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!