Yup, that's me, riding in the back of my friend's boat on Damariscotta river. I'm sucking up as much summer weather and fun as I can before going back to the schoolhouse to prepare for another exciting year of molding young minds. In Maine we get about three weeks of spectacular weather. Those of us who teach are fortunate to have the time to enjoy this weather.
I put a bunch of pressure on myself to go go go and do do do. My agenda on one Monday read: go to Botanical Gardens (paint while there), find sea glass in Boothbay, make strawberry jam, weed garden, write blog, work on sweater....... and so on and so forth. I inherited this list making habit from my mom. The difference between she and I is she actually gets all the stuff checked off her list, while I only make it about halfway through mine.
Last night, after deciding AGAINST fireworks I put my head on my pillow and thought long and hard about why I was so tired. I started the morning making white chocolate covered strawberries dipped in blue sugar (thank you Pinterest). The kids and I went to our town's 4th of July celebration for three hours, went to my family's cookout until 7:30 (missing another cookout we were invited to), and then came home to play with sparklers. I was tuckered out from the family fun. It dawned on me, sometimes in the course of trying to do EVERYTHING, I end up just "getting through" instead of enjoying what I'm doing.
I like to be busy. This year I'm going for National Board Certification, I'm also going to be a facilitator for Take One candidates. I'll be working on the science curriculum and acting as a peer coach. I've been asked to run another mentor program and my team at school is looking for a team leader. The move back to kindergarten is welcome, but I have to set up my room quite differently than I did for fourth grade. There's an excellent dine and discuss opportunity to work with teachers in the area of math. And that's just SCHOOL. There is soccer to coach, knitting for Christmas, a play I'd like to audition for.....
ENOUGH. How can I do it all? Simply put, I can't. I need to pick and choose what the best uses of my time are.
Now I'm starting to think school districts could do the same. Last year our schools were mandated to participate in the Take One program (though a deferral option was offered after much gnashing of teeth). We were also asked to rework our curriculum and add it to an online program called Atlas. RTI is now in full swing and we need to keep the records that keep changing for kids on Tiers Two and Three. By the way, if you aren't a teacher I apologize for the foreign language I'm currently using. There was a school wide challenge to improve math scores. Staff Development days required people to be in two places at once. We were running in too many directions feeling that nothing was being done well.
As summer goes by I'm spending time thinking about how I'm going to slow things down a bit. I will focus my time more wisely. If the to do list gets whittled down perhaps I'll have a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.