The End of the Year, Beginning of Summer

This past Wednesday, I finally shed my main responsibilities at school and on Thursday, began the summer. As anyone who teaches knows, summer is not all beaches and mai tais.  I have a project I’m working on with the administration that will take me back to school every week and there’s the curriculum development and professional development.  I’m grateful for the lighter schedule and most of the work over the summer is my choice.  I don’t feel chained to a desk or tied to a specific time and place.

Last week was filled with celebrations of various kinds.  There was a potluck with colleagues, a final happy hour with my fellow cast members from the Sound of Music, and a graduation party for one of my students.  I was delighted to see so many of my students there. They greeted me with hugs; we laughed about boys, weird things that happened during the year, and talked about things they’d learned in class.  They have grown into such wonderful young women, truly.  I left feeling just so proud of them, of feeling privileged to have been able to work with them.  Their parents, too, were gracious and kind, and grateful for my support, which I always humbly feel like isn’t much.  But I do believe in my students, even when (especially when) they don’t believe in themselves.  Being a teenager is hard.  I do what I can to help them through, at least the academic part of it.  I’m looking forward to seeing some of them (the juniors) in the fall and I hope to see the seniors again as well whenever they return.  It was a lovely way to top of the year, to be reminded of the reason we do this teaching thing.

It inspires me, actually, to tackle the summer.  It makes me feel like taking a couple of hours each day to work on my classes is all worth it.  I think of them first whenever I’m putting something together.  I think, how can I help them understand this better, make this more engaging, prepare them better for what lies ahead.  And that drives me to do things better.  I have a fair amount on my plate for the summer, including two brand new classes, helping design and build a new MakerSpace, a lot of PD, and various administrative tasks.  I’m planning to keep myself honest, to use this space to document some of my work in addition to the usual meanderings.  I’m going to try to write every day this summer during the week, no weekends!  Roughly, I plan to spend an hour each on curriculum development, PD, and administrative work.  My first task, class wise is to tweak CS I, which I hope to complete before a trip on Friday.  We’ll see how that goes.  I am planning to take breaks.  On the trip, there’ll be no work and I have two conferences where I plan to focus on the tasks at hand.  And weekends off and breaks whenever I feel like it, plus working on the deck.  It’s a plan, anyway.