Monday, August 15, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

Sand Beach at Sunset - taken August, 2009
It is Monday evening as I write this. I am sitting at a house on the shores of Lake Erie, windows open, listening to the waves crash against the rocks and shoreline. My family has gotten together for a week at a lake (the last few years at Lake Erie near Port Clinton, which is about halfway between my parents and I) for vacation together. It is rather late for us this year - usually we do this in July but we really wanted to stay at this particular house and the only week it was open was this one, right before school starts back up for me.

I told myself before coming on vacation that I was not going to do any school work. I have not brought any of my lesson planning stuff, although I do have my computer with me and my thumb drive with school stuff on it. I did bring some education reading with me, but I haven't really touched it. I probably will work on reading it some over the next couple of days, but I am pretty sure I am not going to get much of it read. Of the three trips I have taken this summer, this is certainly going to be the most relaxing of the three. We have very few plans, and that is by design. It is the calm (for me) before the storm.

When I get back on Friday, reality hits pretty quick. I have to finish getting my classroom ready on Friday, for on Saturday our new school is dedicated and we have a community open house. I will have 6 days until my first teacher workday when I get home and 11 days until students enter my classroom for the first day of school. I have a pretty good idea what is going to happen day one, but as for the next days, I have no planning whatsoever completed. In addition to the usual craziness that is back to school, I have to work on getting my own children ready to head back. I was asked to help out with our teacher-in-service about our new SMARTBoards next week and I need to get my portion pulled together (although they did give me activities and an outline to follow). I have a couple of appointments before I head back as well as two very full Saturdays before students hit my classroom. And I haven't even started about our county fair and Labor Day weekend. The three weeks after I return from vacation will be nuts.

As relaxed as I am at the moment, I cannot help but think of all that needs done before school starts. I am really trying to not dwell on it, but it keeps creeping back in my mind. It's the elephant in the room. Whether I like it or not, come Friday, I have to deal with the reality of students in my classroom in 11 days. Although I have some things somewhat settled in my mind as far as the new school year, there is still much work to be done. At least I don't feel like it all has to be done as soon as I get back. Much of the work will be ongoing through the school year. I am hopeful that the work will be easier than it was last year (see here and here for last year's frustrations). It certainly will be different.

Next up for me - putting together my goal list for the 2011-2012 school year. Blogging my #summerlist helped keep me on track. I didn't get through everything, but I feel like I did get a lot accomplished that I wanted to this summer. Meanwhile, I think I'll enjoy what's left of the calm before the storm.

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