Dear Mr. Ricks,
What did you do with your summers? Did you spend them working in a garden, or reading books, or traveling? As a student, I don’t think I ever thought of what you did with your summers. In fact, I think that maybe you just stayed in your classroom and called for take out meals. Or maybe you simply disappeared for three months and returned in September. I only ever saw you in class and, for all I knew, that’s the only place in which you existed!
As of this writing, there are 9 1/2 days of school left for the students at my school. I have to be there for another two days to finish up paperwork and close out my room. I’m moving classrooms, so some of that time will be spent hauling my mounds of stuff from one room to another. Not a chore I’m looking forward to. I’m thinking of bribing one or two students to come back and help me.
My summers are usually filled with lots of house cleaning (OK, maybe not lots), a week at the beach, visiting friends and relatives, and being a lazy bum the rest of the time. In the past I have also tutored students who needed extra practice to pass a standardized test or to be more prepared for an upcoming class. Sometimes I have taken on a summer job to supplement my income. Usually my summers fly right by.
As I approach my half century anniversary on this earth I find it so much more important to make my summer about rejuvenation and re-energizing. This year, a friend and I will be going on a week long religious retreat to a beautiful lake where we will meditate and commune with nature. I’ll have my usual week at the beach, which is spent with my toes either in the surf and sand, or in the hot tub and spa bathtub.
I can’t seem to let go of my instinct to help children learn, though. I have a young relative with special needs and I plan on doing what I can to prepare him for kindergarten. He has an inquisitive mind and is curious by nature. I want to nurture that attitude so that he finds fun in learning.
Well, Mr. Ricks, I hope other teachers use these summer months wisely. I hope their plans include some fun and some rejuvenation. Watch over all of the teachers out there this summer and, if you happen to have the time, put in a good word for me with the Big Guy.