When I hear Alice Cooper’s, “School’s Out For Summer,” it marks the official start of Summer for me.
I am very lucky to be able to teach in a small school district surrounded by larger districts in Los Angeles, California. We are on a traditional school year-school that begins the first week of September through mid-June.
All day, every day, five days a week I spend time with these eight year old cherubs. We get to know each other quite well. Creating connections with students is important to their growth and development.
The time of year after Spring Break can be quite challenging. The students have been given their first taste of sunny days, beach weather, and 2 weeks off of school. They know summer is just around the corner. Keeping them focused isn’t always an option.
I like to switch things up now and then, so I asked my class to write five things they think any teacher they know plans on doing over summer vacation.
I found out, for being eight years old, they really pay attention to detail and know me surprisingly well. By an overwhelming majority, they picked the top three ways I spend my summer vacation-reading, pool time, and traveling. It must be the mantra of many teachers.
The class also had some interesting ways they thought I would spend my summer vacation. A few thought I would get a massage, get a manicure, and play video games. I smiled when I read that one student said I would probably go on a ‘play date.’
My passport gets anxious and likes to be used. I hope to take a cruise that I won last summer while playing Win-A-Cruise Bingo in the show room of a cruise ship. I can still hear the Bingo caller calling, “G-52.” My daughter heard me scream BINGO! clear out in the gift shop.
Read by the Pool
The students were right, I will read. I use the summer months to catch up on all of the newest books for kids. I like to know what they are reading so I can have an intelligent conversation with them about many books. I must confess, I do this as I spend a lot of time by the pool. There is nothing more relaxing than reading a book, swimming, turning on my ipod, and taking a power nap.
The Best Thing
The most exciting thing about this summer is, I will be the proud parent of a college graduate. She, we, have worked long and hard to get her to this point. It has not been easy financially or emotionally.
In my classroom, I am given directions and manuals for every topic know to man. As a mom, I was never given a manual on how to be the parent, much less, a parent of a college graduate. This will be interesting.
Ultimately, I will not spend time planning for my next school year, but I will help my daughter plan the next phase of her career. You see, she will begin her own journey of becoming an educator herself. She will complete her student teaching this Fall.
So this summer, I will spend time by the pool and will spend time reading and will take time to catch my breath. But mostly, I will take a moment to savor the pride and admiration I have for her and her accomplishments.
I tell her all the time, I want to be her when I grow up.