Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mixed Emotions, Yes. But I'm a Teacher at Heart.

This is it, the final weekend before I have to go back to work. Every year I have mixed emotions about ending summer break and beginning another new school year. I love what I do, but I also love what I DON'T do.

I love summer because...

* I have the freedom of being able to choose what I want to do each and every day; do I
want to work outside in the yard, surf the net for cool stuff, be a couch potato and watch HGTV all day, shop 'til I drop, or do something domestic like bake bread like a Sally Homemaker today?

* My life isn't ruled by the clock...especially the ever-dreaded alarm clock.

* I have option of fixing a sandwich at home or meeting the love of my life for lunch in town.

* Work-related stress is non-existent during the long summer days.

The relaxation that comes with summer becomes a welcome addiction that is hard to give up.

On the other hand, I love what I do during the school year. After all, I am a teacher at heart. Teaching is my God-given gift. It's what I do. And it's what I do well. So why do I love going back?

I love going back to school because...

* The excitement of my students at the beginning of the year is contagious.

* The beginning of a school year gives me (and my students) a chance to make a clean start.

* It is satisfying and highly rewarding to see the "light bulbs" go on when my students suddenly grasp a concept they'd been struggling with just minutes earlier.

* I just plain love kids (middle schoolers at that! I know, I'm weird.)

* It is fun to teach what I know, and even more fun to learn what THEY know!

* I make a difference.

I could go on and on with why I love what I do, but time is short, and I must finish the things on my "To Do List" that were put off because summer fun was calling. In three days I'll be back at my school desk, dreaming up ways to make learning fun and relevant for my students. I'll be back at my desk writing curriculum, creating lesson plans, and drawing up battle plans for a successful year as an educator. But most importantly, I'll be preparing to interact with students eager to learn.

So, Yes! I have mixed emotions about going back, but I'm ready. After all, I'm a teacher at heart. Teaching is what I do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You Know it's August When...

You know it's August when...

* your family vacation is over and you have a pile of dirty laundry calling out your name
* back-to-school ads inundate the television screens
* you go to Wal-Mart and see back-to-school posters everywhere you look
* tax-free weekend hits your state
* you start having school nightmares in your sleep
* everyone you know keeps asking if you're "ready to go back yet"
* you get the dreaded back-to-school letter from your principal
* the grass stops growing because it is too hot and dry
* stores take away their summer clothes and hang sweaters in their place
* people start talking about going to the Iowa State Fair
* cars start showing up in multiples of three in the parking lot at school
* you feel the need to go work without pay in your classroom
* the school janitors wax the floor so you can't get into your room to work
* school registration notices appear in the mailbox
* you start waking up at 6:30 in the morning and you didn't even set an alarm
* the beautiful flowers in your gardens begin to fade and die
* you get a call asking if you'd like to go to the teacher supply store with your best friend from work
* the school secretary cries out on her Facebook page that her summer is over
* your husband gives you a thumbs-up sign when he sees a back-to-school ad on TV
* your husband starts saying cruel things like "only two more weeks, honey!"
* you frantically start tackling away at the To-Do List you made but never touched
* you start to cry for no apparent reason at all

I guess it's time I start thinking about readjusting my sleep habits, getting myself motivated to finish writing the curriculum I've been avoiding all summer, putting away my novels and start looking at text books instead, stop living a life of lazy luxury and start thinking about the real world. Like it or is a mere two weeks away.