“Summertime and the Living Is Easy.” by George and Ira Gershwin is one of my favorite songs. Whenever I hear it, it brings up childhood memories of long weekends camping at the beach with my family. I love the beach to this day.
Summertime is not easy living for teachers. I spent many summers attending graduate school. After I earned my M.Ed., I spent three summers working a Disney Store. I also tutored for many summers. Summers were different, but they were not the easy living described in the song.
I didn’t take time to take care of myself, so I often returned to school just as stressed as I had left. For me the beginning of school and ending of school were the hardest times. Packing everything up at the end of the year to unpack it at the beginning of the next year, was overwhelming. The unpacking and setting up my room always took days away from an easy living summer.
The summer is a busy time for most teachers. Some go to graduate school, others work part time jobs, almost all attend required training for the next school year.
I loved teaching, graduate school and working at the Disney Store. I stayed busy all summer and sometimes started the new school year as stressed as I was when I left the previous year.
The answer for me was to find something new that I loved and take a little time to do what I loved.
Over the years these new activities that were worked for me included taking voice lessons and singing with community choirs, training to run a half marathon, reading purely for enjoyment and yes, spending some days walking on the beach. The list of activities that help teachers refuel and recharge is different for everyone.
What will you do this summer so that you will return to meet the challenges of the new school year with energy, joy and grace? I’d love to read your comments.