This has been a pretty good school year. In fact, this is the first year in a while where I’ve felt energized all the way to the end. I’m even still enjoying my freshmen.
I’m obviously looking forward to summer, although I tend to be much happier during the school year. And I don’t really buy into the “teachers work all year long” story. I do some work over the summer, but in general it’s stuff that I like to do, such as read books and short stories that I might teach the following school year. It keeps my mind engaged and sure beats sitting around the pool doing nothing (at least I think so. with two young kids, I never have much of an opportunity.)
However, this summer I’m going to set some real intentions, most of which center around staying healthy. Once nice thing about teaching is that it keeps you active. One day I used a pedometer to measure how much I walked during a typical day and logged three miles.
This lack of activity during the summer probably explains why I feel the need to have shorts that are an inch larger than my work clothes. I really want to stay in good shape, so I’m setting some intentions for the summer to keep me that way. They are:
1. An hour of physical activity a day. This can include walking, Nordic track, yoga. I might start swimming at the pool during rest periods.
2. Salads for lunch (and no chips). I tend to eat pretty healthy during the school year and get lax during the summer. Salads for lunch seem like a good way to stay healthy. I’m pretty much off chips during the school year, and I’d like to keep that going.
3. Drink like I’m still working. My wife is a teacher too, and it’s easy to get into the “one more glass” syndrome especially when every day’s a Saturday. This summer I’m going to be more mindful.
Some other goals:
4. Play guitar every day. I used to play a lot in high school and have really let my playing lapse. It’s a great outlet and I always feel better after I do it. Good way to get into that state of flow that educational researchers are always talking about.
5. Read War and Peace. I’m in a book group with a few other English teachers, and this is the book we decided to read this summer.
The author of this article is David Rickert, who leads parallel lives as a cartoonist and teacher. When not creating comics out of thin air, David teaches high school English Language Arts in Columbus, Ohio. His witty and engaging cartoons turn abstract and complicated concepts into concrete and concise images to embed content into our long term memories. Let’s face it: he makes boring topics entertaining. Check out his Grammar Comics and more resources to bring life to your ELA instruction at his store.