End of Summer Blues

Why does vacation always seem so short? Vacation feels like a tease of the life I could have, but I can’t because I don’t make enough money. But seriously if I had the means, would I really be happy with a vacation life. Living on a constant high and never coming down. Isn’t the reason why vacation is so great because it is a break from regular everyday life. So if your life was a vacation, would it even be fun any more? Anyway, my vacation is over and the new school year has started.

I am not going to sugar coat things and act like I’m excited to be back at work because I am not. I’m not that thrilled because I have to set an alarm and have to be a little more rigid in my schedule. No more sleeping in. No more binge-watching a series on Netflix. No more doing things when I feel like it – no. I now have to do things because I have to. Please do not get me wrong. I am not complaining about my job. I am just having a hard time letting go of the life I lived for the past few months. I understand that teachers have it made when it comes to time off. Just because that’s true doesn’t mean that my truth doesn’t exist. I can still be sad that summer vacation is over. As a matter of fact, it is in a sense worse because unless you are a teacher that creates lesson plans through the summer it’s like going from not working for a few months to being back in business. Again I know that I am privileged and I am grateful for it.

At the beginning of the summer, I made a list of about 30 things that I wanted to accomplish. Aren’t we all so ambitious in the summer. We are like children dreaming about the time when we grow up and can eat whatever we want,  do whatever we want, and not have to listen to grownups. Then, we grow up and we realize we have to actually be responsible. That is not an appealing word responsible. It feels so rigid. I actually tried it this summer. I was so responsible this summer that out of the 30 things I planned to do I did about 12. I realize that 12/30 is barely halfway, but I am happy for two reasons.  One because it’s not until the end of the summer that I realize that I was trying to do too much and two I tend to procrastinate, so getting stuff done was a big win for me. I find making checklist very pleasing. Most importantly the things I did get done are the task that helped prepare me for this school year. My summer has been eventful.

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One thing that was strange this summer was that I only visited my family for one week. The last time I saw them was the previous summer and I stayed for a few weeks. When do you get to the point in your life when you only see your family once a year or on holidays? I am going through that transition in my life right now. I don’t really feel any way about it – it’s just an observation that helps me to realize I am an adult. Even though I have been an adult for 12 years now. I still have moments where it dawns on me that I’m really grown-up out here. Another thought I occasionally have is would the young me be inspired by the older me? Honestly, I think little me would be in awe of older me.

So here I am. My adult self. Appreciating the adult decisions that I have made. To get me to this very adult space and I’m just sitting here thinking. I am entering my fifth year of teaching and it has been a long journey. I have changed grades in the same school, then I’ve changed schools, but stayed in the same grade. Each time I felt as stressed as my first year. And here I am now stepping into a new year with the same grade and the same school. Everything is so familiar. I didn’t feel the beginning of the year jitters with thoughts of what am I going to do? will I be able to connect my students? I have no idea what I’m doing? I walked into this new school year with ease.

I think the main reason why I didn’t feel jittery is that I did some self-reflection and I made a few tweaks to my classroom management. Also, my thoughts have turned away from things like what would I do with a student who won’t listen? to thinking about how can I make a better connection with my students? I am no longer hoping that I don’t have a helicopter parent, I am thinking about how to build a better relationship with parents. Each school year brings a new set of challenges while at the same time there are still some basics that don’t change. Like laying the foundation for students early on so the rest of the year can be a breeze is the same every year.

While I was not ready for summer to be over, I was ready to start the school year on a high note. I want to invoke critical thinking skills in students so they can have the confidence to tackle problems on their own. I am affecting the lives of little people and I want to do that in a positive way. Being a teacher is about creating a safe environment where students can take a risk and not feel like they are actually taking a risk. All of this is the magic that happens in classrooms every day around the world.

On a broader scale, I appreciate this moment that I am in right now. Whether it’s relaxing on an Island or getting ready for the school year this moment is good. I am content where I am in life. I am grateful for the opportunities I have. I am grateful for my job and most grateful that I got some tasks done this summer.

If you are a teacher how do you feel at the beginning of the school year? If your not a teacher what is this moment of life like for you? Comment below I would like to hear from you.

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