If you’re just tuning in, there’s an acronym I coined for the period of time every fall when I cry about 10 times more regularly than normal.
It’s called DEVOLSON.
During DEVOLSON, the happy, shiny newness of Back-to-School has faded. Boundaries are being tested. The work is getting tougher. The workday is getting longer while the hours of sunlight are getting shorter. And there is no break in sight.
It’s the Dark, Evil Vortex of Late September, October, and November.
And it is upon us.
Martial artists know that the best way to deal with an opposing force is to move your body in a way that embraces the force instead of resists it. In this post, I’m taking the same approach to DEVOLSON. When we try to pretend like DEVOLSON isn’t happening or try to work against it, we merely increase the tension until we reach a point where we become frustrated and feel hopeless. Recognizing DEVOLSON and laughing about it with our teaching buddies? Suddenly this long, break-less period of doom is tackle-able.
I now command you to host a DEVOLSON party for you and your coworkers. Here is everything you’ll need.
Paper invitations make anything more fun, but let’s be real: it’s DEVOLSON and you’re tired and have no money. Luckily, the good folks over at Paperless Post* have your back. Super cute, super easy online invitations. And many of them are free! Here's one I whipped up real quick on their website:
If DEVOLSON already has you too hopeless to create online invitations, don’t worry. You can just save one of the images below and slap it on an email.
2. A banner Anyone who walks into your DEVOLSON party needs to know that feelings are okay. Banners with customizable alphabet letters are everywhere these days. I think I want mine to read, “Everything Is Terrible,” Simple, true, to-the-point. Other options:
-“The DEVOL Made Me Do It”
-“It’ll All Be Over Soon. Except Not.”
-“Welcome to Your 3-Month Nightmare”
3. Comfort foods
There is a time in life for celery sticks and puffed rice discs, but now is not that time. Pasta, an ice cream sundae bar, mashed potato stations, this is where your mind needs to be when planning food for a DEVOLSON party. Here are some recipes I found for treats that are easy and emotionally soothing:
(For more, see my Pinterest board for DEVOLSON food.)
3. Raffle for an item related to a DEVOLSON-approved activity
- Massage/spa gift certificate
- Netflix subscription
- Candle, miniature Zen garden, bath products, or other relaxation-related item
- One of these awesome head pillows for sleeping at your desk during your conference period
If you’re off campus, you will need to make arrangements for lots and lots of wine. If you’re on campus, stick to grape juice and pretend in your head that it has real-wine powers, or try non-alcoholic versions of these not-really-signature-but-with-fun-names DEVOLSON cocktails:
· Miser-ita (margarita)
· Angry-a (sangria)
· Oh-no-sa (mimosa)
Was that last one too much of a stretch? Don’t care. #devolson
Come up with a list of as many DEVOLSON teacher behaviors as you can. Use those statements to create Bingo cards. I almost typed out the rules for Bingo, but then I remembered we’re all teachers! Here are some sample statements to get you started:
1. Locked your keys in your car.
2. Locked your keys in your classroom
3. Tried to open your classroom door with your car keys, or vice versa.
4. Pressed your snooze alarm more than five times in one morning.
5. Have given up on any and all health regimens you were rocking this summer.
6. Are currently wearing some type of unintentionally mismatched clothing (shoes, socks, etc.)
7. Called your student the name of your child/cat/spouse, or vice versa.
8. Had a school-related stress dream.
Teacher Meme Game
Have teachers try to guess the teacher memes on this matching game. First one with all correct wins! (This game might be better if you’ve got a younger crowd, though seasoned vets could totally hold their own!)
Click here to download the PDF from Dropbox! (You might also be able to save the image below and print it out.)
Click here to download the key from Dropbox!
I sure hope you’re all ready to throw your first DEVOLSON party, because it’s time for me to go to bed. (It’s 8:32).
Share your party (and just general DEVOLSON shenanigans) with me using the hashtag #devolson!
You can’t spell DEVOLSON without LOVE,
*They are not paying me to write this. I have yet to encounter any company that wants me as a product spokesperson.