Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Confession of a Connected Teacher

Confession Time

I have not left school behind this summer. Usually I can. Usually I don't think about school until mid-July or even the beginning of August.

Yesterday, I peeked at my class lists for next year. I looked at names, at combinations of kids.
I look forward to some and dread others.

I'm planning lessons in my head all the time (I do need to get them on the computer!)

I'm reading professional books and participating in Twitter chats like it's my day job (which it is, but not in the summer!)

Oh, I'm doing summer things

I've golfed
Gone to concerts
Watched the sun set
Spent time with friends
Visited my family
Spent time with 1/2 the grandkids
Read books

But I feel like I'm not really present, like it's a weekend and I go back to work on Monday.

Maybe all this connectedness isn't a good thing.

I need to find some balance.


  1. Oh I understand that feeling! On one hand, it's wonderful to have a job you're so invested in that you think about it all the time. On the other hand...you think about it all the time. It is important to be able to "disconnect" and really be present for everything else in life. Good luck easing into summer!

  2. I'm still having some summer meetings with teachers, Deb. It seems a good time to make some goals so we can leisurely work "at" them, but I know what you mean, it's difficult to turn it off. Time with my grand-girls helps-joy in the moment! I'm waiting for a lake post, BTW!

  3. Funny to read your post because I just got back from school myself...and school ended last week! I think it takes a week or so for summer to kick in for some teachers - its hard to go from 100 miles per hour (a regular school year) to 50 ( a relaxed but productively busy summer). But, teachers like you, Db, are teachers like you, because you are connected. You want to know who will inhabit your space (and your heart) next year, because you care. That's a good thing! Anyway, that what I was telling myself as I worked (all alone in my building, it seemed) today. It made me feel better...more balanced!

  4. Ahh, it seems that every summer, by the time Mark and I have really eased into the pace of summer, it is over. You captured the eternal quest for just the right balance perfectly here!

  5. You will get there, give it time. You've been to a conference so that's buzzing in your mind. Slowly that buzz will die down and you will be in summer mode. Just think of your thinking ahead as pre-planning that you won't do later. Now get to the lake!

  6. It's hard to switch your mind to "summer mode" and enjoy the freedom of not having to plan and constantly think school. As Elsie said, with the pre-planning now, you will be that much further ahead in August. Enjoy your summer!

  7. I lobe that you've peeked at the lists already (and I'm a bit jealous we can't). You're doing what makes you happy and that's summer for ya!

  8. ooh, balance is so hard to find! My summer will be a roller coaster of imbalance that hopefully averages in balance: I went to our district's "tech days" right when school was out, right now I'm working like crazy in my local Writing Project Summer Institute, and then I plan to TRY to take most of July completely off from schoolwork. (We'll see if that happens!) Then I hope to go into my classroom and gear up for the year in a productive but relaxed way in August... we'll see! :-)

  9. I can sooooo relate. I've been reading and tweeting and reading and thinking and -- I need a break too! You see, being on vacation with my parents, I've had time to be online. Once I head home with the girls, my full time job is Mom and I will be present for them with time to disconnect. But that's what makes great teachers, right? Pushing on, looking for better, finding how to connect with kids...I think you have found the balance -- didn't I read a tweet about you participating in a chat from the lake?? That sounds like a perfect balance! :)

  10. Deb,
    I'm not sure I've ever managed to find this balance. Summer gives me time to catch up on reading, thinking, and planning I didn't have time for during the busy year. It's true that being online doesn't help. Friends on Twitter and in blogs are constantly telling me about new books, sharing new information, and teaching me about new things I want to learn more about. If I remember correctly, you are busy planning to do more with flipped classrooms next year.

    I think summer, as the public sees it, is a bit of myth. Yes, we aren't owned by a clock for a few weeks, but educators seem to have a hard time with the line between life and teaching. Most times I'm guessing that's a good thing.

    I'm considering a week of complete removal (which will mean no professional books, no Twitter, no blogging, no reading blogs, etc.), but I haven't committed. I hope you can find time for the things you love in the midst of the learning.


    1. Your week sounds like a great idea, but not sure I could commit either. I'm working on a time schedule. Mornings for me, afternoons for school, something like that. I used to only do rainy days for school, and maybe that's my problem this year--we've had a lot of them!

  11. Deb, I can so identify with this post. School was out for us on the 13th, but I was there finishing up my grades until the 18th and then off to All Write. I came home to two days of curriculum mapping and then a professional book club meeting at my home today. I headed down to school this pm to do my final tidying up and then I promised to not darken the door until August. Our custodian always laughs when I say that! I like your idea, mornings for you, afternoons for school - only I might reverse the order. Keep us posted on this search for balance. It's a never ending quest for me.