Whenever summer rolls around every teacher get asked the same question: ” So, what do you do all summer”? I used to get embarrassed by the question and felt like I needed to justify my answer. The need to justify my time off from teaching developed because while some people were genuinely interested in my life and interests, others often seemed resentful or even angry that I had summers off from my career. The need to justify my time off was especially intense as I was both single and childless and did not have kids to cart all around town or family responsibilities that I could now devote all my attention towards for a few short weeks. I was slightly relieved when I was completing my master’s degree several years ago since all interested parties knew that working on a degree was a full-time commitment. I would get nods of approval when discussing my summer course work and all was right with the world.
For almost 20 years I did not have vacations at all. I worked several part-time jobs as well as giving private music lessons so I worked every major holiday ( with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas day) and never took time off from work. Since becoming a public school teacher 12 years ago I have discovered first hand how some extended time off each year changes a person. As a result of the time afforded me away from the classroom I am able to truly relax, rejuvenate myself, and learn new things. ( Teachers often spend at least part of their summer taking classes or in professional development.) I am a better person and educator because of my time away from the classroom experiencing life. Because I have experienced both ends of the spectrum in regards to time off from work, I never take vacation time for granted and count it as a true blessing.
Now days hold my head high as I enjoy my time away from the classroom. Sometimes a look or tone of voice may catch me off guard for a second but with age and experience has come the wisdom that life is my classroom and what I do with my time away from school will enrich my students when it is time to start teaching again.
So, what exactly do I plan to do this summer? Here is my list complete with the fun, the mundane, and the relaxing. 🙂
The Mundane ( Which I still find complete joy in doing each day.)
- Work out. I will keep my regular workout schedule of five days a week but I am excited to start working with a personal trainer over the summer to better reach some of my fitness goals.
- Garden. I do enjoy working in the yard and this summer I plan to clear a corner of my backyard and design it a restful area to enjoy coffee or tea. I plan to design it to pay tribute to my mom who loved roses, peonies, and coffee.
- Housework: Yep, I use the summer to get things clean and in order. It is the time of year I can focus on making my house a home. Those of you who follow my minimalist posts will get updates on my endeavors.
- Research for school. I am taking a break from summer courses this year. After four years of graduate school and two summers of development for arts integration I am ready for a small break. However, I will be researching music classroom development and assessment on my own this summer as I get ready to start my new position in the fall.
- California! I can’t wait to see my uncle and hopefully some good friends in a few weeks. I love the central coast and highway 101. It is beautiful.
- Weird Colorado! I ordered the book Weird Colorado yesterday. As soon as it arrives I will be planning my ” weird” summer adventures. I can’t wait to share with all of you.
- Hot Springs! I am planning to visit at least on major hot spring site in Colorado this summer. Glenwood Springs was my first original choice but after some research there may be some other contenders for my first visit.
- Hike! I love to hike. I also just ordered a book of hiking trails within an hour drive of Denver. I have a goal of hiking six new trails this summer. It is going to be great. 🙂
- Horseback ride. One 1/2 day trip on horseback in the mountains.
- Blog! Need I say more? I am looking forward to developing my blogging skills over the summer and interacting more within the blogging community.
- Read. Some of you may recall that I am up for some Charles Dickens this summer starting with A Tale of Two Cities. I am going to the library today to see if there is a copy available. If not; Amazon, I will be in touch!
- Netflix. A summer of Downtown Abbey and British murder mysteries await.
- Friends. Coffee, lunch, and walks around town are all on the summer list.
- Crafts. Time to get caught up on the card making and try my hand at candle making again.
So, there you have it. Now you know what at least one teacher plans to do this summer. If I am blessed with future summer vacations, I hope to one day be able to take working vacations where I can see different parts of the world while gaining educational experience.That would be my ultimate dream. Planning and saving for this dream are in the works.
As always I would love to hear from you! Whether you are a teacher or not, what are your summer plans? Do you find ways to balance work with other areas of your life? Does your employer give you ample time off work?
Until next time,