June is winding down, and its last days find me in between the crazy-busy world of the last days of school and the summer rhythm of leisurely days spent at will: reading, writing, thinking, doing when I want and what I want. It takes me a week to let go of the old school year; I still hear my students’ voices, I am still thinking about their needs, and I am still worrying about getting it all done. It is done…but it takes a while for that to sink in, for my teaching brain to let go of the class of 2016 Smithlings.
A week ago, today was my last full teaching day; at this very moment, we were learning about Lee’s surrender to Grant, and comparing that to the message in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. I can still picture my kids’ faces at their desks – I can still remember where each of them sat in our small classroom, and how the morning sun streamed in through the windows, promising a lovely summer-like day. Writing this, I realize that I am still hanging on to the school year, I am not ready to let it go.
And yet, I am also getting ready for the summer phase of my teaching life: the reading, writing, thinking and living that are hallmarks of how I spend my summers. A vision of the new school year begins with this summer phase, when new ideas take root and are shared with all the amazing teachers who share and learn with me through my online PLN. Today is about taking out a calendar and plotting out all the summer learning I have signed up for even as the school year was winding down: Teacher’s Write! #cyberPD! TheEducatorCollaborative! Literacy book clubs! Voxer chat groups! Summer writing retreats with friends at the farm!
I think I am ready, at last, to leave the old school year and get ready for the new one. I am ready for summer.