Archive for September 6th, 2017

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Summer Vacation – Gone!

September 6, 2017

Fortunate to teach

Another Labor Day is behind us and the beach chair is back in storage. I know that some of you have been in school for almost a month at this point and others had your first student day yesterday. Best wishes for a successful year! Wherever you are in the start of the school year I hope you’ve had a chance to think about how fortunate you are to be a teacher. Impacting students and their futures! I’ve been reviewing some of the documents I created during my teaching career and a piece I had written informed this blog post…

How often have you heard a non-educator remark about how easy teachers have it with summers off? I don’t know about you but during most of my 30 years of teaching I took advantage of summer to become a better teacher. I attended and presented workshops, enrolled in graduate classes, created artwork, read, AND I went to the beach to spend time with my sons. Most of those excursions to the beach were with friends who weren’t only moms, but also, teachers. Many of our conversations were about teaching. I remember one time in the middle of August working on lesson plans with a friend who was taking on a new idea and she wanted feedback. After years of teaching I noticed that I was working at teaching in the classroom, after school, on weekends, and on summer vacation.

I remember one birthday spending time kayaking with two friends who were teachers. It was an almost perfect day to be on the water, I felt so fortunate. We were paddling on salt water first thing in the morning before the wind came up and the tide worked against us. After a couple hours of paddling we headed into the wind and were glad to set foot on the beach again. We had a delightful lunch and visit with a bookmaker at her home. It was great to see her amazing creations.

Throughout the day our conversations wove in and out through teaching. Did I learn anything? You betcha! Every step of the way. When teaching is in your bones, heart and soul, our thinking is always focused on learning. Our eyes are open to ideas that inform our instruction and student learning. We ask ourselves the tough questions like, how do we create a learning environment where every student can be successful?

Educators know that it doesn’t come easily. We need to work at it IN and OUT of the classroom. I believe that teaching is one of the most important professions. It takes dedicated, passionate teachers working at it every day.

As visual and performing arts educators we are fortunate. We teach because we enjoy being with students, AND for many of us it is also about the making, creating, and performing that we do in our personal lives.

At this point I hope your summers were filled with opportunities to be creative and that you’ve rested up. And, I hope that your prepared to dance back into the classroom so you can reach every student. Each of them deserves the best that you have to offer! Thank you for your commitment to teaching.

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