Dreams of Summer by Meredith Johnson and #PLN friends
Can you hear the soft summer breeze just outside your window? The songs of the birds flitting from branch to branch welcoming the change in seasons and often, a shift in your life. I asked several educators to share their dreams of summer so I could add them to this blog post. It is a wonderful time of year when different thoughts run rampant in an educator’s imagination and call out to them to alter the daily habits they have grown so accustomed to following. I hope you enjoy reading the thoughts they have shared. Perhaps, once the cool winds of autumn blow, they will again share and write their memories of a summer past?
By Tosh McGaughy @ToshMcGaughy
Two weeks ago, our family became whole again as my husband fetched our college freshman daughter home from Norman for the summer. Her metal straws, her vegan cheese, and her ethically sourced toiletries are back with a vengeance, and we are all delighted to have her home, even for just a couple months. My husband and I actually are fighting for opportunities to drive her to her job in Dallas (she won’t drive or own a car because of her carbon footprint), just so we can have the drive time to talk with her and catch up on everything we have missed over the last nine months. As proud as we are of her launch into adulthood, we have all missed her terribly. Thankfully, my summer hours at work give me Fridays off so we will have long weekends to visit museums, explore new vegan restaurants, and go to plays and concerts. Catching up on Grey’s Anatomy episodes and a July trip to NYC is also part of our Charlotte-is-home-for-the-summer plans. Having our family under one roof seems like a gift; a gift that I took for granted for eighteen years but that I won’t this summer. Hooray for family time and daughters who return home!
A Couple of Reasons Why I Love Summer
By Rachelle Dene Poth @Rdene915
When people find out that I am a teacher, one of the first things they say is “it must be nice to have your summers off.” Yes, it is, but in all honesty, I would be totally fine if my school switched to year-round schooling. I enjoy being in the classroom and look forward to each day and what it brings, even the challenges that might pop up. More than anything, I love working with students and learning from them. My reason for loving the summer is not because I don’t have to go to work; it’s because it is an opportunity to have more time with family and friends and to take part in professional development and reflection.
Time for Reconnecting
Life gets so busy sometimes that before you know it, weeks and months pass by and you might find that you haven’t had a lot of time to spend with family and friends. Of course, technology helps us to stay connected, whether we use text messaging, different apps, FaceTime or even a hangout to see our family and friends, it’s not the same as time together in person. More days at home means more time for family and friends.
I’m also excited for conference season to be here and to have time to spend with some of my closest friends learning together and relaxing. I will be presenting at Summer Spark and ISTE 2019, fantastic conferences that bring so many educators from around the world together. I’m looking forward to being a part of the EdWriteNow Volume 3 group of authors in July and spending time with my good friend Jennifer Casa Todd and a writing retreat later this summer. Knowing that I will spend time with my core groups, the 53s and the #4OCFPLN, plus meet other members of my PLN for the first time, in real life, is one of my favorite things about the summer.
Time for Recharging
Summer is a time for a lot of things, one of the most important is self-care and recharging. So, doing some normal summer things like sleeping in late, catching up with friends and family, going on vacations, ditching our devices and not worrying about setting the alarm are important for our self-care. Summer is also a valuable time for teachers to do even more on a personal and professional basis like think about their practice and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there for personal and professional development and growth.
Time for Learning
A more flexible schedule for the summer means more time for attending conferences or webinars, joining in book studies or Voxer groups, or connecting within different learning communities. It might be easier to get involved in a Twitter chat, whatever it is during the school year that just doesn’t seem to fit as part of your routine, make it part of your summer routine.
There are lots of opportunities out there and my advice is to decide what is best for you. Do you want to be in one Voxer group or join one book study? Then make that your focus. Or maybe you want to start a blog or create a new website. It’s up to you because it is your time to decide how to spend your summer break. I’m thrilled to be part of the summer BookcampPD book study with my book In Other Words. Looking forward to discussing the six books included in the study and of course, the two weeks in July (July 15-28), when we get to talk about my book and share ideas and takeaways from it.
