He gave me a high five and said, “Well, you made it through your rookie year! What are you going to do now?”
At first, I interpreted his question as, “What are you going to do next year now that you are no longer a newbie?” I launched into a description of the ideas I had for my lunch groups the next year.
I talked about my plans to continue to eliminate drama among my now-seventh graders. Just as I began my speech about how I wanted to improve my teaching ability, the dean stopped me and said, “I meant, what are you doing this summer?”
Now, during the school year (especially during those frigid days in January,) I had so many expectations of what I would do over summer. But now that summer was actually upon us, my mind was blanking.
What was I going to do? My life, for the past nine months, was dictated by my school schedule. I would wake up every morning at 5:30 am to get to school by 7. I would talk to students, research ideas, and collaborate with my fellow counselors. I would usually leave around 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon, get home, have dinner, and then spend some time with my family. I would be in bed by 10 pm, and then wake up the next morning and repeat the whole process. At some point, I didn’t even need to think about what I was doing. I had fallen into such a routine that I didn’t need to worry too much about deviations.
What was I going to do when I no longer had to stick to that schedule?
Well, here are a few things that I’ve done (or plan to do) this summer:
- I visited the library and checked out a few books. I love the television show Castle, and there is actually a ghost writer who poses as the main character of the show, Richard Castle, and publishes novels. So far, the series is pretty good. If you are a fan of mystery stories, check it out! (Also, if you have any other book suggestions, please let me know …)
- I participated in the UPAF Ride for the Arts. I did the 25 mile bike ride over the Hoan Bridge in support of the arts. Going up the bridge is exhausting, but when you get to the top and have the chance to look out over Lake Michigan, the view is breathtaking. You meet great people, hear great music (at one of the rest stops, a string quartet was playing some show tunes), and support a cause that encourages creativity!
- I’ll write curriculum. This summer, I have the chance to work with many of the counselors in the district as we work to revise and restructure our curriculum. I’ll be working with some of the intermediate counselors on creating new lessons on different topics that we think are critical to our students’ developments. I’m really looking forward to it! The best part is that I will have the chance to create and structure curriculum that I will actually be delivering to my students. It doesn’t get better than that!
I was worried that I would begin my summer bored out of my mind, now that my routine is gone. But instead, it’s quite the opposite. I think the summer will be even more chaotic than the school year!