It’s nearly summer, as evidenced by the empty hallways that I walked yesterday while my yearbook staff and I diligently worked on incomplete spreads. One of the most harmful misconceptions about teachers is that our jobs are somehow made more plush by our summers “off.” It’s true that summers give me the opportunity to spend much needed quality time with my kids, read and write for fun, take the vacations that some of my students take during the school year, and catch up on lost sleep, but I’m still spending countless hours working after the students leave the building. The difference is the shift to far fewer set hours, allowing me to decide when and how long I want to work on teaching related tasks on a given day. I often need others to help me completely step away from my professional vocation so I can focus on my other, more important vocations as wife and mother, but I’m getting better.
And while I still have graduation and half of a yearbook to finish, with a family camping trip planned for Memorial Day weekend and an opportunity for a reset before starting work without those set hours, I’m thinking about what I want to get accomplished during the two months that I’m not standing up in front of a group of teenagers.
I’m really great at setting idealistic goals and then being seriously disappointed when I get to the end of a break and I don’t achieve those goals. And it’s usually not for lack of trying. My husband likes to call them my “Sarahntees,” well-intentioned “promises” of things that I really want to see take place, but life gets in the way or the goal takes significantly longer than I intended which means I have to either put other, smaller tasks to the side or scrap the bigger idea for something less complicated.
I know the danger of setting goals for a summer break that already includes a quick weekend getaway with the hubby, two professional development workshops, a two-week vacation, and a writing workshop (entirely non-teaching related and all for me), but I want to be able to track my progress by the end of the summer. We’ll see how overly ambitious I was by the time August rolls around.
Goals for Summer 2019
- Finish stripping the wallpaper in our hallway and paint the walls.
- Finish both kiddos’ photo books for the last year.
- Complete Certified Educator Level 1 for Google for Education.
- Complete and post two blog posts a week. I realize that our summer vacation and some of my summer professional development may complicate that, but my goal is to both limit the posts to two a week and make sure that I complete two a week. Since I have a couple teaching posts started, I may count those submissions in the final summer tally.
- Read/listen to ten books.
- Fully complete the rough draft of the memoir I started last summer.
I think that’s “it” and this may be the shortest blog post that I’ve ever written. If you’re interested in following my progress on any of these items, feel free to follow me on my blog and encourage others to do so as well.
And to all of the parents, college students, and especially the fellow teachers out there, have a refreshing summer full of much needed family time, productive professional development, and renewing personal care. You’ve earned it.