Groundhog Day

February 2, 2017


Long, long ago, when my first director took another job, it was a rough year. I was kind of the half-time director and we had an interim director while we searched for a replacement. During that interim year, Dee and I would say, “In two weeks, this will all smooth out and be fine.” After several rounds of two weeks, it was apparent that it was never going to be smooth and fine.

Our new director came, and we have been so grateful for her, and that interim year made me realize how CRAZY MUCH there is to do to keep a center running. I have absolutely no desire or skill to be an actual director, but I do what I can to make parts of that job less trouble.

There is just so much to do. Things that are not my responsibility – billing, data entry, scheduling all the visitors and observers that run through, keeping in touch with parents, making sure the food program, child, staff and facility paperwork is entered and checked. No thank you. I tend to make sure that the facility is running as smoothly as possible, and ‘pick up the bits’, which right now includes taking care of the kitchen at the end of the day. When I’m done in the classroom at 5 I put away the snack food and wash the snack dishes and toddler sippy cups. It’s only about 30-40 minutes, but that’s how I use the kitchen. (I hope that answers it, Mark.)

I think I’ve probably complained enough on here about work, but here’s an explanation:

Lately, I feel like we are living the movie ‘Groundhog Day’. You know the one where Bill Murray, a jerk weatherman, is forced to wake up every morning and it’s February 2nd? Every day he lives through the same scenarios over and over and over (for years), but eventually he starts to change his life little by little, until everything works out perfectly…. then it’s February 3rd and life continues, smooth and fine.

I feel like that. This year has been the same day over and over.
Still scrambling to do enough to still be called a ‘teacher’ and not have parents mad at me,
still trying to figure out how to shuffle staff because our Concordia workers all have different schedules,
still trying to improve the classrooms so staff feels comfortable and will stay,
we are still trying to get a cook who will stay, so we are still having our director cover for many different people and she doesn’t have time to get her own stuff done until the weekend – which isn’t fair or right.

The days are long, but they are longer for our director, so there’s no complaining here, only commiserating when there is time. It is just soul-wearing. Each day is full of slogging through day-to-day stuff like dishes, crying children, trying to have meaningful classes, feeding them, keeping the dirt on the hill…. and then there are people asking for more.


But. Little by little, things are getting better. The phones work. I know how to transfer a call when I don’t know where the recipient is in the building. We have enough silverware for each class and I have labeled the little containers and installed the drawer. The dish drain is installed. Acoustic panels are arriving Wednesday.

Little by little.


About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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4 Responses to “Groundhog Day”

  1. Brad Said on:

    Yay! I’m glad it’s getting better. I pray for you regularly.


  2. Deborah Said on:



  3. Mark Said on:

    Hang tough, sis. You’ve always been a hero in my book. Always will.


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