Yesterday was the last day of post-planning for me - I am now officially on summer vacation! At the end of every school year, I always experience such a range of emotions and feelings, primarily happiness and relief that it is all over. But as I reflect on these past two years, all I can really feel at the moment is, "Wow, I got through it. Yes, while the experience was very imperfect, I made it through." I cannot help but feel an incredible sense of accomplishment as I reflect on the sheer fact that I endured the storm. As I have stated before in this blog, one of the biggest things which I have learned about myself these past two years is just how resilient I am, since I have been stretched like I have never before.
So as we all begin to transition to summer vacation over the next month and experience time away from the classroom, my biggest piece of advice is this: Do something this summer which gives you joy and which has NOTHING to do with the classroom. Distance yourself from what defines you as a teacher. Normally I would say attend a conference, further your professional development, etc. But after these past two years of the pandemic, digital teaching, hybrid teaching, and transition back to face-to-face, more than ever I realize now that we as teachers need to heal and to remember who we are outside of the classroom. Use this summer to recharge and to heal.
My former college roommate once told me how he envied my professional career as a teacher in that my work calendar always has a definite beginning, middle, and end, while for most people, their career is a continuous series of projects with just two weeks off for vacation. I appreciate his comment more than ever now and recognize the wisdom in his statement.
As I am now beginning my summer vacation, I realize that for many of you, you still have a month left before the end of your school year and that the last thing you need to hear from me is that I am on break. Well, when I return back to work on July 25 for pre-planning, then you can tell me about how you still have a month left in your vacation!