This summer has been different compared to other years. Certainly different than last year when everything was shut down. I think the hectic pace of this past school year has many educators taking a break from school related work. Instead, they are focusing on other activities. Being outside, reading, cooking, gardening and other tasks have taken the place of planning for the new school year. I think this is a good thing. It is unfortunate but not shocking that many teachers left the profession last year. Teacher burnout is real and educators need time to decompress after the 20-21 year.
This summer I have taken a step back from working on creating /editing my Desmos decks and planning school tasks. I have not touched google slides and my school backpack remains closed – at least for now. I am taking a stats class this summer and learning something brand new. Feeling the struggle of learning something new is refreshing in a way and a good reminder of what students go through when new content is introduced. Even with the stats class on my plate, I am able to prioritize taking time for other activities. I have been able to read for enjoyment and work in the yard more this summer than I have in the past. My book list includes American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (highly recommend this book!), A Promised Land by Barack Obama, and am taking recipes out of The All-purpose Baker’s Companion. I have not learned how to make sourdough like many of my colleagues, but my skills are improving.
The last few weeks have been refreshing. I have limited the amount of time on social media and have focused more on less tech-related activities. I still check-in, but am enjoying the outdoors when the weather cooperates. The last three weeks have me thinking about how teachers should have a work/life balance for the 21-22 school year. I don’t think happened last year. I feel like educators are more productive emotionally and physically when they are able to manage and balance their responsibilities.
Although it will be much different, there may be certain aspects of the 21-22 school year that will continue from last year. I am assuming that this upcoming school year will minimally resemble last year. We are still awaiting guidance from the state on social distancing requirements and masks. Will there be remote classes? Will social distancing still be required? What about sharing materials or the new variant? So many questions and not enough answers. It is still not going to be a typical school year, but that is okay. It is all about balance.
Let us grab a few self-care takeaways from the summer and use them when school starts back up in the fall.