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Thursday, 10 July 2014


   I feel incredibly blessed to be a teacher.  I enjoy the job to the very last day, and when summer comes it takes some time to adjust.  The intensity of the school year is partly related to teaching, but it also occurs because my own children attend two different schools.  When suddenly the end of year meetings are finished and certain activities have ended for the summer, there is a kind of silence and even melancholy that afflicts me for a brief period.
   Then I take stock of what to do with my time away from the classroom.  This summer, the following are some of my priorities:

  • Maximizing family time on the weekends.  This summer my son is working to save money for future educational pursuits, so a full family vacation for a week or two is not going to happen.  So the Sunday tradition of playing "Settlers of Catan" after church and family picnics to reconnect with relatives are treasured.  A long weekend for camping is planned too.
  • Reading some good books.  My daughters helped me compile "Mom's Summer Reading List" by writing books 3-7 from the Harry Potter series at the top.  I was convinced by a Grade 8 student's speech that I ought to read the remaining books.  Also on the list are some non-fiction titles, including one by Temple Grandin.  
  • Training.  I intend to take at least one workshop related to administration to help prepare me for some of my new responsibilities in September.  
  • Reach out.  I want to get to know more neighbours, which was one motivation for starting a Little Library.  This week I have been the storyteller at a church Vacation Bible School.  Although one three year old upstaged the story today by giving a pithy summary at the beginning of the lesson, the curriculum gave a fresh take on Bible stories for the 80-some children (plus helpers) who rotated through "Zip Line Bible Time" each morning.
  • "Once a week" tasks.  Tackling a cupboard or closet that is out of control.  One postcard in the mail for a former Kindergarten student.  Coaching my daughters, who each chose a different night of the week to be in charge of the supper menu this summer.  
  • Gardening.  Having a small plot in a nearby community garden means that before the harvest there will be weeds to hoe.  Processing the abundance of green beans, tomatoes and zucchini I'm expecting will take some time but will be well worth it.
    Freerange Stock photo
  • Being flexible.  Since I'm not packing each day full of things to do, there is the opportunity to seize opportunities that come along.  The opportunity to help at my brother-in-law's farm.  A chance to take in an exchange student for a few weeks in August.  Doing some baking to give away.

I'd love to hear about your summer priorities.

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