This week marks the second week of true summer vacation that I have had since middle school. Fitting that I have also just finished my first year teaching middle school. With this summer of firsts, I find myself not quite sure what to do with myself. Coming off of a busy year of teaching, what I understand every year of teaching is like, I find myself searching for projects, not content with just sitting on the couch all day. Also fitting is the fact that today, although the second week of summer vacation, is the first day that I am not sick. Yes, I succumbed to a nasty bug the day that summer vacation started, another first that I hear is quite common in the world of teaching.
So, in all of my recent time spent sitting on the couch, watching Netflix and daytime tv, catching up on my lengthy reading list, and cuddling with my kitty, I have begun to make another lengthy list – a list of projects.
- Take my final Praxis exam
- Read ALL of my school’s summer reading books
- Go out to lunch with friends
- Straighten out the garden
- Create a class website
- Reflect on my first year
And that brings me here. While I found myself reflecting on my practice as a teacher each day, I did not write many reflections down. I plan, throughout the summer, to reflect on my first year of teaching – what went well, what didn’t go well, and what needs tweaking. My hope is that, by the time school begins, I will have a much better grasp on the how to approach my classroom and will have cured, or at least curbed, my summer boredom.
Just a bit of background before we get started. My first year certainly had its ups and downs, but I was supported the whole time by family, friends, and a wonderful team. I found myself teaching this year at a charter school where I will be teaching again next year. This past year I taught 6th and 8th grade English. Next year, if all stays the course, I will be teaching only 6th grade English. I will be leaving behind most of my team to help establish a new chapter in our school. While this was a big decision for me, I am excited for the challenge and prospect that this adventure will bring. I have loved my 6th graders, the curriculum, their curiosity, and their youthfulness. Yes, the 8th graders still hold a dear place in my heart, but elementary is where I find myself called.