Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Slice of Life: August Days

I just recently saw a meme posted by a teacher friend on Facebook.  I can’t remember exactly how it was phrased, but it basically stated that, for teachers, the month of August is like one long Sunday night.  There was a picture of a woman slumped over the arm of a chair with her head buried in the crook of her elbow.  I'm sure there are teachers who can relate to this meme.  For me, there's a bittersweetness.  Like a Sunday night, there is something that is ending in August, but there is also the promise of something new.

In August, I begin to realize that the time is not endless like it felt to me way back at the end of June. The time that I have for activities that help me recharge so I can be refreshed at the start of a new school year will soon be coming to an end.  Soon it won’t be possible to fill up days with tennis matches, trips to the beach, and lunches with friends.  I also begin to realize that my time is running short for my to-do list.  Will I have time to check off what’s left on the list - the new project I didn’t yet start, the professional text that is still in the to-be-read pile?  But, in August, I also start to anticipate the new challenges, new learning, and new growth that will begin to take place throughout the upcoming school year.  There are students I look forward to meeting and new ideas I’m eager to implement.  Yes, I’ve recharged and enjoyed the summer days, but I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about teaching and engaging in activities to enhance my professional development.  I’m already thinking about the new strategies and new lessons that will hopefully impact my practice and help my students become proficient readers and writers.


I think about the summer coming to an end, but I also think about the beginning.  Since we’re still in the first week of August, it’s also a good time to reflect and plan on how to get the most out of the days ahead.  I hope to get in the rest of my tennis matches and to find time for the company of friends and family.  I also want to get through that to-be-read pile.  Choice Words is always worth a re-read and Teach Like a Pirate has been in the pile for way too long.  Of course, I would also like to sneak in a novel or two more.  I’ll also do some planning for how I can engage my students in more discussion about text by further refining instructional strategies I started to implement last year.  As part of the transition from August to the new school year, I'll be in my classroom, as well, to organize and set-up.  

As I continue to enjoy the August days ahead, there will be times to relax and unwind and times to prepare for what’s ahead. Summer will end, but I'll know I spent it well, and I'll look forward to all that lays ahead in September and beyond.   

8 comments:

  1. I like the idea that "for teachers, the month of August is like one long Sunday night". So true. I waffle between let me savor every minute of my unscheduled time, to let me back in my classroom--I gotta get started. That's pretty much how I feel on Sunday nights during the school year. Choice Words is in my stack of books also. :)

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    1. Choice Words is great and so powerful - definitely a book to return to again and again. You'll love it. His second, Opening Minds, is a good one, too.

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  2. August functions differently for me depending on the summer. This year I have been working on a consulting job all summer. I need more time. I have a new prep--AP Literature and Composition--next year and will be teaching a night class at the local university, and I'm not done w/ the other gig. I have taken four trips this summer, too. I'm feeling overwhelmed as endings and beginnings meld into one.

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    1. You're right. This is the first year I haven't worked or taken graduate courses so I've had lots of time for myself. Last year when I was tutoring and writing a dissertation it was a different story altogether!

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  3. This was a great post! I just read something this morning that reminded me of your Slice. Kate DiCamillo wrote on Facebook about August. She quoted the book Tuck Everlasting, which said August is the top of the Ferris wheel. I love that image!

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    1. That is a great comparison. Kate DiCamillo has such a way with words!

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  4. I can so relate to all the wrote about summers and August! So, take a deep breath. Read what you can. Check off the to-do list when you can. And enjoy your last few days of "freedom" before the excitement of a new year!

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