Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer bliss for a teacher!

There are times when I think that I should change the name of my blog to something more teacher-y since half (or more) of what I mention here deals with teaching or school or the stress/anxiety/happiness/personal satisfaction that emanates from or permeates the job. It is, however, summer, which means THREE MONTHS of vacation!! Pure, unadulterated fun, excitement, zero stress. At the moment, I happen to be sitting around the house eating bon-bons, I wake up whenever I want, usually around 10 am, don't shower for days on end, and my schedule revolves around which talk show is on at what time.
Reality check moment.
I'm actually not sure if that "schedule" would even appeal to me, but my gut instinct says an emphatic "NO!" since I have yet to employ my summer vacation in such a fashion. I would try very hard not to judge a person who did spend his/her summer vacation in such a way, although the deck isn't stacked in my favor, try as hard as I may.

While there are variations to my summers, usually, my summer "vacation" involves two words: Professional development.
I've never before stopped to ponder the idea that other people, in other professions, apply to attend conferences while on "vacation". What sort of masochists would they be?! Apparently I do possess this masochistic characteristic because for the past however many summers, I have spent at least a week and often more time dedicating my body, brain and energy to 'professional development'. Usually I schedule this sort of experience a few weeks into the summer so that I can keep my restlessness at bay and channel it into some sort of program.
This year, I opted for a totally different experience and signed myself up for a week-long extravaganza at the beginning of the summer. As the year ended and my dread to attend this program deepened, I swore on a daily basis at myself and said program. Especially when a thick packet of "required reading" arrived in the mail for me. Hello, I did not see 'required reading' in the information when I signed up for this conference/seminar!!
So, in a very disgruntled state, I headed east to Colorado (that is another story), hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
Fortunately, the hopes were confirmed. I am not about to be all "teacher-y" here, but it is, in my mind, the rare experience that a conference/seminar leaves me feeling THIS jazzed and excited about the upcoming year. Especially when I'm still tired and emotional about the end of the past year. Wow!
In the meantime, I have summer school that starts tomorrow, and then we (Michael and I) need to seriously think about/plan/pack for a trip to Europe. Now THAT is summer bliss!


Anonymous said...

I actually really enjoy doing things that help with my professional development...I only wish there as more time to do it. I really envy teachers with their summers off to be able to not only take a nice extended vacation somewhere but also some fun classes.

A trip to Europe...I will live vicariously through your summer bliss!

Kim said...

I second Ameena -- I will live vicariously through your summer bliss!

I'm actually very committed to "professional development" too. Granted, I love a good day vegetating, but I rarely just vegetate in the purest sense. I read or watch movies, both of which make me a better creative writer (which is, ultimately, my goal in life). I would definitely use time off to attend writing workshops and things. Like you said, that type of stuff can be very stimulating and inspiring.