Saturday, May 21, 2016

Summer Vacation...What I Should Do Versus What I Want to Do

I'm reflecting on another school year that passed by even more quickly than the previous one. I'm finding myself crawling to the finish line trying to make sense of all the meaningful, challenging work the children did, and thinking about all the ways I want to adjust for next year. Preparing for summer, I'm making lists, just like I do during the year, but you might find this list a little surprising:

What I want to do this summer:
  1. Work on refining and writing new units for my Spanish program.
  2.  Revise my system for giving feedback.
  3. Write a couple of really great IPAs.
  4. Attend amazing PD--so many to choose from--which one?!
What I should(and will) do this summer:
  1. Read non-school related books(really).
  2. Shuffle around and pick at my garden(in pajamas with endless coffee).
  3. Have travel adventures with my daughter.
  4. Go camping.
I admit it, I am in love with my work--I'm obsessed with it. It's so hard for me to step away for a length of time as it always feels like there's so much to do, so much to learn, so much, so much, so much.   But, no engine can run forever without fuel. We need a break. I need a break.  In introducing so much innovation --by tossing the textbook, writing curriculum, building a proficiency based program, I've teetered on burnout and I need to step back and reconnect with my non-school self.

I am going to focus on the should list(I'm sure my young daughter will appreciate it, too), so I can revisit that Want List feeling refreshed, ready, and focused. For me. And for the children.


  1. Thank you for your reflections. I am the sole foreign language teacher in my district which gives me the awesome opportunity to teach what I want when and how but also the responsibility to figure it out as I try to move to a more proficiency-based curriculum. I appreciate reading what other teachers are learning and integrating in their classrooms. I really like your comment about taking time to refresh this summer; after revising three levels of Spanish this year to at least put grammar and vocabulary into better themes, I appreciate the reminder to take some time for me.

  2. Time to breathe and refresh! Have a great summer-sounds like you've really worked hard this year and are ready for a well deserved break!