day of school will be on us before we know it.