The countdown is on! 7 ½ days! That’s it! And no…I’m not referring to the upcoming Royal Wedding (although I’m counting down to that too, and my DVR is already set). The paper chain in my classroom says it all – I only have 7 ½ more days of school! And while I have had a great year with some darling kindergarteners (and the BEST coworkers in the business), I’m ready to boot the school schedule for eight weeks.
Now, while most people set goals for the new calendar year, I set goals for the summer and the new school year. As I wrap up things in my classroom, I take stock of what worked and what didn’t, what I want to try in August and what I never want to do again (there’s always something). I also think about what worked and what didn’t work in my family’s summer routine last year and edit as necessary. And while there’s a case to be made for not having much of a routine in the summer, I know my family. We need to keep some small schedule in place in order to make the re-entry into the new school year a less painful one. Because let’s be honest…it will be here before we know it.
So here are my goals for this summer, both as a teacher and a mom. Feel free to hold me accountable – I need all the help I can get!
• Revise my lesson plan template – each year I monkey with this during work week in early August, and quickly regret it. I hope to have this figured out by July.
• Purge my classroom – I complain about the lack of storage, but realize I’m storing stuff that I haven’t used in years…like since I stopped teaching second grade…11 years ago. Time. To. Toss.
• Take a professional development course to ready myself for the new buzzwords in education – project-based learning.
• Add a few more products to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
• Watch the Today Show and drink coffee. Every. Day. This is my summer ritual, since I’m always out the door by 7am during the school year. My family respects this, and I love them for it.
• Have a reading goal for myself and my kids – if you remember, I have quite the tower of books on my nightstand, and it’s time to tackle it. I’m planning to set aside time for my kids to read every day, and it’s much easier to enforce this if I’m reading with them. I also want them to do a little school work each weekday, so maybe I can work on my own school stuff at the same time. The “summer slide” is real, people!
• Set up a chore chart – I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve never had my kids do set chores each week. They are expected to help when asked, but there aren’t required jobs. This ends now. You’ll hear the protests all the way from Olathe. Some goals aren’t made to be easy… for anyone involved.
• Take the kids to the pool more often.
• Visit the farmers’ market. It is literally across the street from our neighborhood, and we’ve never been.
My final goal in both categories is to not set too many goals. Inevitably, I get too ambitious. August comes, and I end up crying to my husband that we didn’t get to do x, y, and z…like the year I wanted to teach both kids to ride their bikes, go camping, visit zoos in neighboring states, have a garage sale and read all seven Harry Potter books to my son. It happens.
So maybe this summer, we’ll just take it one day at a time. After I’ve watched the Today Show, of course.