As we are now nearing the end of July (can it be true? already?!), I think I am finally settling into summer mode. In fact, I think that today was my most productive-yet-relaxing day since school let out in June! And I didn't take a nap today. (That's saying something, trust me.) The key to today? I did some school-related things, and I did some "me things." It was a wonderful balance.
I spent some time at Starbucks this morning finishing up reading through course evaluations from this past school year. Doing school work at Starbucks is always more enjoyable than working at school or at home, and reading through the course evaluations is actually enjoyable...and somewhat entertaining. It's interesting to read what the students really thought, and the variety of responses is both interesting and reassuring. Reading the evaluations reminds me just how much I love teaching. Not that there are times when I question my life-calling, but it's nice to have a mid-summer reminder.
As I left Starbucks this morning, I decided that it's okay that some of my happiest moments are teaching moments, and it's okay if I can't completely part with "teacher work" in the summer. It makes me happy, and it keeps me feeling productive, whether it's reading English Journal or other articles, reading (or re-reading) a work I'll be teaching, reviewing course evaluations, etc. In fact, it's probably healthy that I don't drop the" teacher work" all summer. I don't want my students to stop reading during the summer, so why should I stop learning, preparing, and improving over the summer? No, this is by no means revolutionary, I realize that. But today I had a moment in which I recognized and fully embraced this truth. And then, for the whole afternoon and evening, I did "me" things--I organized photo albums, played my violin, and read a book that I'm not planning on teaching. Today was balanced.