A slice of the turning point

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing! 

Summer Turning Point

Summer starts with an exhale 
I hug my students and say goodbye
pack up my classroom
find space in and above cabinets for last minute papers, books, markers, games, dice... 
I throw files into the nearest box
I finish grades
finally
I shred papers and 
sigh as
the accumulated stress and worry knot rises 
almost ready to leave but 
staying still
waiting 
stagnant
I want the knot to
peter out
dwindle
go away
but I wonder
when will I stop feeling behind? 
(Spoiler Alert: Never) 

Summer continues with tired
and people asking me all the time
"Are you enjoying your summer? It must be so nice!" 
"All of that time!"
"I'm sure it's great to have so much time with your kids."
Time.
Yes.
It is nice.
I have time
to read 
and I relax, swim, read, and play more than I do during the school year
I write
in the middle of the day
and I parent all day long
which is (sometimes) lovely  
I feel grateful for all of this
time with my children

Summer
I wonder when the switch will happen 
Now I read curriculum books from my to-read stack
in between fiction and swimming and playmobil 
These teaching books are great
but it feels like work
I want 
to find myself planning 
joyfully for August

Around July 4 I have my first back to school nightmare
I realize how much of my to do list is still left waiting
I force myself to get things done
I plan, I print, I update and organize

Then I make myself chill out

It is a quiet surprise
when the turning point happens

I find myself creating a google doc to organize my thoughts on Reader's Workshop 
I pick up, and reread, leaf through, sticky note, and mark up my favorite teaching books 
I surround myself with inspiration: Donalyn Miller, Penny Kittle, Stephanie Harvey and Franki Sibberson 
I lie in bed and plan wonderopolis, current events, poetry responses and library book chats
I jot teaching notes on my iPhone, and email colleagues random questions and thoughts
I drive home and my mind rearranges classroom bookshelves

Summer will end with an inhale
a blank slate
there are weeks to go 
and I will not rush it
days with my kids are sweet
sometimes they all get along and play 
the weather is perfect for swimming 
there's still some summer left
It took a while for last year's exhale
but now 
I'm looking forward 

But really. 
No rush! 

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3 thoughts on “A slice of the turning point

  1. How wonderfully you express the feelings every teacher feels. I have had to realize that it is okay if I don;t do as much as the person next to me or the one whose twitter feed or blog I read. I can be me. Happy relaxing to you!

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