By Krista Nelson, IPLI Mentor, Principal at Center Grove Elementary
Congratulations! You successfully made it through the 2021-2022 school year. I do not know about you, but this year had many challenges. However, being with kids made those challenges a little less stressful and a lot easier.
Ellen Moir shares a simple drawing of the phases a first-year teacher experiences with us.
However, I believe that this applies to every educator. We all start the year with so much anticipation for a fresh start, but we go from surviving to reflection as the year unfolds. I have spent a lot of time over the past few months reflecting on this past year and since COVID began. Many of my conversations start with, “Well, before COVID, we did this.” Or, “If it was not for the pandemic, we think we would be doing this.” Education has shifted to before COVID and after COVID conversations. I am sure you are all hopeful, as I am, that we can start 2022-2023 with some normalcy, even if it may be new practices and procedures that we have learned work better than the “before COVID” procedures.
As you spend time reflecting, you also need time to re-energize. Summer break always goes by quicker than we imagined and sometimes leaves a long list of ideas, projects, and wishes that are not completed. Then, we start the school year feeling that we are already in survival mode and have a long list of unaccomplished goals. I challenge us all to make time for things that matter, be productive in our wishes and have fun.
Angela Watson (2015) lays out great tips on how we can all manage our summertime wisely.
- Create mental space to distance yourself from thinking about work.
- Don’t just SAY you’re going to do it: Plan for it.
- Start by making a plan for each week of what you would like to accomplish
- Don’t overschedule yourself, so you are more stressed.
- Use time over the summer to do things that energize you as an educator
“Don’t approach your summer break aimlessly. Approach it will intention. Start your summer with a clear sense of what’s most important in your life, and plan to prioritize those things. Make the most of every single moment.” (Watson, 2015)
I wish all of you to take time for yourself, spend quality time with loved ones, and be re-energized for a wonderful 2022-2023 school year. You all deserve it!