As a kid we always eagerly looked forward to Summer Break. There was no better time in the world. Days without having to sit still, be quiet, and study were the greatest attraction. There was also the fact that the warm weather offered options such as swimming, playing outdoors without shoes, and just generally soaking up the rays of summershine. There were no rigid schedules. There was no stressful school! I always loved summer and looked forward to it with ecstasy.
Of course, as I got older, I realized that other things came with summer. Extra farm chores like lawn care or hay harvest, hoes for weed chopping in crops and the garden, insects that bite and sting, and HOT temperatures which caused sweat were the biggest drawbacks.
Unlike lots of kids, Summer Break didn't really mean a break from rising early each morning. I lived on a dairy farm and we still had to get up early and go to the barn to care for the animals or milk the cows. Yet, even these tasks were done at a more liesurely pace and not in a rush to get done each morning so we could clean up and get to school on time. The afternoon chores seemed less rushed, too, because daylight lasted lots longer.
I was a terrible student. Oh, lots of learning came pretty easy for me and I didn't have to study so much. Then, when I needed to study so much, I didn't and as a result, I didn't get the grades my parents really liked. So, when I'd bring in that report card and my Daddy would look at it and ask me to look him in the eye and tell him this was the best I could do... well, of course, I couldn't do that. My parents weren't real sticklers for high grades, they thought we should have a well-rounded, A+ personality and make the best grades we could. So, I wasn't tortured to study... and I didn't. My attitude was to get through and enjoy life. I liked to read - I just wanted to pick what I read instead of having to read what was assigned. I liked to write - I just wanted to pick what I wrote about instead of having to write about what was assigned. After a while, school really sort of interfered with my education and I just tried to figure out how to get through and get out of school.
Then, I grew up...and wound up becoming a teacher.
The difference in being a teacher is that I now think about all those things I hated or didn't think fit for me and I try to mold my teaching to suit that sort of student. There is no cookie cutter classroom model. Each should be different just as each lesson should have flexibility for each student. I really love my job and look forward to going to school each day. Isn't that an odd turn of attitudes? (Oh, yes, I still get excited about the thought of a snow day but who doesn't? It is a gift of freedom that isn't really planned or deserved!)
Still, I LOVE Summer Break! Today is really my first day of Summer Break. (My break won't be like most kids' break, however. It won't even be like most teachers' breaks. In this Instructional Technology Coaching job I have taken on this year, I have also contracted to facillitate several professional development workshops. So, I don't have a couple of months of long, hazy, lazy days stretched out before me to just loll away time and enjoy. However, just for today, that is exactly what I am doing!