The plane (I hope) my mother boarded this morning is in the air as I write this and sip my daily green smoothie. Soon I will go out to the car, power up the GPS, and cross under the Detroit River to pick her up at DTW. She is to visit for ten days, and we are both very excited about it.
Since I've been inside my classroom weekly this summer, driving up there each Thursday for the newcomers' Sewing Club that I co-host, I'm expecting my re-entry anxiety to be a bit softer this year. But there's no doubt in my mind that I am floundering inside. I've never stuck with a job (nor with a marriage or romantic partnership) for this many years. Next spring I'll get my ten-year pin. I feel desperately in need of novelty. I have a good employer and good benefits, but our aging, leaky-roofed building is depressing to me. Our search for a new location has been going on for at least two years.
I absolutely do not want to go into a new school year with a blah attitude, counting the hours and minutes until the end of a workday. My students deserve better and I deserve better. No, I won't live like that. I must find ways to re-energize myself. I have SOME ideas, but I'm hoping you'll give me a few more. Here are some things I have thought of so far:
- change my parking location in order to save money and get more exercise, a change of scenery
- do more this year with art; students may be able to help me with ideas
- if my employer will spring for a copy, read and implement ideas from Conti and Smith's new book on teaching listening
- take students on field trips, as always, but change it up somehow
- schedule more guest speakers, ones that are interesting to me as well as to the Ss
For me school starts again on September 9th. I have a wee sliver of summer left and I plan to squeeze all the juicy goodness out of every single day between now and then. My mother, at 88, is still one of those people who seizes every day as if it were her last. She is a wonderful role model to me in that sense. She inspires me and helps me see beauty all around. She is a basically trusting person who is quick to see the good in others. I'm so looking forward to having her here with me.