A Teacher’s Day In The Life (8): Summer Is a Time for Improvement

Summer is almost upon us!  The school year is winding down, the sun is out more often, and the students (and teachers) are ready for a break.

For me, summer is an opportunity.  I spend some of my time resting, but I also want to focus on things that fill my bucket to restore myself for the next year.  I can spend time with family and save money from not having to drive to work every day.

Post 8Summer also gets me in a bit of trouble.  I tend to plan all of these things that I can’t get done any other time during the year.  I bring home piles of books to revamp my lessons.  I bring home piles of books to read for pleasure.  I make lists of pins on Pinterest to check out, websites to use, and tasks I want to work into my routine.  I will do yoga, run, write and come up with a stellar discipline plan that will command respect and instill accountability!  I will make and stick to a budget!  I will do it ALL, and I will come back to school fresh and fit and ready to rock my classroom!

Oh brother.

Of course, things never work out this way.  Usually, I accomplish about half of what I intend to.  All of the pressure I put on myself doesn’t help.  It leaves me feeling inadequate and defeated.  You’d think I would’ve learned by now not to do this, to just focus on one or two things I want to do for school and one or two things I want to do for me.

That hasn’t happened yet.

The year’s not even over, and, already, I’m planning all the awesome things I’m going to create, do, achieve.  I have an honors class I need to work on making more “honors”, so, naturally, I want to re-do everything to make the curriculum as rigorous as possible.  But I also want that for ALL my students.  And I want to jazz up the prose unit for my Creative Writing class because I find it a bit boring.  I have a daughter I want to spend time with, a house to turn into a home, a yard to take care of and stuff I want to sew.

It’s overwhelming.

Most of all, I want to create and implement a routine and schedule for us.  I want to space out our household chores so things get cleaned consistently.  I want to have a budget meeting with my husband at least once a month, record our expenses to identify patterns and come up with a plan that will work for us.  I want to carve out a way of life that will enable us to be at our best more often so we don’t feel like we’re treading water all the time.

These are all noble and worthy pursuits.  I think I need to narrow it down, though.  People always say, “Yeah, but you get summers off.”  Not with my to-do list!  I think we all want to make the most of our summers so we can return to school invigorated and renewed and ready for the year to come.  Perhaps I would be more likely to achieve that if I pick one unit to focus on instead of the whole curriculum and one personal goal, like the family budget.  It’s so hard to be realistic about this big open space waiting, open-armed, before us.  I just want to fill it with all the things!  That won’t serve me well, though.  One thing at a time.