Sometimes the school year winds down slowly. Often I have a chance to plan and get a head start on next year's musical or winter sings. But this year came to a crashing halt. It was a long, busy, hard year. I haven't had a year like this in a long time.
This year I was over full-time. My busy schedule left me tired and stressed out at the end of the day. Over the course of the year, I changed how I spent my time at school. I worked through lunch and that seemed to help me feel more prepared and get planning for the following week done. I also gave myself permission to NOT get work done on Tuesdays. Tuesdays were so busy, I simply only had time to teach. I was happier once I gave myself permission to "just teach" on Tuesdays.
Another permission I gave myself was to slow down. If I was going to be late for a meeting, I would just be late. Some meetings I had to rush to because I taught right up to the meeting time. In the past, I would have hustled through the hallways to get to the meeting. This winter, I decided I would take my time. Before I rushed off to a meeting I took a moment to get a drink and think what I might need for the meeting. I also walked to the meeting at a comfortable pace. This made me happier and while it was a small change, it made a big impact for me.
Then life threw a curveball and my world turned a little upside down. A family member got some bad health news this spring and while it isn't life threatening, it involves treatments every 4-6 weeks with a doctor in Colorado. So, for the next few years, we will be making frequent trips from Chicago, IL to Denver, CO.
The upside to this curveball is prospective. All of the sudden a busy schedule doesn't seem like the end of the world anymore. In fact, I am looking forward to the day when all I have to worry about is a busy work schedule and not my family's health. This shift in my mindset help me do my job and see the positive I wasn't able to see this fall. I have a great network of family and friends to help me through all of this.
As if that couldn't be the end to a rough year, our school is getting a facelift (new paint and carpet) this summer and we had to pack up our rooms and box everything. As you can imagine, this took tons of time I didn't really have.
So, first and foremost, I'm going to rest and give myself some time to relax this June. I plan to spend time with my family, take the dogs on long walks, meet friends for coffee, watch some Netflix, sit on the patio, and catch up on some true crime podcasts.
Once I've had some time to relax I will pick up some PD books and do some writing. Here are some of my goals/activities for the summer.
Troublemakers by Carla Shalaby
Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Educated by Design by Michael Cohen
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright
As I read my summer PD books, I will write and reflect on this blog.
This year I started writing for Activate Magazine by Lorenz Corporation. I have an article coming out this winter. I plan to submit a few more lessons and articles for the magazine this summer.
Next week, I will be presenting with Theresa Ducassoux at the International Music Education Summit.
This August, Abigail S. Blair and I will be presenting as part of an ILMEA Webinar Series.