At the end of a workday, my granddad use to say, “Another day, another dollar.” Back then, folks worked for a dollar a day. Those of you who teach are completing another year of work…educating young minds, preparing them for the next step in their education or their lives. When students finish a year of school, they like to celebrate. No more teachers, no more books…you get the idea. Summer break brings with it the promise of more time for fun and relaxation.
How about you? Are you ready to celebrate the successful close of another school year? Hopefully you too will be able to enjoy a little leisure and recreation in the next few weeks.
Summer break is a good time to contemplate your past year’s work. Evaluate the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them. Take a hard look at your mistakes and think of how you will avoid them in the future. It is an ideal time to take pride in the work you did and the progress your students made. Some work on buildings that in time will be torn down. Some build roads or bridges that will have to be replaced. You are building young lives…giving your students the skills to go on to a successful life.
Summer break is an appropriate time to contemplate your future. Do you love your work? Do you want to stay in the field of education for the rest of your working years? If not, why not consider some alternatives? Without the pressure of daily classes, you have the time to do some serious thinking along this line. Given the realities of life, a happy, committed teacher will almost certainly do a better job than one who is unhappy in his or her position.
Certainly summer is a time for a change of scenery. New sights, sounds, and experiences can refresh and renew a tired and jaded mind. You have the time to do what you would like to do…without worrying about lesson preparation and class time. Go for it, even if it is just something local or here in the state. You might even enjoy sleeping in a few extra hours. No alarm clock needed.
Looking ahead, the odds are good that you will be a better teacher next year because of the added experience you have acquired. With another year of maturity you will be better able to deal with disappointments or provocations. Hopefully the recession will have eased enough that everyone will be experiencing less financial pressure…especially charter schools. With a rested mind and body and a renewed commitment to your noble work, you will be well prepared when the first day of school arrives. Hopefully we will see you then.
John Waddey is a public speaker. He is an editor and the author of 50 books. He has traveled and spoken in 23 foreign nations. He is the father of four children.