Each summer gets better and better, and it’s not because I traveled and spent hours on beaches, or to the contrary, kept idle. It is because I have used the time to learn more, to read, to connect, to reflect and to prepare for the next year. My summer goal is to work so I can start stronger and be better than I was the year before. Whatever you do this summer, make time to recharge, connect and learn. And don’t set the alarm 🙂
Kellie Bahri @kbahri5
Awesome! Summer for me is bittersweet. Saying goodbye to the school year is very difficult for me. I’m a work workaholic, so shutting my brain off takes serious commitment, but it’s my gift to myself. My dreams for summer always take me to Michigan’s lakes. Whether I’m paddle boarding in the lily pads, kayaking Lake Superior, or just dangling my feet off a dock into the water, I am home. Being in nature refuels my soul. I am a much better teacher for it.
Hedreich Nichols @Hedreich
As a tech/design teacher in an IB middle school, I spend most of my day connected to some device. Google Classroom, PowerSchool, music, emails, my personal kid’s grades, etc. I also read, shop, tweet and binge watch all online, so I dream of being unplugged with the ocean reflected in my aviators. I want to sit under an azure sky with a latte, or something icy with an umbrella in it, letting a gentle breeze caress me, while salsa music- band, not playlist– soothes my soul.
Lainie Levin @mrslevin11
This summer, I dream of doing more. More “less.”
Let me explain.
Throughout the school year, I pack all of the “more” I can into my days. Between planning, grading, kid logistics, managing a household and trying to maintain some semblance of self-care, I find myself crammed in with little room to breathe.
I used to feel obligated to be productive with my summers so that when people asked me what my plans were, I would have an answer that sounded important and busy: graduate work, professional development, curriculum planning.
Don’t get me wrong, I still continue much of that over the summer. I don’t think it’s ever possible to completely shut off my teacher’s brain. But I’m also realizing that I don’t have to feel guilty for having times where I am unproductive. Simply put, I need to come up for air. And summer is the time to do it.
And if that means I do less? So be it. I’m owning it.
This summer, I dream of doing less of my “more,” and more of my “less.”
More hiking and walking.
More working out.
More catching up with friends.
And when I come back to school in the fall, there will once again be more of me to go around.
BreAnn Fennell @PlayYay
I dream of some time on the beach with my boys.
Helping children learn to journal during writing camp.
Holding hands and taking walks.
Boosting creativity by speaking at a conference.
Meeting with my looping students to build relationships even during the summer months.
Finding a balance between parenting and teaching.
Bridget Gengler @BridgetGengler
When I think of summer I think of rejuvenation, reflection, and relaxation. I love my job as an educator, but during the school year there is so much going on. My mind is in a million different places and the stress and being overwhelmed takes over. I always must remember to slow down and find ways to de-stress. When summer comes, it is the time to work on myself and it allows me to find myself again. It is a time for family and friends, a time for fun and adventure and a time for quietness and peace.
This summer I plan on starting my mornings outside on my new patio with a cup of coffee and a good book. There are so many books that I want to read- some professional and some for pleasure. I plan to get lost in many books and enjoy the solitude that it brings to my soul.
I look forward to spending time with my family and creating new memories. With my son, I want to spend time enjoying our baseball. Our love for Yankees baseball is one of our bonds and I can’t wait to connect in that way. My daughter is off to college at ASU this August, so I hope to spend time with her, not only getting ready for this new chapter in her life but also just enjoying each other before she begins this new journey. With my husband, I plan to take short trips to some of our favorite places on the Central Coast of California and enjoy the beauty of nature and our state.
My #oneword2019 is gratitude and my mission this year is to write letters to all who have impacted my life and inspired me. Over the past couple of months, the busyness of the school year has taken over, so I have had to put those letters on hold. Each morning I hope to spend part of my quiet time reflecting and expressing my gratitude to those special people.
Summer is a time to take care of myself and my relationships. It is a time to enjoy who and what is around me. I look forward to the relaxation, rejuvenation, and reflection that this summer will bring.