Earlier this spring, I wrote about all the reasons why teachers should have blogs. I still believe all these principles, by the way.
But for all my big plans about how many blog posts I would be able to get done after the school year ended, I have found it incredibly difficult to write this summer.
What’s the deal? I have more time. I’m not doing as much in the summer (comparatively, anyway). My kids are old enough to be fairly self-sufficient. I have had several days with no demands on my time other than my laundry and my stack of library books.
To explore this question (and because I am in a room with no accessible laundry), I have created another meta-blog post about this problem of mine. Perhaps you can relate.
1. With no students and no classroom, I have no inspiration. I realize now that blogging serves as a method for documentation in my classroom. With no actual classroom practice going on, I have little to document. I thought that I would be able to write about some of the practices I never wrote about during the year. I mean, I have several photos and even several unfinished posts.
2. I feel the need for photographs and images for my posts, and I can’t access those in the summer. My classroom library is in boxes. Our custodial staff is cleaning our rooms and waxing our floors.
The school’s air conditioning is turned off, and people, I live in Texas.
3. I don’t have all my “stuff.” In addition to having no scholastic subject matter for photography, I also have no easy access to my student samples or books for my favorite quotes. I guess I could have brought some of this stuff home, but let’s get real. I wrapped up the end-of-the-school-year check out craziness and got on a plane the next day.
I was lucky to remember to take my chocolate home for the summer.
4. I’m catching up on my TBR pile. Even though I haven’t finished many blog posts, I have read 19 books. I expect to finish at least five more before school begins.
5. I’m distracted by home projects. Now, please understand. I enjoy a good foray into Pinterest for home decorating ideas, but I am NOT a home décor expert. However, I do possess, as a legacy from both grandmothers and my mother, a certain number of homekeeping and creative skills. This summer I have tended a vegetable garden, nearly finished a quilt, crocheted a baby blanket, and reorganized several closets. I can’t even tell you how many days I have spent sorting through my children’s clothing to make sure we are ready for the new school year. But that doesn’t make good material for a teaching blog. Except for now. See what I did there?
6. I’m traveling. To see family. To visit new places. To attend trainings. And with so many new ideas, places and people to think about, perhaps I’m a bit overstimulated. That happens to introverts, you know.
Make no mistake—I always seem to think about how where I am and what I’m doing can relate to my classroom. But sometimes I have to choose between experience and reflection; this summer experience is winning. Reflection will have to wait.
All of this means, I suppose, that I’m recharging, what Steven Covey calls “sharpening the saw.” I’m reading great books, seeing people I love, finishing long delayed projects, visiting beautiful places, enjoying great times with my family.
And you know what? I’m almost ready to go back.
You know how I know? I thought of five new ideas for blog posts today.
Do you blog about teaching in the summer? How do you think of ideas when you’re away from your classroom?
Love your comments. About the blogging… well, I only really, truly stuck to the subject of teaching maybe once on the blog this summer, and that was the evening before I left on a week long student wellness conference (which was great, by the way). Mostly, I blog about writing, but teaching is such a huge part of my identity that it is always filtering in! Isn’t the NWP wonderful, too? I’m looking forward to reading your blog. And traveling-well, it’s necessary! Everything that goes into your head and heart and mind goes into your classroom, and kids thrive on it! Enjoy whatever summer break you have left and revel in the newborn school year to come!
Thank you Lori! Yes, I agree. Everything we use to fill ourselves up in the summer will make us better teachers throughout the year. I hope you enjoy your year also!