Here it is April (and the showers will hopefully bring May flowers for it is coming down in bucket loads) and my summer planning is in full force. Let me tell you a few things I have planned this summer. Though there are as many different things to do as there are teachers, my plans are similar to what many teachers do.
1) Travel. I know of some teachers who travel extensively during the summer. I have a family of five, so airfare is a bit difficult to swing. So, as the step kids go with their father to the ocean, my wife, son, and I will go to a different beach-my baby’s first time. Later in the summer, we’re driving from Maryland to Boston, Lexington, Concord, and Salem. I take students from the school each fall to Boston, so before I grow bored of going there, I thought I’d better take my family.
2) Family time. As the travel part above shows, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family. We get to play games, watch TV together, travel, go out to dinner, take walks, work in the garden, and so on. Because of early bedtimes for both children and me during the school year, we don’t always have much time with each other. Summer is for catching up.
3) Gardening and Yard Work: I’m starting a bed this summer for watermelons and pumpkins. I have no idea how to do it, but I’ll give it a try. I’ve already moved bushes and ornamental grasses around, so I’ll be working to keep everything alive. I’m not always successful. I’m planting black eyed-Susan seeds and marigold seeds (the deer don’t eat either) soon, so I’ll be tending to those, too. I enjoy mowing the lawn, though. It’s alone time in an odd sort of way, in the sun, getting exercise, with a nice outcome. Such a middleclass thing to do.
4) Reading. Good gosh I do so much reading during the school year, but not so much for myself (though this school year I’ve managed to eke out time to get through a few books-10 minutes here, 20 minutes there). I look forward to sitting on my deck early in the morning and reading even before the kids are awake. Last year, a big woodpecker took up hammering at a nearby tree. No one saw him but me in the whole neighborhood-they were all sleeping while I watched and read.
5) Writing. I’ve had a book deal and then opted out of it in hopes of finding a better one, so this summer I hope to find the deal I want and get the book published (or at least in the cycle to be published). I’ll also be writing for online material.
Those are the things I’m looking forward to, and my list are similar to other teachers. What I have to do, whether I look forward to it or not, is:
1) Work. Though I’m off from the public high school, I’ll still be teaching three classes for a University over the summer. Though in many places, teacher pay has gotten better over the past decade, it’s still out paced by the private sector. Many teachers need to work in the summer. That’ll be me.
2) PhD. I have my comprehensive exam part of a Doctor in Philosophy degree to work on this summer. It’s been such a long process that it’s hard to stay excited about it. But, I’ll be very excited when I earn the PhD, so onward I go.
Those are my summer plans. So, as the rain continues, I’m thinking more about those black eyed-Susans and marigold seeds-I wish I’d gotten them in before this rain started.